CANARY WHARF HAT-TRICK
(2) James Willstrop (Eng) bt (7)
Cameron Pilley (Aus) 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-3 (78 mins)
Willstrop won the ISS Canary
Wharf Squash Classic for a third time with a battling performance to
win a gruelling final against Australian Cameron Pilley.
Willstrop fought back from the brink
of collapse to overturn a 2-1deficit in games as Pilley came close
to a shock result.
The Reading-based Pilley played fast,
controlled and aggressive squash to establish a 2-1 lead against the
world No.4 from Pontefract, who was exhausted following a punishing
tournament schedule in which he has collected five titles already
The No.7 seed from New South Wales
began solidly and fought back from 7-4 down to win the opening game
11-9 before a capacity audience at the superb East Wintergarden
Willstrop heeded the words of advice
from his father Malcolm between games and resumed with a more
However, he still had resist some
ferocious competition from Pilley before clinching the game with a
stunning kill shot after Pilley had played an amazing shot with the
racket behind his back.
Pilley grew in confidence and when he
took the third game, after leading throughout, a major upset was on
the cards. But Willstrop dug deep into his physical reserves and at
6-6 in the fourth the match swung his way.
Pilley was in uncharted territory and
visibly wilted as Willstrop reeled off the next five points. He
maintained the momentum throughout the fifth game and clinched
victory after 78 minutes of brutal combat.
Willstrop paid tribute to his
opponent, saying: Cameron may be ranked 20 in the world but he
clearly has the game to be up there with the best. He has shown that
this week in every game he has played.
I am just delighted and relieved to
have won the tournament. I am looking forward to a complete rest and
forgetting about squash for a few days to let my body heal and
I love playing squash but the
travelling takes a toll on the mind and the body and that match
hurt. That was painful, extremely painful.
Winning this tournament is special.
It gets bigger and better every year. The Canary Wharf venue is
fantastic. It's right up there with the best venues in the world and
the audiences are brilliant. The London crowds are very
knowledgeable and love to get involved, which the players
appreciate. Any event that sells out every night is obviously good
for the game and the players love coming here.
for Larger Size Poster
Canary Wharf, London
Nicol David (Malaysia)
Alison Waters (England)
11-9, 4-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-1 (41 mins)
Weary Willstrop's Hat Trick
Willstrop Beaches Rival
English trio reach last four
Gallant Walker Stuns Top Seed Gaultier
Egyptian Teenager Meets Welsh Veteran Gough
Young Egyptian Ace Dazzles
PSA Trial Tri-Ref System At Canary Wharf Classic
Alan Thatcher Previews
Walker Steps in for Injured Abbas
Willstrop Warms Up
Classic Welcomes Top Women Stars
Barker Goes For Glory
Gaultier Sets His Sites
Willstrop Bids For Third
James Willstrop secures his third Canary Wharf Classic title, beating
Cameron Pilley in 5 games
James Willstrop continues his recent successful run against Pontefract
team-mate Lee Beachill
Cameron Pilley ends the run of giant-killer Alister Walker
Cameron Pilley puts out Peter Barker to gain revenge for his defeat in the
deciding match of the 2007 World Teams final
Alister Walker beats top seed Gregory Gaultier to record the best win of his
Canary Wharf Classic
10th - 14th March 2008
 Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
3/11, 11/5, 4/11, 11/7, 11/7 (53m)
Alister Walker (Eng)
5/11, 11/7, 11/6, 11/4 (56m)
11-1, 11-10 (2-0)11-5 (41 mins)
9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-3 (78 mins)
Renan Lavigne (Fra)
11/5, 12/10, 9/11, 11/8 (53m)
[Q] Jesse Engelbrecht (Rsa)
 Peter Barker (Eng)
11/7, 11/6, 11/4 (46m)
Daryl Selby (Eng)
11/1, 6/11, 11/9, 11/8 (66m)
 Cameron Pilley (Aus)
11/1, 11/1, 11/5 (32m)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
Joey Barrington (Eng)
11/6, 6/11, 12/10, 11/8
 Olli Tuominen (Fin)
11/8, 13/15, 11/9, 11/2 (76m)
11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9 (58 mins)
[Q] Chris Ryder (Eng)
11/8, 11/5, 11/4 (37m)
 Lee Beachill (Eng)
[Q] Mohammed El Shorbagy (Egy)
11/5, 11/8, 4/11, 3/11, 11/5 (67m)
 Alex Gough (Wal)
11/3, 12/10, 4/11, 11/2 (42m)
[Q] Mark Krajcsak (Hun)
11/6, 11/7, 11/9 (30m)
 James Willstrop
Qualifying finals, Sunday:
Chris Ryder (Eng) beat Scott Arnold (Aus) 11-6, 11-5, 8-11,
11-1 (60 mins)
Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egypt) beat Saurav Ghosal (India) 7-11, 11-7, 11-8,
11-10 (4-2) (53 mins)
Mark Krajcsak (Hungary) beat Simon Rosner (Germany) 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6,
11-9 (73 mins)
Jesse Engelbrecht (RSA) beat Stacey Ross (Eng) 11-7, 11-5, 11-0 (32 mins)
Qualifying first round, Wimbledon Rackets and Fitness Club:
Chris Ryder (Eng) bt Ben Ford (Eng) 11-6, 11-7, 11-3 (41 mins)
Scott Arnold (Australia) bt Neil Hitchens (Eng) 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (32 mins)
Stacey Ross (Eng) bt Phil Nightingale (Eng) 4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (45 mins)
Simon Rosner (Germany) bt Joe Lee (England) 11-2, 11-7, 11-8 (33 mins)
Mark Krajscak (Hungary) bt Robbie Temple (Eng) 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (35 mins)
Jesse Engelbrecht (South Africa) bt Jon Harford (Eng) 11-8, 11-10 (5-3),
7-11, 4-11, 11-3 (85 mins)
Saurav Ghosal (India) bt Tom Richards (Eng) 11-8, 8-11, 11-10 (4-2),11-7,
11-8 (85 mins)
Mohammed El Shorbagy (Egypt) bt Julien Balbo (France) 11-10 (3-1), 11-6, 6-4
retd injured (27 mins)
WILLSTROP BEACHES RIVAL TO REACH CANARY WHARF FINAL
(2) James Willstrop (Eng) bt (3) Lee
Beachill (Eng) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9 (58 mins)
Reigning champion James Willstrop
reached the final of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic by beating
his Pontefract and England team-mate Lee Beachill in tonights
World No.4 Willstrop was made to
battle hard for his win as Beachills trademark precision play
contained his opponents attacking flair.
edged home in the first game but former world No.1 Beachill imposed
himself in the second to draw level. However, Willstrop at last
began to play with a flourish in the third and a capacity crowd at
the stylish East Wintergarden venue was treated to a superb contest
as Beachill tried his hardest to stem the flow of winners.
survived a concerted fightback from the 30-year-old Beachill to
complete victory in 58 minutes, bringing the crowd to their feet
with a dazzling winner at the conclusion of a marathon final rally.
has reached the final of all six tournaments he has entered this
year, winning four of them so far. Few will bet against him adding
to that tally tomorrow.
POWER ENDS WALKERS JOURNEY
(7) Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Alister
Walker (Eng) 11-1, 11-10 (2-0)11-5 (41 mins).
Australian Cameron Pilley ended hopes
of an all-English final when he beat Englands giant-killer Alister
World No.32 Walker had beaten two
Frenchmen on his way to the semi-finals, including a shock victory
over No.1 seed Gregory Gaultier.
Tonight he found world No.20 Pilley
in dominant form. The 6ft 2in tall Australian powered through the
first game 11-1 and led 10-5 in the second before the dreadlocked
Walker clawed his way back to force a tiebreak.
However, Walker was unable to
maintain the momentum and Pilley claimed the next two points to lead
two games to love.
Walker started brightly in the third
but soon began to tire as Pilley quickly advanced to an 8-4 lead.
Walkers exhaustion and frustration showed as he hit two volleys into
Pilley maintained his discipline and
continued to strike the ball with power and accuracy to claim his
place in the final against Willstrop.
With Pilleys height eclipsed by the
6ft 5in Willstrop, there certainly wont be much room on court.
Radar Gun Top Speeds:
reach last four at Canary Wharf
(3) Lee Beachill (Eng) beat
Joey Barrington (Eng) 11-8, 10-11 (3-5), 11-9, 11-2 (76 mins)
Yorkshire's Lee Beachill
overcame Joey Barrington to reach the semi-finals of the ISS Canary
Wharf Classic before a sell-out crowd in London tonight.
Barrington, son of squash
legend Jonah, fought valiantly and won the second game after a
prolonged tiebreak to draw level at one game all. However,
Beachill's vast experience told in the end as he edged the third
game and powered home 11-2 in the fourth.
Beachill admitted: It was a
bit scrappy at times, probably because we were both trying to go for
the same space on court, but I was moving well and thats the
pleasing thing for me.
Beachill, president of the
PSA, the governing body of the mens world tour, said he was
delighted to see every seat sold at the fabulous East Wintergarden
venue at Canary Wharf.
He said: This is one of the
worlds great squash venues and its fantastic to see the place
If any of those people who
say the sport is dying were to come here and see the worlds top
players they would soon change their mind. The product is fantastic
and the presentation of the sport is getting better all the time
with venues like this and the giant screen above the court.
(2) James Willstrop (Eng)
beat (6) Alex Gough (Wales) 11-3, 11-10 (2-0), 4-11, 11-2 (42 mins)
James Willstrop now faces his
Pontefract team-mate Lee Beachill in the semi-finals after beating
Welsh veteran Alex Gough in four games.
Gough produced an inspired
spell in the middle of the match to run Willstrop close during the
second game and take the third with some ease, but Willstrop
regained control to win the fourth for the loss of just two points.
Willstrop is hot favourite
for the tournament following last nights shock defeat of top seed
Gregory Gaultier by the unseeded Englishman Alister Walker, but the
world No.4 Willstrop refused to believe it made his task of winning
the tournament any easier.
He said: The depth of ability
in this game is so high that anybody can win the tournament. It
would be ridiculous of me to think any other way. Every player in
this tournament is a quality performer and I respect every one of
Willstrop, who has won four
of his last five tournaments, achieved his first career victory over
Beachill on his way to winning last years Canary Wharf title and he
added: I am just enjoying the way I am playing at the moment and
taking each match as it comes.
Alister Walker (Eng) bt (8)
Renan Lavigne (Fra) 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (56 mins)
The unseeded Alister Walker
continued his march through the ISS Canary Wharf Classic and removed
a second French opponent to reach the semi-finals. Having beaten top
seed Gregory Gaultier last night, Walker produced another stylish
and determined performance to overcome No.8 seed Renan Lavigne from
The more experienced Lavigne
won the opening game but Walker admitted his concentration had been
affected by the previous evenings match highlights being replayed on
the giant screen above the glass court.
Walker said: I know the crowd
enjoyed but I was trying to blank it from my mind and concentrate on
this match. Renan is a great pro and I knew it was going to be a
Its a great feeling to be in
the semi-finals and I just hope I can continue to move well and play
(7) Cameron Pilley (Aus) beat
(4) Peter Barker (Eng) 11-1, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 (66 mins)
Australian Cameron Pilley
ended hopes of an all-English semi-final line-up when he beat
Englands No.4 seed Peter Barker in four games. Pilley began like
lightning, striking the ball crisply and finding plenty of nicks at
the side of the court as he won the opening game for the loss of
just one point.
Barker slapped the wall in
frustration at the end of the game but came out firing in the
second. He advanced to 9-1 and weathered a five-point run from
Pilley before taking it 11-6.
The third game was a tense
affair with Pilley clinching the big points at the end to nick it
11-9. Barker led 7-4 in the fourth but lost his concentration and
was docked a conduct stroke for throwing his racket in anger. The
tall, athletic Pilley launched a huge recovery to win seven of the
final eight points to clinch a place in the semi-finals against the
Radar Gun Top Speeds: Pilley
140mph, Beachill 127, Willstrop 125, Barrington 124, Walker 119,
Lavigne 118, Gough 110, Barker 109.
GALLANT WALKER STUNS TOP SEED
Alister Walker produced a sensational fightback from the brink of
defeat to beat top seed Gregory Gaultier to reach the quarter-finals
of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic. It was an astonishing
performance by the world No.32 to remove the reigning British Open
French maestro, the world No.3 and runner-up in the last two World
Open finals, dominated the opening game but Walker stepped up a gear
to win the second.
was competitive sport at its most brutal and spectacular. These two
superb athletes twisted and turned to retrieve almost unplayable
shots and delivered entertainment of the highest quality to a
near-capacity crowd at the East Wintergarden.
audience roared as Walker clinched the second game and Gaultier
stared in disbelief at the giant screen mounted above the glass
court as Walker matched his shot-making audacity.
Gaultier slowed down the pace in the third game and placed the ball
with pinpoint accuracy as he regained his authority. However, Walker
staged another massive recovery to win the fourth, continuing to
chase down every ball and producing faultless finishing with
exquisite drops and kills at the front of the court.
Gaultier looked to have the match sewn up as he advanced to a 6-3
lead in the fifth game but Walker found incredible reserves of
courage and perseverance to claw his way back, point by point.
match developed a physical dimension as both players hunted the ball
down the backhand wall and there were frequent discussions with
referee Jos Aarts following a series of collisions.
7-4 down, Walker produced a phenomenal sequence of controlled,
attacking and aggressive squash to win seven points in a row to book
his place in the quarter finals.
the crowd erupted, Gaultier raced from the court, grabbed his bag
and headed for the exit as a delirious Walker ran round the building
on a lap of honour.
25-year-old, who was born in Botswana but is now based in Halifax,
said: "That was my best result without a doubt. I have played well
against the top guys on many, many occasions without getting the
results. But I sensed that he was getting tired and I was determined
to get every ball back."
Walker faces another French opponent, Renan Lavigne, in the
quarter-finals and must fancy his chances of causing another upset
against an opponent ranked just four places above him in the world.
Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Davide Bianchetti (Ita) 11-1, 11-1, 5-11 (32
Italy's Davide Bianchetti made a hot-foot exit from the ISS Canary
Wharf Squash Classic after leaving his shoes back home in Brescia.
Bianchetti wwas forced to borrow a pair from England's No.3 seed
Peter Barker but was clearly unsettled as he lost to Australia's
Cameron Pilley, 11-1, 11-1, 11-5. The No.7 seed powered his way
through the opening two games and weathered a brief recovery from
the Italian in the third to stroll through to tomorrow's
quarter-finals and a clash with Englands Peter Barker.
Peter Barker (Eng) bt Daryl Selby (Eng) 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 (46 mins)
seed Peter Barker eased past Essex team-mate Daryl Selby to reach
tomorrows quarter-finals and a match-up with Australian Cameron
Pilley. Barker was always in front but Selby competed ferociously
despite having his left ankle strapped. One rally of more than 100
shots had the audience spellbound but ended in a let. Barker started
strongly in each game and never looked in danger of surrendering his
Renan Lavigne (Fra) bt(Q) Jesse Engelbrecht (RSA) 11-8, 11-10 (2-0),
9-11, 11-8 (54 mins)
Renan Lavigne regained some lost pride for France by beating South
African No.1 Jesse Engelbrecht. Lavigne, the No.8 seed, had too much
court craft and experience and won 11-8, 11-10 (2-0), 9-11, 11-8 in
54 minutes. Engelbrecht battled hard throughout and was delighted to
have taken the third game. Lavigne will now go in search of revenge
for his compatriot Gaultier as he faces Alister Walker in the last
WELSH VETERAN GOUGH
By ALAN THATCHER
Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egypt) beat Saurav Ghosal (India) 7-11, 11-7,
11-8, 11-10 (4-2) (53 mins)
Egyptian teenage sensation Mohamed El Shorbagy held his nerve in a
tense tiebreak to beat Indias Saurav Ghosal to reach the first round
proper of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic.
The 17-year-old Millfield student will be firmly in the spotlight as
he features in the tournament's opening match against Welsh veteran
Alex Gough, who is still playing solid squash at the age of 37.
Despite the 20-year age gap, Shorbagy is confident his all-out
attacking flair will translate to the glass court at Canary Wharf's
East Wintergarden in this PSA Five Star World Tour event.
Shorbagy said: "This is the draw I wanted. I am so looking forward
to playing on the glass court in front of a big crowd."
Shorbagy started nervously today against India's World No.49 Ghosal,
who began in fiery mood, reeling off the first six points of the
match to establish an unassailable lead in the opening game.
However, Shorbagy decided it was time to open his box of tricks and
he took control of the match with some outrageous shots and
Shorbagy held the lead throughout he second and third games and
looked poised for a comfortable victory as he led 9-5 in the fourth.
However, Ghosal produced a succession of winners to draw level and
take it to a tiebreak. Shorbagy held match ball at 11-10 but Ghosal
continued to dig in despite the effects of an 95-minute match the
previous day. Ghosal won the next two points to reach game ball at
12-11, but Shorbagy regained his composure to reel off the final
three points to book a place in the first round after 53 minutes of
breathtaking squash, full of stunning winners and incredible
pick-ups from both players.
Chris Ryder (Eng) beat Scott Arnold (Aus) 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-1 (60
England's Chris Ryder became the first qualifier to win through to
the main draw of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic by beating
Australia's Scott Arnold.
The stylish Ryder, the Hertfordshire No.1, showed superb touch to
negate the power of the tall, hard-hitting Australian and open up a
two-game lead. Arnold played tighter, more disciplined squash to
edge the third, but Ryder regained control in the fourth to cruise
home for the loss of just one point. He meets former world No.1 Lee
Beachill in tomorrows first round.
Mark Krajcsak (Hungary) beat Simon Rosner (Germany) 8-11, 7-11,
11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (73 mins)
Mark Krajcsak of Hungary produced a determined fightback and a
spectacular finale to beat Simon Rosner in a marathon all-European
encounter. Rosner appeared to have the match under control as he
cruised through the opening two games, but he tired visibly as the
feisty Krajcsak fought his way back. Showing no ill-effects of the
leg wound of the previous day, Krajcsak drew level at two games all.
Rosner seemed to rediscover his earlier form to lead 5-2 in the
fifth, but Krajcsak summoned all his physical reserves to win the
next six points. The score seesawed one way then the other, thanks
to some astonishing, gruelling rallies suddenly terminated by some
flat nicks, until it was 9-9 and time for the big points. Krajcsak
moved to match ball with a stupendous volley following a massive
rally, then buried a crosscourt volley-nick in sensational style to
clinch victory after 73 minutes and place in the first round against
reigning champion James Willstrop, the No.2 seed.
Jesse Engelbrecht (RSA) beat Stacey Ross (Eng)
11-7, 11-5, 11-0 (32 mins)
Jesse Engelbrecht, the South African No.1, cruised past Englands
Stacey Ross, who was suffering from a calf injury sustained during
his warm-up before yesterdays match against Surrey team-mate Phil
Ross competed for the first two games but was clearly in some
discomfort as Engelbrecht eased home in the third game without
dropping a point. Engelbrecht meets Renan Lavigne in the first round
YOUNG EGYPTIAN ACE DAZZLES
By ALAN THATCHER
Teenage sensation Mohamed El Shorbagy looks set to join the ruling
Egyptian squash dynasty.
The 17-year-old Millfield student produced a devastating display of
outrageous winners as he beat French opponent Julien Balbo in the
first qualifying round of the ISS Canary Wharf Classic at the
Wimbledon Rackets Club.
Balbo conceded in the third game with a stiff neck, which was
probably caused by all the twisting and turning he was required to
do as Shorbagy unleashed a mind-boggling repertoire of shots.
The most memorable was the winner that took him to game ball in the
second. Down on one knee at the back of the court, he unleashed a
straight kill that died in the nick at the front right of the court.
Tomorrow he meets India’s Saurav Ghosal, who will need all his
renowned speed around the court to contain the Egyptian sensation.
Ghosal may well be suffering from the exertions of today’s marathon
encounter with Surrey’s Tom Richards, who folded at the closing
stages of the firth game as Ghosal squeezed home 11-8 after an
South Africa No.1 Jesse Engelbrecht survived a determined fightback
from Gloucestershire's Jonny Harford in the first qualifying round
of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic.
Engelbrecht won a marathon tiebreak in the second game to open up a
two-game lead but Harford produced a courageous recovery to draw
level and take the match to a fifth game at the Wimbledon Rackets
and Fitness Club.
However, his energy levels were depleted by his efforts and
Engelbrecht eased home 11-3 in the final game to complete victory in
Engelbrecht now meets the vastly experienced Stacey Ross, who
overcame his Surrey team-mate Phil Nightingale despite a niggling
calf injury that hampered his movement around the court.
Nightingale, from Reigate, took the opening game but Wimbledon-based
Ross made full use of his superior racket skills to book his place
in the qualifying finals.
Earlier, the top qualifying seed, Hertfordshire's Chris Ryder, eased
past Kent's Ben Ford in straight games to set up a qualifying final
with Australia’s Scott Arnold, who powered past England’s Neil
PSA Trial Tri-Ref
System At Canary Wharf Classic
The Professional Squash Association is trialling a new
three-referee system at this week's ISS Canary Wharf Classic
5-star event in
is a wireless electronic three-man refereeing system which has been
developed by Michael Castleton, of Security Foiling Ltd, in
conjunction with the
PSA over the past eight months, in a bid to solve the problem of
player–referee confrontation and inconsistency.
"The prototype model will allow three referees to make a decision
independently and without the knowledge of their fellow arbiters,"
PSA board director Tony Hands. "When the three decisions
have been entered into the keypads, the head referee will see the
resulting decision on his keypad and will announce it to the players
"If the testing proves to be successful, then the stage two of
development will be to expand the software to integrate the tri ref
with laptops, scoreboards and live streaming. It could open up the
possibility of being able to add sound and graphics to a pending
decision," added Hands.
PSA are very driven to attaining Olympic status for our sport and it
was noted that one view of the Olympic committee was that Squash is
a sport with too much vocal confrontation between referees and
players. This new Tri Ref system potentially could remove this
view, as the players do not have a direct source on which to focus
Hands also stated that
PSA World Tour players will benefit in that it should improve the
decision process and will remove any possible influence amongst the
three referees as they will make their own decision independently
and privately without prior knowledge as to the thoughts of the
"We hope that this will reduce the level of inconsistency.
"It will also allow the WSF refereeing panel to be able to assess
their referees from outside the court and could save cost and
expense on international assessments. This may enable the potential
growth in numbers of higher level qualified referees," added Hands.
"We are grateful to Graham Waters, head of the WSF refereeing panel,
and Canary Wharf Classic tournament referee Linda Davie, both of
whom have been very helpful in their support for this new system -
knowing that it could potentially throw up unforeseen problems.
But they acknowledge that the system needs to be tested by qualified
referees in competition to be able to properly monitor its affects
on the game.
"Furthermore, event promoters Eventis have been very accommodating
in allowing us to test the tri ref prototype at the Canary Wharf
event from the first round onwards and we hope that the players and
the referees all find this a valuable system in taking the
professional game to the next level as a spectator sport."
PSA would like to thank Michael Castleton for his own personal
investment, both financially and in the great deal of time spent, in
making sure the system reached all the specifications required to
operate a fully functional electronic refereeing system.
Alan Thatcher Previews
WALKER STEPS IN FOR
EGYPTIAN squash star Mohammed Abbas
has withdrawn from the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic because of an
injury sustained this week in the USA.
Abbas twisted his ankle playing
former Canary Wharf champion Thierry Lincou in the Players Cup grand
prix finals in Boston.
His withdrawal means that Renan
Lavigne moves to fill Abbas's slot in the draw. That's great news
for Lavigne, because he now faces a qualifier instead of fellow
Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the top seed.
England's Alister Walker comes
directly into the main draw to tackle Gaultier in the first round on
Tournament Director Tim Garner said:
"It's great shame that Abbas has had to withdraw. He delayed
his decision for a day but the injury was clearly not responding to
treatment and he reluctantly had no choice but to pull out.
"However, I am sure that Renan
Lavigne will be mightily pleased, as will Alister Walker, who is now
spared the effort of qualifying and is sure to receive tremendous
support from the crowd when he steps on court against Gaultier."
WILLSTROP WARMS UP FOR ISS CANARY WHARF CLASSIC BY WINNING MAJOR
England’s James Willstrop prepared
for next week’s ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic in stunning fashion
by overcoming French rival Gregory Gaultier to win a major
tournament final in America.
Willstrop beat Gaultier
11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 8-11,
11-4 to clinch the Davenport Professional Championship at Richmond
University, Virginia, in a marathon match lasting 83 minutes.
It was Willstrop’s third victory in
his last four tournaments following successes in the Swedish Open
and the National Championships in Manchester. The win was
Willstrop’s tenth PSA World Tour title and his third Super Series
The reigning Canary Wharf champion,
Willstrop also won the Mamut English Open in 2007. His success in
Richmond will give him a massive confidence boost ahead of the ISS
Canary Wharf Squash Classic, in which he is seeded to meet Gaultier
in the final once again. The Frenchman, from Aix-en-Provence, is
seeded one and Willstrop two.
Qualifying for the ISS Canary Wharf
Squash Classic begins at Wimbledon Rackets and Fitness Club on
Saturday (March 8) before the main event switches to the all-glass
Harris Brushes ProCourt at the magnificent East Wintergarden venue
at Canary Wharf on Monday, March 10.
Play continues each evening
throughout the week with Willstrop seeded to meet Gaultier in the
final on Friday, March 14, when women’s world No.1 Nicol David from
Malaysia meets new British national champion Alison Waters from
London in a special International Challenge.
MEWECO FAIR PLAY AWARD
Organisers announced this week that a
special Meweco Fair Play prize of £500 (1,000 dollars US) will also
be awarded to the player who displays the highest levels of honesty
and sportsmanship throughout the week at the ISS Canary Wharf
The prize has been offered by former
professional Peter Bryttne, from Sweden, who owns the Meweco
management training company. He said: “I think that it is better to
support good rather than punish bad behaviour. If we can support
good behaviour at the top level then perhaps it will spread down the
line to all types of players.”
Tickets are still available for
each day’s play and are on sale via the Ticket Hotline, 0844 847
2419, or via the website (www.ticketmaster.co.uk).
ISS CANARY WHARF SQUASH
WELCOMES TOP WOMEN STARS
Women's world No.1 Nicol David is taking part in a special
International Challenge match against the new British champion
Alison Waters during the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic.
David, from Malaysia, is the most dominant figure in women's squash,
having held the No.1 position for 19 consecutive months.
She meets the London-based Waters at the East Wintergarden on finals
night of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic on Friday, March 14.
PETER NICOL GIVES AWAY SPECIAL GOLD TICKETS FOR THE ISS CANARY WHARF
Date: Monday, February 25th, 2008
Canada Place Mall (between Boots and Gap), Canary Wharf, London
Time: 11a.m. to 2pm
TICKETS for the ISS Canary Wharf
Squash Classic are like gold dust - but former world champion Peter
Nicol will be giving away some special gold tickets next week. Nicol,
who is co-promoter of the event, will be appearing at the Canada
Place Mall at Canary Wharf on Monday February 25 to sign autographs,
answer questions and oversee special draws for free Gold Tickets.
The ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic
is London's premier squash tournament and takes place at the
stunning East Wintergarden event from March 10-14. All prime
back-wall seats have been sold out and the only way for squash fans
to get their hands on one is to register their names for the Gold
Ticket draws which will take during Nicol's visit to Canada Place on
Monday February 25. Each draw will take place on the hour at 12
noon, 1pm and 2pm and the former world No.1 will pick out the lucky
Tickets are on sale via the Ticket Hotline,
0844 847 2419, or via the website (www.ticketmaster.co.uk).
Title Sponsor: ISS Facility Services, London Division
Sponsor: Canary Wharf Group plc
The ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic at the East Wintergarden is
jointly promoted by Eventis Sports Marketing and SquashUK.
Corporate Hospitality: Superb packages are available,
enabling spectators to wine, dine and watch all the
gripping squash action from the Gallery
restaurant within the East Wintergarden.
from Tim Garner at Eventis Sports Marketing
Telephone: 07973 817468. Email:
March 8-9 at Wimbledon Rackets and Fitness Club.Main draw: March
10-14, 2008 Venue: East Wintergarden, Bank Street, Canary Wharf, E14
Corporate Hospitality: Superb packages are
enabling spectators to wine, dine and watch all the
gripping squash action from the Gallery
restaurant within the East Wintergarden.
details from Tim Garner at Eventis Sports Marketing
Telephone: 07973 817468.
LOCAL BOY BARKER GOES FOR GLORY IN ISS CANARY WHARF SQUASH CLASSIC
Squash star Peter Barker has a special reason for wanting to do well in
the forthcoming ISS Canary Wharf Classic - he will soon be a local
Barker, the current world No.12, is moving from Bethnal Green to
Limehouse in May and said: “If the tournament was two months later I
could walk from home to the venue.”
Barker is sure to enjoy considerable local support when the five-star
PSA World Series event returns to the spectacular East Wintergarden
venue from March 10-14.
The left-handed Londoner is enjoying the best form of his life, and
warmed up for the Canary Wharf tournament by reaching the final of the
Swedish Open on Sunday.
He lost to England team-mate James Willstrop in a superb match and the
two could meet again in the ISS Canary Wharf final. However, for that to
happen, Barker would need to remove the number one seed, French ace
Gregory Gaultier, whom he is seeded to meet in the semi-final.
Barker, 24, admitted: “I have never beaten Greg before. I lost to him in
Saudi Arabia last year and was not too happy with my performance. You
know you’ve got to give everything when you play guys like him.
“I was very pleased with the way I played in Sweden and I hope to carry
on that form. I beat Olli Tuominen of Finland in the semi-final and that
was the best I have played for months.
“I felt I played well in the final against James, but everything I did
he did just a little bit better. I am very optimistic about the next few
months and I am really looking forward to playing at Canary Wharf.
“It’s a brilliant tournament and lots of my friends will be coming along
to cheer me on.”
Barker faces fellow Essex player Daryl Selby in the first round, just as
he did in Sweden, and is scheduled to meet Cameron Pilley in the
quarter-finals if the tall Australian can beat the mercurial Italian
Barker achieved a sensational victory over Pilley as England beat
Australia to win the World Team Championship in India in December.
Barker added: “I beat world number one Amr Shabana in Qatar last year
and I suppose that was a career highlight from an individual point of
view, but winning the World Team Championship with England was
definitely the greater achievement.”
In the draw for the ISS Canary Wharf Classic, Willstrop, the number two
seed, is scheduled to meet a qualifier in the first round followed by
Welsh veteran Alex Gough ahead of a possible semi-final clash with his
Pontefract training partner Lee Beachill.
Willstrop achieved his first career victory over his Yorkshire and
England team-mate at Canary Wharf last year and is bidding for a third
triumph in London’s premier squash tournament, having beaten Thierry
Lincou of France in the 2004 final and Scotland’s John White last year.
Willstrop, the world number six, is seeded to meet French star Gaultier
in the final. Their rivalry goes back to junior days and their matches
are always absorbing physical and mental battles.
Gaultier, the reigning British Open champion from Aix-en-Provence, faces
fellow Frenchman Renan Lavigne in the first round at Canary Wharf and is
seeded to meet rising Egyptian star Mohammed Abbas, the number five
seed, in the quarter finals.
The first round draw at Canary Wharf also includes an intriguing clash
between Finland’s No.6 seed Olli Tuominen and Britain’s Joey Barrington,
son of squash legend Jonah. Tuominen and Barrington are both noted for
their attritional styles and spectators at the East Wintergarden could
well be in for a marathon match.
The first round will be split over two evenings, meaning that office
workers at Canary Wharf can stroll from their desks to the tournament
venue in time for play to start at 5.30pm.
Sadly, England star Nick Matthew has been forced to take a long rest
from squash because of a shoulder injury and will not be in action at
IN ACTION AT
ISS CANARY WHARF CLASSIC
Squash fans are rushing to
snap up tickets to see England's world champions in action at the ISS
Canary Wharf Squash Classic in March.
England retained the World
Team Championship in India recently, beating France in the semi-finals
and Australia in the final. The title-winning trio of James Willstrop,
Nick Matthew and Peter Barker will be aiming for more success when the
world’s leading players return to Canary Wharf's spectacular East
Wintergarden venue in two months’ time.
A week after helping
England to the World Teams title in Chennai, Willstrop and Matthew faced
each other in the final of the Mamut English Open in Sheffield. Despite
Matthew enjoying considerable support in his home city, it was Yorkshire
neighbour Willstrop, from Pontefract, who emerged triumphant.
Willstrop, the reigning
Canary Wharf champion, is bidding for a hat-trick of titles. He won the
inaugural event in 2004, beating France’s Thierry Lincou in the final,
and last year overcame Scotland’s John White in an epic encounter.
Co-promoter Peter Nicol,
who launched his Eventis sports management company shortly before
retiring from the world tour two years ago, said: “It’s great to see the
English players doing so well. England’s victory in India was a superb
performance considering the strength of the opposition.
“Egypt were hotly tipped
to win the event with Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour, the world's top two
players, in their squad. But when Ramy pulled out with an injury it made
it more of a level playing field and the England boys took their chances
“For me, one of the
outstanding performances in the tournament was Nick Matthew’s 3-0
victory over Gregory Gaultier of France in the semi-finals. He was
absolutely on top of his game and his display highlighted the way
England approached the whole tournament. It was totally professional and
every player performed to the maximum when they pulled on the England
“When they pitched up in
Sheffield they continued that excellent form, with all three English
players reaching the semi-finals. Nick beat Peter Barker in the
semi-finals and then he and James produced a final of outstanding
“After a brutal tournament
schedule leading up the English Open, it was a magnificent effort by the
home players and we are all hoping for squash of a similar high quality
at Canary Wharf in March.”
Tickets are on sale via the Ticket Hotline,
0870 150 0541, or via the website (www.ticketmaster.co.uk)
for this Five-Star ranking tournament on the PSA world circuit, which
once again guarantees the presence of the world’s top players.
FRENCH STAR GAULTIER SETS SIGHTS ON
ISS CANARY WHARF CLASSIC
French squash star Gregory Gaultier is aiming to add the ISS Canary
Wharf Squash Classic title to his rapidly expanding collection of
trophies. The tournament takes place at Canary Wharf’s spectacular
East Wintergarden venue from March 10-14 and Gaultier is sure to
entertain the crowds.
The stylish 25-year-old from Aix-en-Provence is currently ranked
No.3 in the world. He is the leading European player attempting to
dislodge the two mercurial Egyptians, Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour,
from the top of the rankings.
Gaultier is the current British Open champion and has reached the
last two finals of the World Open, losing in Egypt to Australia’s
David Palmer and to Shabana in Bermuda. Gaultier beat fellow
Frenchman Thierry Lincou to win his first British Open title last
year and aims to follow Lincou’s lead by lifting the ISS Canary
Wharf title in March.
Lincou won the Canary Wharf tournament in 2006, beating the
recently-retired Australian Anthony Ricketts in a magnificent
88-minute final. It was a year when Lincou enjoyed enormous success
on British soil, also winning the Liverpool Open and Mamut English
Gaultier has taken over the mantle as French No.1, and is now aiming
for the world top spot. He is highly rated by his rivals and the
formidable Shabana admitted: “Greg is a magnificent player and is
sure to be world champion one day.”
Peter Nicol, the former world No.1 (who is co-promoter of the ISS
Canary Wharf Classic), said: “We are delighted that Greg has
confirmed his entry. He is one of the most stylish players in the
game and is gradually becoming one of the most complete players on
“He has fantastic speed around the court, great awareness and superb
racket skills. He and Thierry have made France one of the most
successful nations in squash and it’s wonderful to see how their
efforts have had such an impact on the development of the sport in
Last year’s World Open was closely followed by the World Team
Championships in India, where England were relieved to beat France
in the semi-finals before overcoming Australia in the final.
title-winning squad of James Willstrop, Nick Matthew, Peter Barker
and Lee Beachill will all be aiming for more success when the
world’s leading players return to Canary Wharf for this PSA World
Tour Five Star event, now firmly established as London’s premier
squash tournament. Matthew will be hoping to recover from a shoulder
injury that has kept him off court since December.
Tickets are on sale via the Ticket Hotline, 0844 847 2419, or via
the website (www.ticketmaster.co.uk).
WILLSTROP BIDS FOR THIRD TIME LUCKY AT
ISS CANARY WHARF CLASSIC
England’s James Willstrop will be bidding for a hat-trick of titles when
the world's leading squash stars return to London, to show off their
dazzling skills in the 2008 ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic.
showpiece sports event, now in its fifth year, will take place from
March 10-14, 2008, inside the superb East Wintergarden venue at Canary
Wharf; with action taking place on the all-glass Harris Brushes ProCourt.
established as the No 1 Squash tournament in London, organisers are
delighted to announce that ISS Facility Services (London) have confirmed
a two-year extension of their Title Sponsorship, and that Canary Wharf
Group PLC will be continuing as Host Sponsor.
will be bidding for a third successive title, having won the inaugural
event in 2004 by beating France’s Thierry Lincou in the final, and then
triumphing against Scotland’s John White earlier this year for a second
Canary Wharf success.
Peter Nicol is expecting Willstrop to face some fierce competition.
Former world champion Nicol, (who retired last year after 15 years on
the pro circuit), said: “The competition at the top level is as tough as
ever. There are so many great players in the world top ten that it is
impossible to predict the outcome of any tournament. However, the
Egyptians, Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour, have been in amazingly
consistent form over the past 12 months and that’s why they are at the
top of the rankings. Having said that, it was great to see a British
triumph at Canary Wharf this year. James has worked so hard since
turning professional that he deserves every success that comes his way,
and he was a very popular winner. The crowds really got behind him and
all the British players and it was a fantastic atmosphere all week.”
expecting to see sell-out crowds once again for the 2008 event and is
urging squash fans to book their tickets early to avoid disappointment.
He added: “We sold every back-wall seat for every night of play in
February and the calibre of squash on show was exceptional. We know
there is a great demand to see that level of entertainment. The Canary
Wharf crowds are very knowledgeable and extremely vocal, so it all adds
up to a superb atmosphere for both players and spectators.”
Tickets go on
sale on December 1st via the Ticket Hotline, 0870 150 0541,
or via the website (www.ticketmaster.co.uk)
for this Five-Star ranking tournament on the PSA world circuit, which
once again guarantees the presence of the world’s top players.
Further information from Alan Thatcher
Tel: 07971 639 829