Classic heads for another Sellout
By ALAN THATCHER
The ISS Canary Wharf Classic is heading for another sell-out
next week as London squash fans flock to see world champion
Nick Matthew bid to retain his title.
the 30-year-old world No.1 from Sheffield, won his first Canary
Wharf title last year as he launched a momentous drive towards
the top of the PSA rankings.
He took over the world No.1 spot in June 2010 and went on to win
two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games before beating
compatriot James Willstrop in the final of the World Open
in Saudi Arabia in November to crown a magnificent year.
That match was a repeat of a phenomenal semi-final battle at
Canary Wharf, a two-hour classic rated as one of the best
matches in the history of the sport.
Co-promoter Peter Nicol, a former world champion himself,
is looking forward to a possible rematch. He said: “That was a
brutal battle. Both players were playing well throughout the
match but Nick got ahead in the fifth and the match finished
with James lying injured in the back left corner after a huge
dive to get the ball back.
had treatment on court but he was unable to finish the match.
What a lot of people may not know is that Nick had two hours of
treatment from the physio immediately after the match to help
him get fit to play the final the next day.”
The magic hands of Sylvan Richardson, a former member of
Simply Red who is now on the medical staff of Liverpool Football
Club, clearly worked wonders.
Matthew overcame French ace Gregory Gaultier in a superb
final and the two are seeded to meet in the semi-finals next
the number three seed, is almost back to peak form on his return
to action following an injury suffered in the World Open.
Both face difficult first-round opponents. Matthew meets Spanish
No.1 Borja Golan, who is also back on court following a
long injury lay-off, and Gaultier tackles the ultra-physical
Finnish No.1 Olli Tuominen.
If Matthew beats Golan, he meets the winner of the all-English
battle between rising star Tom Richards and new British
champion Daryl Selby, who beat Matthew in a shock result
in last month’s National Championships final in Manchester.
No.2 seed Willstrop is scheduled to meet England team-mate Peter
Barker in the semi-finals in the bottom half of the draw.
Wild card Joe Lee, from Surrey, has withdrawn because of a back
injury and his place in the first round has been taken by fellow
English player Joey Barrington.
Tickets have sold out for the final four days of the event and a
handful remain available for the first round on Monday.
The qualifying competition takes place this weekend at Wimbledon
Rackets and Fitness Club.
First round draw
(bottom half Monday; top
 Nick Matthew (Eng) v Borja Golan (Spa)
Daryl Selby (Eng) v Tom Richards (Eng)
Simon Rosner (Ger) v Chris Ryder (Eng)
 Gregory Gaultier (Fra) v Olli Tuominen (Fin)
 Peter Barker (Eng) v Qualifier
Stewart Boswell (Aus) v Qualifier
Joey Barrington (Eng) v Qualifier
 James Willstrop (Eng) v Qualifier