News 04

• ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic • 21st to 25th March 2011 • London •  







English squash stars Nick Matthew and James Willstrop are destined to continue their explosive rivalry in the semi-finals of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic next month.

World No.2 Matthew is top seed in this prestigious PSA World Tour Five Star event to be staged at Canary Wharf’s spectacular East Wintergarden venue from March 22-26.

Willstrop has won the event three times but Matthew, currently enjoying the best form of his career, is determined to claim his first title.

The two players have already met twice this year, with Matthew gaining the upper hand each time. He clinched the Swedish Open final when Willstrop was forced to retire with a shoulder injury and the Sheffield-based Matthew retained his National Championship title in Manchester on Sunday when he overcame Willstrop in straight games.

It was Matthew’s third National title in a row - having missed 2007 and 2008 through injury - and he would love to add Canary Wharf to his list of domestic triumphs, which includes two highly-prized British Open successes, the last against Willstrop on the same Manchester court last year.

Matthew said: “All the players look forward to playing at Canary Wharf because it is such a great tournament, and it’s about time I won it.

“It is a brilliant venue and the crowds are always very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. That kind of atmosphere brings the best out of the players and it’s time I put in a major performance.”

Matthew meets a qualifier in the first round and will have to overcome a scheduled quarter-final against France’s former world champion Thierry Lincou before his seeded meeting with Willstrop.

The Leeds-based Willstrop began the year in sensational style by winning the Tournament of Champions in New York, beating the illustrious Egyptian trio Karim Darwish, Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour in the process, a stunningly unique achievement in modern-day squash.

With the senior Egyptians deciding to give the English winter a miss, Frenchman Gregory Gaultier is No.2 seed at Canary Wharf and another major competitor seeking his first ISS title.
Gaultier meets a qualifier in the first round and faces a fierce clash with Australia’s reigning champion David Palmer in the quarter-finals.

Willstrop, who lost to former world champion Palmer in last year’s Canary Wharf final, faces his Pontefract team-mate Saurav Ghosal from India in the first round.

Willstrop is seeded to meet the in-form Essex star Daryl Selby in the quarter-finals. Selby has enjoyed a fantastic run of form in recent weeks with victories over Gaultier and Essex team-mate Peter Barker.

Barker, the current world No.7 and No.4 seed, faces wild card Adrian Waller, a fellow Londoner, in the first round with a scheduled quarter-final against England’s No.7 seed Alister Walker or Pakistan’s Aamir Atlas Khan.

The sole Egyptian in the main draw is talented teenager Tarek Momen, who meets Selby in the opening round.


Full Draw

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