RIVALS MATTHEW AND WILLSTROP
SET TO CLASH AGAIN
Alan Thatcher reports
Squash rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop are
seeded to meet in the final of next month’s sold-out Canary
two English stars have dominated London’s most popular squash
tournament, with reigning champion Willstrop claiming four
titles and Matthew three.
This PSA World Tour International 50 event takes place at the
stunning East Wintergarden venue from March 24-28 and the
prospect of another high-quality all-English showdown resulted
in every ticket being snapped up eight weeks in advance.
However, Matthew and Willstrop face a number of daunting
obstacles in every round, with a strong international field
lying in wait. In the top half of the draw, Matthew faces
Scottish wild card Alan Clyne in the first round, with
the winner facing an Egyptian after world No.13 Omar Mosaad
was drawn against compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad.
Matthew began the month as joint world number one with French
ace Gregory Gaultier, but his triumph over Ramy Ashour in
Sunday’s Swedish Open final, following victory over Gaultier in
the semi-finals, means that he will be undisputed number one in
the March rankings.
Karim Darwish is another celebrated Egyptian making his
debut appearance at Canary Wharf. He faces a qualifier in the
first round, with a mouthwatering second round clash in prospect
against either Londoner Adrian Grant or the hugely
popular Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez. The world No.14
is one of the most agile and athletic players on the PSA Tour.
There is a strong domestic presence in the bottom half of the
draw, with Willstrop and world No.10 Daryl Selby both
meeting qualifiers in the first round before a scheduled clash
in the quarter-finals.
No.3 seed Peter Barker, the world No.7 from Essex, faces
a difficult first round tie against Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal,
one of the quickest players in the game, before a seeded
quarter-final clash with Germany’s Simon Rosner. The tall world
No.11 faces a qualifier in the first round.
tickets sold out, a waiting list is being set up should any
tickets be returned. To add your name to this list, please email