MATTHEW HARBOURS HOPES OF
A FOURTH CANARY WHARF TITLE
11 POINTS WITH WORLD CHAMPION NICK MATTHEW
By ALAN THATCHER
champion Nick Matthew won the Canary Wharf title three
years in a row from 2010 to 2012. Last year
he lost in the semi-finals to England
team-mate Peter Barker. Silently, secretly, he hurled his
racket into the adjacent dock.
This year, buoyed by a third world title and a sixth national
title (both won in Manchester) he is back in London to claim a
fourth Canary Wharf championship.
1: Please tell me about the racket in the river at
Canary Wharf last year!
I figured that there was everything else in the Thames apart
from a squash racket!
2: Things obviously looked up after that and you
enjoyed a phenomenal run of form. Would I be right to assume
there must have been some significant decisions and goal-setting
either side of a special event in the summer?
was a wedding! Then there was some excellent time off and
regrouping allowing me to get some get off season work in and
come back fresher and raring to go.
3: Getting married, being inducted into the Sheffield
Hallf Of Fame and winning the World Open made 2013 a very
special year. Any other special moments that we don't know
It was a great year and one which will be difficult to surpass
(trying my hardest with our first child due in 2014!). Some of
our closest friends got married as well and it's always nice to
be on the other side of the fence witnessing special days like
that. We had our first family Christmas in our new house which
was amazing fun. In a squash sense, obviously the Worlds was a
highlight but it was also great to finally win in Hong Kong
after all these years.
4: The showcourt at Hallamshire was named after you a
few years ago. That must have been a special day as well.
They named it after me in 2010! They did it when I was ranked
number 2 in the world; I don't think they expected me to get any
5: As a seasoned traveller in the world of squash, how
do you rate the Canary Wharf tournament?
really love the vibe at Canary Wharf and it's one of, if not the
best, atmospheres on tour, especially from the very first day. I
was struggling around that time last year so excited to try and
put on a better show for the Canary Wharf crowd this year
6: Lee Drew is launching a programme on behalf of the
PSA to investigate various issues surrounding refereeing. What
do you think of the initiative? And have you been asked for any
A: Lee has been canvassing opinion, which is good, and I'm sure
it will be a good appointment. I think its important that the
players take greater responsibility too to improve the
watchability of our sport. Standards have to improve all round.
I notice you are not playing the forthcoming El Gouna tournament
in Egypt. Any reason why?
A: I loved going to El Gouna in 2012 and had a great time there.
However we have had a busy start to the year and, with the
Commonwealth Games coming up in July, I felt it was important to
take some downtime in April to aid the longevity of my year and
so I can peak for Glasgow.
8: Some feel squash's 2020 Olympic bid is dead; others
claim it is still very much alive. What's your view on the whole
scenario - without spending all day on the subject!
I haven't got my hopes up too high but if there is anything we
can do, no matter how small, we should be prepared to do it. If
we are still in the conversation then it is positive for the
future, especially with the new IOC President.
9: The squash fraternity (and your MP, Nick Clegg)
really got behind you last year to support you in the run-up to
the BBC Sports Personality Of The year Show. That must have
given you a nice, warm glow.
didn't go to SPOTY last year unfortunately. It was reported in
some quarters that I had boycotted due to the lack of
recognition for squash but that couldn't be further from the
truth. I was actually in Jersey with good friend Nick Taylor on
an exhibition weekend that was booked in well in advance before
I even knew about the Sports Personality dates. I'm sure they
didn't miss me too much!
10: Random question - how do you prefer to spend your
time after checking-in at airports and waiting for your
A: In the business lounge! Although it's not often that our
class of travel matches up!
11: Congratulations from the whole Canary Wharf team
on the announcement that you and Esme have a baby on the way
later this year. Obviously there are plenty of England
team-mates who can offer advice. I saw you asking for advice on
Twitter. What was the best answer?
Thank you. The response was overwhelming but we are both aware
there is a long way to go. There was a lot of people mentioning
Calpol. I had to ask Esme what that was!
Thank you, Nick. We look forward to seeing you at the East
Wintergarden on day one of the first round.