PETER BARKER : #1, March 2nd
latest PSA World Tour rankings show just how strong English
squash is at the moment.
A few months ago we had Egyptians at one, two and three but the
March list, released this week, tells a different story.
Nick Matthew is at two, James Willstrop is at four
and I am pleased to have maintained my place at seven.
We also have three more English players Adrian Grant,
Daryl Selby and Alister Walker at 10, 12 and 13 which
clearly shows our strength in depth.
All the boys will be looking forward to playing in the ISS
Canary Wharf Classic from March 22-26 and putting on a good show
for the home fans.
We travel the world so much that it’s always good to be able to
play on your own doorstep – especially for me. I now live in
Islington and rent out my flat in Limehouse.
James Willstrop has won the Canary Wharf tournament three times
but Nick Matthew will be looking for his first title.
Those two have dominated the World Tour so far this year, with
James winning the Tournament of Champions at Grand Central
Station in New York, beating three top Egyptians one after the
Nick then beat James in the final of the Swedish Open, took him
out again in the final of our National Championships in
Manchester, and repeated the result in the semi-finals of the
North American Open in Richmond, Virginia, last week.
Nick then beat Egyptian superstar Ramy Ashour in the final and
narrowed the gap to just a few points in the world rankings.
Interestingly, Nick and James are joint leaders in the
restructured PSA Super Series points table after those big wins
I had a good run of results at the end of 2009 to reach a
career-best ranking of six in the world and it’s time I got some
more big wins on the board in 2010.
First up for me at Canary Wharf is the tournament wild card,
Adrian Waller, a very
talented 20-year-old from Enfield. He is a fellow left-hander
and we have trained together several times so hopefully I’ll
know what to expect.
My only fear is that with Adrian being 6ft 3in tall and still
growing, I’ll have to work out a special strategy to get the
ball past him on the glass court at the East Wintergarden!
It’s a wonderful venue, one of the best in the world, and all
the players look forward to playing in front such a
knowledgeable and enthusiastic audience.
PETER BARKER plays with Wilson rackets and clothing. For brand
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