• Canary Wharf Squash Classic • 18th to 22nd March 2013 • London •  


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Alan Thatcher reports

SQUASH fans have snapped up most of the prime seats for the 2013 Canary Wharf Classic – and the final is already sold out.

Every prime back-wall seat has been sold for each of the five days of competition, with London’s premier squash tournament taking place at the superb East Wintergarden venue from March 18-22.

After three sell-out years in succession, early indications suggest that the full-house signs may again be required for this hugely popular PSA International 50 event which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Standard back-wall seats remain for the first round on the Monday and Tuesday of the competition, together with side-wall seats for most other days.

Every single ticket has been snapped up for the final, and joint promoter Peter Nicol, the former world champion, is not surprised by the response.

Nicol, a director of Eventis Sports Marketing, said: “All the ingredients are there for a fantastic week of squash. The players love playing here and the spectators know that it’s a wonderful venue with a great atmosphere.

“Even though many of the spectators have become regulars down the years, it’s always a special pleasure to welcome newcomers.

“They all go ‘Wow!’ when they see the glass court set up in such a beautiful venue, and the added bonus is the view from upstairs in the East Wintergarden gallery restaurant.

“In my mind it’s the best view of squash anywhere in the world. Having such excellent facilities available to provide a VIP bar and superb corporate hospitality gives Canary Wharf the edge over most other squash venues. It is a top-quality venue and we are fortunate that the players always provide top-quality squash to entertain the spectators.”

Last year’s final produced a memorable battle between England’s great rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, with Matthew clinching his third Canary Wharf title.

Two years earlier, the same two players had fought each other to a physical standstill in an epic semi-final.

The second game was a marathon affair, which Willstrop won 20-18, and the match finished with him lying injured in the back corner, suffering from cramp, after more than two hours and ten minutes of brutal combat. Many squash observers rated it one of the best matches in the sport’s history.

Ahead of Canary Wharf, Matthew and Willstrop are due to meet in the final of the national Championships in Manchester, both having reached the semi-finals of last week’s Tournament of Champions event at Grand Central Station in New York.

The draw for this year’s event will be published soon as squash fans scramble to claim the remaining tickets that are still available.



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