Canary Wharf Classic 2010

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March 2010


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Result: (1) Nick Matthew (Eng) beat (2) Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 12-10, 6-11, 13-11, 11-3 (69 mins)

Top seed Nick Matthew won his first ISS Canary Wharf Classic title by overpowering Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in tonight’s final.

The 69-minute victory crowned a magnificent week for the 29-year-old world No.2 from Sheffield, who was kept on court for more than two hours in his semi-final battle with fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop the previous evening.

Matthew showed few signs of fatigue following one of the most epic battles in squash history and it was Gaultier who blamed tiredness for letting slip a 6-2 lead in the third game.

Gaultier was still ahead at 9-6 but was unable to convert that lead as Matthew forced the second tiebreak of the match, finally clinching it 13-11 after Gaultier held game ball at 11-10.

Matthew then ran out an easy 11-3 winner in the final game as Gaultier’s challenge wilted.

Earlier, Matthew had won the crucial opening game 12-10, despite Gaultier holding game ball at 10-9.

The Frenchman, who topped the world rankings in November, responded in stunning style, racing to a 5-0 lead and winning the game comfortably by an 11-6 margin.

He continued the attack in the third game but was unable to maintain his control as Matthew mounted a phenomenal physical response to clinch the title and continue his quest for the world No.1 slot.

Legends of Squash Challenge:
Simon Parke (Eng) beat Peter Nicol (Eng) 11-8, 9-11, 11-7


 . Reports

Alan Thatcher
 . Qualifying Reports

. Squash Legends

Nick Matthew beats Gregory Gaultier 3-1 to win his first Canary Wharf Classic title

Matthew wins Clash With Willstrop to make the Final

Alister Walker makes short work of rising star Tom Richards

Gaultier through to Final

Gregory Gaultier comes back from 2-1 down to beat David Palmer

Daryl Selby recovers from a first game loss to beat Tarek Momen in 5
Canary Wharf Classic
East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, London UK
First Round
March 23/24
March 25
March 26
March 27
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11-3, 11-6, 11-3 (34 mins)
Chris Ryder (Eng)
Nick Matthew
11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (42 mins)
Thierry Lincou

Nick Matthew
11-7, 5-11, 18-20, 11-8, 10-8 retd. (127 mins)
James Willstrop
Nick Matthew
12-10, 6-11, 13-11, 11-3 (69 mins)
 Gregory Gaultier
[6] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3 (40 mins)
(Q) Simon Rosner (Germany)
[3] James Willstrop (Eng)
11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (40 mins)
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
James Willstrop
9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8 (61 mins)
 Daryl Selby
[8] Daryl Selby (Eng)
7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7 (54 mins)
Tarek Momen (Egy)
Tom Richards (Eng)
11-3, 6-11, 12-10, 11-4 (47 mins)
[7] Alister Walker (Eng)
Alister Walker
11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (55 mins)
Peter Barker
Peter Barker
11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 (63 mins)
 Gregory Gaultier
Adrian Waller (Eng)
11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (37 mins)
[4] Peter Barker (Eng)
(Q) Davide Bianchetti (Italy)
11-2, 7-11, 12-10, 11-5 (61 mins)
[5] David Palmer (Aus)
David Palmer
11-3, 6-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-6 (81 mins)
Gregory Gaultier
(Q) Nicolas Muller (Switzerland)
11-7, 11-3, 11-2 (30 mins)
[2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)

Wimbledon Qualifying:

Sun 21st, Finals:
Simon Rosner (Ger) bt
Mark Krajcsak (Hun) 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 (70 mins)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) bt Chris Simpson (Eng) 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 3-11,13-11 (73 mins)
Chris Ryder (Eng) bt Mathieu Castagnet (Fra)
12-10, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6 (56 mins)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita) bt Julien Balbo (Fra)
12-10, 11-4, 11-5 (50 mins)

Sat 20th, Round One:
Simon Rosner (Ger) bt Max Lee (Hkg) 14/16, 11/5, 11/3, 11/5(53m)
Mark Krajcsak (Hun) bt Neil Hitchens (Eng) 11/4, 11/5, 11/4 (32m)
Nicolas Mueller (Sui) bt Eddie Charlton (Eng) 11/9, 10/12, 9/11, 11/6, 11/4 (58m)
Chris Simpson (Eng) bt Joe Lee (Eng) 9/11, 11/4, 17/15, 12/10 (82m)
Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) bt Yann Perrin (Fra) 12/10, 13/15, 6/11, 11/0, 11/6 (77m)
Chris Ryder (Eng) bt Kashif Shuja (Nzl) 11/7, 12/10, 11/4 (38m)
Julien Balbo (Fra) bt Robbie Temple (Eng) 9/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/2 (55m)
Davide Bianchetti (Ita) bt Ben Ford (Eng) 11/5, 12/10, 11/1 (29m)



Screen Hire

Ticket Information and Contacts
Tickets for the 2009 ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic are on sale via Ticketmaster ( and the Ticket Hotline is 0844 847 2419.

Tournament Title Sponsor: ISS Facility Services, London Division
Host Sponsor: Canary Wharf Group plc
The ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic at the East Wintergarden is jointly promoted by Eventis Sports Marketing and SquashUK.
Tournament Dates:
Qualifying:  at Wimbledon Rackets and Fitness Club.
Main draw:
Venue: East Wintergarden, Bank Street, Canary Wharf, E14

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.

Full details from Tim Garner at Eventis Sports Marketing
Telephone: 07973 817468. Email:

Media information from Alan Thatcher
Text or telephone: 07971 639829. Email:



(1) Nick Matthew (Eng) beat (3) James Willstrop (Eng) 11-7, 5-11, 18-20, 11-8, 10-8 retd. (127 mins)

(2) Gregory Gaultier (Fra) beat (4) Peter Barker (Eng) 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 (63 mins)

Top seed Nick Matthew reached the final of the ISS Canary Wharf Classic when his big rival James Willstrop retired injured on match ball down after an astonishing marathon match.

Matthew meets French world No.2 Gregory Gaultier in tomorrow’s final after a dramatic finish to the longest match in the tournament’s seven-year history which included an astonishing 20-18 tiebreak finish to the third game.

Willstrop’s left leg cramped up after he crashed into the back left corner of the glass court chasing a winning drive from Matthew after the players had battled toe to toe for 127 minutes of brutal squash.

Matthew punched the air with relief at winning the point after one of many physically depleting rallies but his expression turned to concern for his opponent as Willstrop was clearly in agony.

Referee Dean Clayton rushed down to the court as two physios treated Willstrop and informed the sell-out crowd that as the injury was self-inflicted the 6ft 4in world No.4 would have to concede the match unless he was unable to play on immediately.

However, fellow Yorkshireman Matthew refused to accept victory in such conditions and offered Willstrop a three-minute break.

But Willstrop was unable to continue and had no alternative but to concede the match.

The two players hugged in the middle of the court, and now Matthew will have to hope his body holds up in tomorrow’s final against Gaultier.

Matthew stayed in front throughout a demanding opening game that lasted 25 minutes, maintaining the high-speed pressure squash that saw off former world champion Thierry Lincou in the quarter-finals.

However, Willstrop responded brilliantly in the second game, reducing his error count and mixing up tight drives with delicate touch shots at the front of the court.

Willstrop moved 7-4 up in the third as the match moved beyond the hour mark but Matthew hit back to force the game to a tiebreak at 10-10. Willstrop kept getting his nose in front but conceded several penalty strokes as Matthew constantly fought back. Willstrop finally clinched it 20-18 after 38 minutes of pure drama as Matthew drove his shot into the tin.

Willstrop led 6-3 in the fourth game but was unable to sustain the pressure as Matthew fought back to win 11-8.

In the fifth, Willstrop took a three-minute injury break after receiving a knee in the back of the calf but he returned to the court to again open up an early lead of 4-1.

But Matthew continued to reel in the points, finally taking the lead at 8-7. Then, at 9-8, he unleashed a stinging backhand drive into the back corner. Willstrop, who had been forced to chase the ball all over the court, fell in a heap as the ball raced beyond his reach.  

Matthew sportingly said: “Nobody wants to win a match like that. We always have long battles but that was by far the hardest-ever. I just hope my body will hold up in the final tomorrow.

“The crowd were absolutely brilliant all the way through, cheering us both on and creating a fantastic atmosphere.

“This is one of the best tournaments in the world and I’m delighted to get through to the final for the first time.”

Ironically, Matthew lost in the first round of the event last year after receiving a dead leg from Egypt’s world junior champion Mohamed El Shorbagy.

Former world No.1 Gaultier was made to work hard by England’s No.4 seed Peter Barker before clinching his first appearance in the Canary Wharf final.

Gaultier powered through the opening two games before Barker launched a solid counter-attack in the third game. He dropped his cautious approach and began matching Gaultier with some outrageous winners.

Barker led 5-4 in the fourth game but Gaultier regained control to win 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 in 63 minutes.

Gaultier said: “It was a hard match and Peter played very well. We have both had injuries this season but we are both playing a lot better now.

“The first match was unbelievable and it was difficult to cope with the long delay in waiting to go on court. You go the loo 25 times and warm up six times.

“Nick is a very strong guy and I am sure he will have lots of energy left for the final.”

Former world champion Peter Nicol will return to the court before the final as the Legends of Squash World Tour makes its London debut.

Nicol, who beat his great rival Jonathon Power recently when the Legends Tour was launched at New York’s Grand Central Station, will be taking on former England star Simon Parke.

As promoter of the Canary Wharf event, Nicol has already achieved one massive success this week with sell-out crowds every night at the superb East Wintergarden venue.

Finals night line-up:
6.15pm: Legends of Squash Challenge: Peter Nicol (Eng) v Simon Parke (Eng)
7.30pm: Final (1) Nick Matthew (Eng) v (2) Gregory Gaultier (Fra)

Tournament website:

  Follow all the Canary Wharf action LIVE on

Willstrop and Matthew Set for Semi Final Clash

England team-mates James Willstrop and Nick Matthew will continue their fierce rivalry when they meet in the semi-finals of the ISS Canary Wharf Classic.

World No.2 Matthew looked ruthlessly efficient as he beat former world champion Thierry Lincou in straight games but Willstrop was given a difficult time by rising star Daryl Selby.

Before a sell-out crowd at Canary Wharf’s superb East Wintergarden venue tonight, No.3 seed Willstrop overcame Selby 9-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-8 in 61 minutes of high-quality and often physical squash.

World No.12 Selby, from Essex, began solidly and was obviously high on confidence as he produced a succession of stunning winners to win the first game.

He led 7-5 in the second but Willstrop won four points in a row to put himself in a strong position. Selby drew level at 9-9 but mistakes cost him the game.

He struck the tin with a drop shot to give Willstrop game ball at 10-9 and was surprised by Willstrop’s bodyline serve on match ball. Selby shaped to receive serve on his backhand but was unable to react quickly and sent a weak forehand into the floor as Willstrop fired the ball towards the other side of his body.

Willstrop, the 26-year-old world No.4 from Leeds, led throughout the third game to win 11-3 but Selby resumed his attack in the fourth. He was unable to convert a 7-6 lead and Willstrop finished strongly to win 11-8.

Both players spent a lot of time on the floor following a succession of collisions and there were frequent arguments with referee Wendy Danzey.

Willstrop admitted that he was surprised by the challenge Selby mounted. He said: “He has been playing in Canada for three weeks and flew back after his final on Sunday night. Frankly I was amazed he got through the first round against Tarek Momen on Monday after a schedule like that. I know I couldn’t have done it.

“Daryl has worked hard to become a very good professional squash player and I am sure he is certainly good enough to get into the world top ten if he carries on playing like that.”

Matthew has beaten Willstrop in their three matches so far this year and looked in top form as he removed Lincou with a fast, high-pressure game.

But he warned: “Results in the early rounds don’t mean anything. James is playing very well at the moment and it seems like we are playing each other every week.

“We have played each other hundreds of times over the years and it’s bound to be another difficult match.”

French No.2 seed Gregory Gaultier reached the semi-finals with a battling victory over reigning champion David Palmer, the Orlando-based Australian.

Gaultier began superbly, winning the opening game for the loss of just three points, but he fell awkwardly on game ball and had to received treatment at courtside.

He came back on to clinch the game but Palmer sensed an opportunity and dominated the next two games. Then it was Gaultier’s turn to fight his way back into the match and he led 5-1 in the fourth before Palmer turned the tables to draw level at 6-6.  

Gaultier maintained his control to win 11-7 to take the match to a fifth game. He built up a 6-2 lead but the 33-year-old Palmer again dug deep to launch a comeback.

At one stage he left the court to argue with referee Jos Aarts and accused Gaultier of blocking his path to the ball. It was a fiery finish to the match but again the Frenchman held his nerve to win 11-3, 6-11, 4-11, 11-7, 11-6 in 81 minutes of classic squash.

A relieved Gaultier said: “David has been a great champion down the years and he is still playing amazing squash at 33. I have so much respect for what he has done in the game and I am very pleased to win. I want to thank my physiotherapist for getting me back in shape after my fall and I am so pleased she travelled to watch me play.”

Gaultier meets No.4 seed Peter Barker after the left-handed Londoner beat Leeds-based Alister Walker with a clinical display of tight, attacking squash.

Barker won 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 in 55 minutes to send out the message that he is back near his best after a disappointing start to the year that followed his rise to No.6 in the PSA world rankings.

Walker, who has risen to 13 in the world on the back of some impressive performances on the world tour, struggled to find a suitable length or width on the glass court and was punished for his errors.

Semi-final schedule:
6.30pm (1) Nick Matthew (Eng) v (3) James Willstrop (Eng)
8.00pm: (2) Gregory Gaultier (Fra) v (4) Peter Barker (Eng)


(7) Alister Walker (England) beat Tom Richards (England) 11-3, 6-11, 12-10, 11-4 (47 mins)

(4) Peter Barker (England) beat Adrian Waller (England) 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 (37 mins)

(2) Gregory Gaultier (France) beat (Q) Nicolas Mueller (Switzerland) 11-7, 11-3, 11-2 (30 mins)

(5) David Palmer (Australia) beat (Q) Davide Bianchetti (Italy) 11-2, 7-11, 12-10, 11-5 (61 mins)

French squash star Gregory Gaultier reached the quarter-finals of the ISS Canary Wharf Classic last night and revealed that he had to take a break from the game to cope with the enormous emotional stress he suffered after reaching the world No.1 spot last year.

Number two seed Gaultier eased past Swiss qualifier Nicolas Mueller, winning 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 in just 30 minutes.

He then admitted that he had taken a rest from the game to deal with the psychological impact on his life after taking over at the top of the rankings in November.

He said: “It all got to me and I needed to take a break. I was No.2 for so long and it was hard work doing all that chasing. The pressure just built up.

“But I have been training hard for three weeks and I am now very happy with my life. I travel the world and play in different countries all the time. I am 27 now and want to continue playing for many years to come, and I want to enjoy it.”

Gaultier faces David Palmer in the quarter-finals after the Australian overcame fellow veteran Davide Bianchetti in a tempestuous battle.

With the match poised at one game all, the crucial third game was a tempestuous affair, with constant physical contact resulting in explosive verbal confrontations with referee John Massarella. Bianchetti twice opened the court door to rant at the official after decisions had gone against him.

It was pure theatre and the sell-out crowd at Canary Wharf’s East Wintergarden venue loved it.

Palmer won the game 12-10 and encountered little resistance as he powered home in the fourth, clinching victory with a spectacular volley kill into the front right corner.

The Australian’s triumph sets up a repeat of last year’s semi-final with Gaultier, which Palmer won with a magnificent fightback from two games down before going on to win the tournament.

World No.12 Alister Walker booked a place in the quarter-finals by beating English rival Tom Richards.

Walker, the No.7 seed, won a hard-fought first round first round encounter 11-3, 6-11, 12-10, 11-4 in 47 minutes.

Walker, a shock semi-finalist at Canary Wharf two years ago, finished as strongly as he started, playing tight, aggressive squash. 

Richards had a purple patch in the middle of the match, winning the second game with some deft drop shots and battling all the way through the third until Walker won the tiebreak on a hotly disputed penalty stroke.

No.4 seed Peter Barker meets Walker in the quarter-finals after subduing Adrian Waller in an all-London derby clash.

Barker was in control throughout the match, winning 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in 37 minutes.

The Islington-based Barker, who has struggled to hit peak form this year despite his rise up the rankings, is determined to do well in front of his home crowd this week.

He said: “I had an injury in training at the start of the year and that put me back. But maybe that disappointment helped me to refocus on my game.

“There are so many good young English players coming through that I feel like an old man at 26.”

Matthew and Willstrop Through to Q/F At Canary Wharf

English rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop powered through their first round matches in the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic in front of a sell-out crowd at the spectacular East Wintergarden venue.

Top seed Matthew, the world No.2 from Sheffield, took just 34 minutes to remove qualifier Chris Ryder, the world No.40 from Leamington Spa.

Matthew, who faces former world champion Thierry Lincou in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, said: “It’s good to get the first one out of the way and I was feeling nice and sharp. I haven’t played a tournament for three weeks and I wanted to get things right from the start.

“I played Chris in the Premier league last week so I had a good idea of what to expect. I'm looking forward to playing Thierry. He is someone I have always looked up to throughout my career.”

Matthew is seeded to meet fellow English powerhouse James Willstrop in the semi-finals. The 6ft 5in Yorkshireman overpowered 5ft 6in Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 in 40 minutes of high-quality squash. Willstrop did not have things all his own way as his Pontefract training partner led 7-4 in the opening game and 7-5 in the second. Willstrop admitted: “Saurav is one of the fastest players on the world tour. He is a very difficult and frustrating opponent because he keeps getting the ball back and forces you to play a lot moré shots than you would like to.

Lincou was made to fight by German qualifier Simon Rosner, who played exceptional squash to win the second game. Lincou, the 33-year-old former world champion from Marseille, squeezed home in a tight third game and then asserted his authority to race home 11-3 in the fourth.

No.3 seed Willstrop meets world No.12 Daryl Selby in Wednesday’s quarter-finals. Essex ace Selby defied jetlag to beat talented Egyptian Tarek Momen. Selby won the Rocky Mountain Open in Calgary on Sunday and flew back to London yesterday morning. He struggled to move fluently at the start of the match as Momen fired in a succession of dazzling winners to win the opening game. The score see-sawed throughout the match as Selby won the second game, producing gasps from the crowd with an audacious shot played behind his back. Momen asserted himself again to win the third game but Selby produced a gutsy performance to win the fourth and draw level again. Selby maintained the pressure in the fifth as Momen’s touch deserted him.

Tuesday’s schedule sees the bottom half of the first round draw.

5.30pm: (7) Alister Walker (England) v Tom Richards (England)
6.30pm: (4) Peter Barker (England) v Adrian Waller (England)
7.30pm: (2) Gregory Gaultier (France) v (Q) Nicolas Mueller (Switzerland)
8.30pm: (5) David Palmer (Australia) v (Q) Davide Bianchetti (Italy)  

Jonah & Joey Team Up For Squash TV Webcast At Canary Wharf

Squash's distinguished father and son Jonah & Joey Barrington will team up as commentators for the first time at this week's ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic, the 5-star PSA World Tour event which gets underway at Canary Wharf’s spectacular East Wintergarden venue in London.

Jonah, arguably still the most famous British player of all-time, who won a then record six British Open titles between 1967 and 1973, and England international Joey, currently ranked 28 in the world, will cover the semi-finals and final (on Thursday & Friday) for the new PSA webcasting service Squash TV.

The ISS Canary Wharf Classic, in its seventh year at East Wintergarden, has attracted a star-studded field led by England's top two players Nick Matthew and James Willstrop – ranked two and four in the world, respectively - plus three former world number ones, including the Australian defending champion David Palmer, a twice former world champion.

"It's going to be really interesting – I'm the lead commentator, so I'm going to have to keep him in order, which will be a first," joked Joey.

"But there's no better commentator on the game than him – everybody knows that.  I know I'm going to learn a huge amount from him."

The pair will stage an exhibition match on the all-glass court at East Wintergarden on the afternoon of the semi-finals – in which 30-year-old Joey will be playing with a traditional wooden Dunlop racket as used by his illustrious father in the seventies, while Jonah, now aged 68, will have at his disposal the brand's latest high-tech model.

"I've never played with a wooden racket before so I don't know how I'm going to manage.  But Dad still hits the ball so well – so it should be fun."

Ryder Boosts Home Interest In Canary Wharf Classic

Chris Ryder boosted English interest in the ISS Canary Wharf Classic after coming through the qualifying finals of the 5-star PSA World Tour squash event in its seventh year in London.

The 29-year-old world No40 from Leamington Spa battled for 56 minutes to overcome France's Mathieu Castagnet 12-10, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6. 

The 2006 World University champion's reward is a clash with top seed and fellow countryman Nick Matthew in the first round at Canary Wharf’s spectacular East Wintergarden venue.

Remarkably, the two 29-year-olds will be celebrating their first meeting on the PSA World Tour.  Favourite Matthew, the world No2 from Sheffield, will be hoping to lift the Canary Wharf crown for the first time in his first tournament appearance on home soil since winning his third British National Championship title in February.

Ryder will be joined in the main draw by fellow qualifiers Simon Rosner, Nicolas Mueller and Davide Bianchetti – German number one Rosner and top Swiss player Mueller earning their debuts in the event while top-ranked Italian Bianchetti will be appearing in the main draw for the fourth year in a row.

Mueller, the 20-year-old world No42 from Hirzel, near Zurich, fought back from match ball down to win a fifth game tie-break against Englishman Chris Simpson, from Guernsey.  The match lasted 73 minutes and Simpson, ranked 48 in the world, came desperately close to beat the Swiss number one before going down 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 3-11, 13-11.

Simon Rosner became the first qualifier to reach the main draw after winning a bruising, brutal 70-minute battle against Hungarian Mark Krajcsak.  It was a high-quality contest with some dazzling shots throughout, from which the world No35 from Paderborn ultimately prevailed 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9.

The often volatile Davide Bianchetti gained the final place in the main draw with a disciplined and stylish display against Julien Balbo of France, winning 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 after 50 minutes.

Wimbledon Rackets and Fitness Club, London:
Mark Krajcsak (Hungary) beat
NeilHitchens (Eng) 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 (32 mins)
Simon Rosner (Germany) beat Max Lee (Hong Kong) 14-16, 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (53 mins)
Nicolas Muller (Switzerland) beat Eddie Charlton (England) 11-9, 10-12, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4 (58 mins)
Chris Simpson (England)   beat Joe Lee (England) won 9-11, 11-4, 17-15, 12-10 (82 mins)
Chris Ryder (England)  Kashif Shuja (New Zealand) 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 (38 mins)
Mathieu Castagnet (France) beat Yann Perrin (France) 12-10, 13-15, 6-11, 11-0, 11-6 (77 mins)
Davide Bianchetti (Italy) Ben Ford (England) 11-5, 12-10, 11-1 (29 mins) 
Julien Balbo (France) beat
Robbie Temple (England) 9-11, 11-6, 11- 8, 11- 2 (55 mins)

reports from WimbledonRackets and Fitness Club

Hungary's Mark Krajcsak made a flying start to the ISS Canary Wharf Classic qualifying competition, sweeping past England's NeilHitchens in straight games. Playing fast, attacking squash, Krajcsak moved the ball and his opponent around the court in a dominant display.
Germany's Simon Rosner overcame a nervous start to power past Max lee of Hong Kong. Lee won the opening game 16-14 on a tiebreak but Rosner emerged for the second game with a more solid game-plan.

He produced almost error-free squash to race through the next three games and will need to maintain that level of performance against Krajcsak in the qualifying finals.  
Swiss ace Nicolas Muller overcame a tired-looking Eddie Charlton in a gruelling five-setter. Charlton lost a tight first game after taking an early lead, and almost surrendered the second before finally clinching it on a tiebreak. He squeezed home in the third with a nick on game ball but Muller maintained a high level of consistency to take the fourth game. He powered through the fifth game with minimal resistance from a clearly wilting opponent. 

Chris Simpson booked his place in the qualifying finals against Muller after beating Joe Lee in a hard-fought 82-minute marathon encounter.

Simpson won 9-11, 11-4, 17-15, 12-10, with the scoreline clearly reflecting the closeness of the match and the physical investment made by both players. The third game tiebreak was a brutal affair, with the Guernsey player Simpson edging it 17-15. The fourth game was a similarly close battle with Simpson winning another tiebreak 12-10.
Chris Ryder was too sharp for a strangely subdued Kashif Shuja. The New Zeaand number one has a sublime touch but was clearly lacking in the mobility department as Ryder eased home in straight games.

Ryder sneaked a second-game tiebreak 12-10 and Shuja had little left in the tank during a one-sided third game. Ryder fired in a succession of sharp, fast boasts that Shuja either saw late or decided not to pursue.

Italy’s Davide Bianchetti eased past his English Premier League team-mate Ben Ford. The two play for Surrey Health and Rackets Club and Ford started in a very friendly fashion as he allowed Bianchetti to open up a huge lead in the opening game.

The Kent county captain began to get some points on the board but had given his opponent too big a lead to think about winning the game. The second was a much closer affair and Ford struck some superb winners to take the game to a tiebreak before two errors allowed the Italian to win 12-10.

The effort clearly took its toll on the 34-year-old Englishman as Bianchetti powered home 11-1 in the third, with Ford receiving a conduct warning for racket abuse in the process.

An all-French encounter finished with Mathieu Castagnet overcoming Yann Perrin in a 77-minute see-saw battle. In an extraordinary match, Perrin led two games to one but lost the fourth without securing a single point as his exertions caught up with him.

Castagnet opened up a solid lead in the fifth game and withstood a ferocious recovery by his compatriot to clinch victory 12-10, 13-15, 6-11, 11-0, 11-6.

Another Frenchman, Julien Balbo, secured the final berth against Bianchetti by beating England’s Robbie Temple in a scrappy, ill-tempered affair. Temple received a conduct warning for arguing with the referee as he lost the third game from 7-6 up. Balbo then took complete control to clinch victory 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-2 in 55 minutes.

Qualifying finals (Sunday 3pm):
Rosner v Krajcsak
Muller v Simpson
Ryder v Castagnet
Bianchetti v Balbo



Qualifying Reports from Alan Thatcher

Simon Rosner (Germany) beat
Mark Krajcsak (Hungary) 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 (70 mins)

Simon Rosner became the first qualifier to reach the main draw after winning a bruising, brutal battle lasting 70 minutes. It was a high-quality contest with some dazzling shots throughout, occasionally interrupted by Mark Krajcsak's verbal disputes. 

Krajcsak was keen to put on a good show in front of a camera crew from Hungarian TV.

Krajscak, ranked 47 in the world, and Rosner (ranked 35) showed what to expect with an opening rally of more than 100 shots. With both players driving solidly and covering the court with ease, it was always going to take something special to finish a rally.

Rosner caused Krajcsak some discomfort with tight little boasts in the front right corner and Krajcsak responded with some carefully concealed and well delayed crosscourt flicks.

After Rosner edged ahead at 9-7, his attempted long drop from the back of the court clipped the tin and he let Krajcsak back in. The Hungarian forced the tiebreak but Rosner finally moved clear to win it 13-11.

The second game followed a similar pattern and another tiebreak ensued. This time Rosner conceded two crucial penalty strokes to gift the game to his opponent.

From 6-6 in the third, Krajcsak seemed to lose his concentration and Rosner closed it out 11-7. Krajcsak was angry at a penalty stroke in the closing stages and received a conduct warning for dissent as he left the court.

Krajcsak led 6-2 in the fourth game but Rosner responded with a spell of sustained pressure to win eight of the next ten points to reach match ball at 10-8. Rosner struck a forehand volley into the tin to make it 10-9 and we all wondered if Krajcsak would force another tiebreak. But not this time. Rosner closed out the match and punched the air in delight as Krajcsak continued complaining about a disputed pick-up in the front right corner.

Nicolas Muller (Switzerland) beat Chris Simpson (England)   8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 3-11,13-11 (73 mins)

Swiss No.1 Nicolas Muller won another marathon encounter, fighting back from match ball down to win a fifth game tiebreak against Channel Islander Chris Simpson.

This match lasted 73 minutes and Simpson, ranked 48 in the world, came desperately close to beating an opponent ranked six places higher.

Simpson took the opening game playing tight, disciplined squash and was rewarded for keeping the ball in straight lines. The tall, stylish Nicolas Muller did the same, but even tighter, to win the second game.

Simpson lost focus in the third game as his conversations with the referee grew longer. Muller kept his mouth shut and his shots tight to go 2-1 up. Simpson worked his way back into the fourth game with some superb squash to win 11-3. But Muller hit back in the fifth to open up a lead of 5-2 and he seemed to have the match in the bag as he progressed to 8-4. However, Simpson is a tough fighter and produced a superb spell of controlled squash to reel off six points in a row to hold match ball at 10-8. However, he failed to convert his big chance and Muller drew level to force the tiebreak. Muller then held match ball at 11-10, Simpson drew level, but Muller held his nerve to win it 13-11.

A disappointed Simpson said: "That's two tournaments in a row that I have lost by the same scoreline at the same stage in qualifying. It hurts so much because Malaysia and Canary Wharf are two of my favourite tournaments and favourite venues. I've got to learn to convert those situations into wins.

Chris Ryder (England)  beat Mathieu Castagnet (France) 12-10, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6 (56 mins)

Chris Ryder produced a typically solid display to clinch a place in the main draw.

He was in the groove right from the start, winning the first five points against an opponent who may have understandably been suffering from fatigue after a marathon match yesterday.

However, Mathieu Castagnet suddenly sprung into life and reeled off a succession of points to level at 6-6. Ryder pulled away again to 10-7 but Castagnet hit back once more to force the tiebreak.

Ryder showed steady nerves under pressure to win the tiebreak 12-10 but Castagnet dominated the closing stages of the second game to win 11-6 from 6-5 down.

The physical effort Castagnet had to invest to win that game clearly took its toll as Ryder made steady progress throughout the third game, leading 9-1 and surviving a late flurry of French resistance to win it 11-5. 

Ryder again built up a commanding 7-3 lead in the fourth and although Castagnet fought back to 8-6 the Englishman, ranked 40 in the world, delivered the coup de grace with the final three points.

To the English spectators packed into the gallery at Wimbledon, it was a small measure of consolation for the rugby defeat in Paris yesterday.

Davide Bianchetti (Italy) beat Julien Balbo (France) 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 (50 mins)

The often volatile Davide Bianchetti gained the final place in the main draw with a disciplined and stylish display against Julien Balbo of France. Spectators anticipating one of his typically flamboyant outbursts had to wait until the middle of the third game for the Italian to unleash a Vesuvius-like eruption towards referee Jos Arts over a disputed let call. We then had the full Oscar-winning theatricals as Bianchetti, with arms outstretched, did two laps of the court. He was clearly putting in a lot more effort and passion than his beloved Juventus football team did on their visit to nearby Fulham on Thursday night. 

Some players fall apart mentally after venting their feelings at the referee but, from 5-5, Bianchetti won the next six points to close out the match, despite some phenomenal retrieving from Balbo.

The first game was almost a disaster for Bianchetti as he allowed a 10-5 lead to slip from his grasp. Balbo put together a succession of magnificent rallies to draw level at 10-10 but Bianchetti regained his composure to win the tiebreak 12-10.

Bianchetti did not make the same mistake in the second game, building up an 8-1 lead and closing out the game 11-4.


The draw to complete the first round line-up paired Hertfordshire-based qualifier Chris Ryder with top seed Nick Matthew in an all-English battle. First up on Monday night is Germany’s Simon Rosner against former world champion Thierry Lincou of France.

On Tuesday, Davide Bianchetti meets reigning champion David Palmer of Australia and Switzerland’s Nicolas Muller is drawn against No.2 seed Gregory Gaultier of France.




Imperial College University, London will bring its top flight squash team to the spectacular ISS Canary Wharf Classic venue at East Wintergarden next week, giving the team’s young guns a rare opportunity to play on the event’s show court on Friday 26 March.

The event, which has worked closely with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on their local educational legacy programme, will also welcome a class of 20 students from nearby Rokeby Boys School in Stratford, when event organiser and legendary British squash player Peter Nicol, will give a valuable insight into the worlds of elite squash and sports business with a personalised Q&A session.

Trudi Morgan, FSA Community Affairs Officer, said, “The Financial Services Authority believes it is very important to support the local East London community, and through London events such as the Canary Wharf Classic, we have the opportunity to offer professional sports event experiences to young people whose lives can really be enriched by this sort of opportunity.”

The ISS Canary Wharf Classic attracts the world’s top British and international players to London’s spectacular glass East Wintergarden venue and 2010 will see the return of Australian squash legend David Palmer, back to defend his tournament title. Yorkshire’s British number one Nick Matthew will hope for an extended run in this year’s competition having recently taken the National title in Manchester

Tickets are selling steadily for the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic and organisers are delighted to report a total sell-out on finals night, with fans obviously looking forward to seeing Nicol and Parke rolling back the years before the tournament’s finale.

Sponsorship packages are still available for both the 2010 and 2011 events and enquires should be directed through Tim Garner at Eventis Sports Marketing, telephone: 07973 817468 email:

Remaining tickets for the 2010 ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic are on sale via Ticketmaster (


The deluxe Crowne Plaza London - Docklands has joined an already impressive list of sponsors in pledging its support to the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic, which runs from 22 – 26 March at the East Wintergarden in London, whilst Reebok Sports Clubs has also renewed its association.

Joining title sponsor ISS and Canary Wharf plc as well as two of A.G.Barr’s leading drinks brands, Strathmore Water and Taut Isotonic Sports Drink, the Crowne Plaza London - Docklands will launch its partnership in 2010 by providing player accommodation and shuttle service to the prestigious event.

In addition to strong support from the British squash community, the international ISS Canary Wharf Classic has a history of attracting a top-end City following and the Crowne Plaza Hotel  association is yet another reflection of this. Madita Stoer, Crowne Plaza London - Docklands Director of Sales and Marketing, said: “A partnership with a premium event such as the ISS Canary Wharf Classic represents a natural fit with our position as a premier hotel in East London. The tournament has quickly built an enviable reputation as one of London’s top elite sporting events and we hope our involvement will add to the event experience.”

Tim Garner, Event Director, Eventis, added: “These are really exciting times for the event and it is great to see support, both in terms of ticket sales and event partners, increasing year on year.”

“We have established our position as a mainstay on both the British squash calendar and amongst London’s most prestigious sporting events and it is great to see our sponsors recognising the profile of the event.”

Reigning Champion David Palmer (Australia) will be welcomed back to the event to defend his title whilst a strong draw will also feature British Champion and world number two Nick Matthew (Yorkshire) with top seed Frenchman Gregory Gaultier leading the European challenge. Five out of the six British players currently featuring in the world top sixteen will be competing.


English squash stars Nick Matthew and James Willstrop are set to continue their red-hot rivalry in the semi-finals of the forthcoming ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic.


This PSA Five Star World Tour event takes place from March 22-26 at the spectacular East Wintergarden venue at Canary Wharf and home interest will focus on the two Yorkshire rivals who have both begun 2010 in superb style.


World No.2 Matthew, from Sheffield, retained his National Championship title last weekend by beating Willstrop in the final, repeating his success in the previous week's Swedish Open final.


Willstrop, from Leeds, had earlier won the Tournament of Champions event held in Grand Central Station, New York, beating three top Egyptians on his way to the title.


Willstrop has won the Canary Wharf title three times but Matthew is searching for his first win.


Sandwiched between them in the seedings is French ace Gregory Gaultier, who is also hunting a first Canary Wharf success.


A.G. BARR Associate With London's Premier Squash Event

Two of A.G.Barr’s leading drinks brands, Strathmore Water and Taut Isotonic Sports Drink, have announced their partnership with leading international squash event ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic, which is set to run from 22 – 26 March at the spectacular glass East Wintergarden in London’s iconic business district, Canary Wharf. 

In successive weeks the event has not only secured partnerships with Strathmore and Taut but also renewed association with title-sponsor ISS and Canary Wharf PLC. Interest in remaining sponsorship packages has been promising as have early ticket sales with only limited seating options still available.

A.G Barr identified the tournament as the ideal platform on which to activate their ongoing brand objectives. Mark Jephcott, A.G.Barr PR Manager, said, ''We are delighted to sponsor this tournament with Strathmore Spring Water and TAUT sports drink. These are two of our leading brands, which both support sport at grass-roots and elite sporting level, with the aim of encouraging the whole family to participate in sport and lead a more healthy and active lifestyle.''

The tournament has been resident in Canary Wharf for 7 years and with tickets looking to sell out once again, the event remains a must-watch for City workers and squash enthusiasts alike. Tim Garner, Event Director, Eventis, said, "It is great to have maintained our momentum from previous years and with strong early ticket sales once again, we are looking forward to a packed house for every day of the event.

“We are pleased that our partners regard the event as a sound investment and look forward to showcasing their brands once again in front of our squash and City worker crowd, alongside the top international players.”

Current British number one Nick Matthew will be amongst the favourites to take victory in London having finished 2009 in top form, taking his third successive PSA World Tour Super Series Final. The ISS Canary Wharf Classic will again feature an array of the world’s top squash talent, having hosted eight of the top ten players in 2009.

Squash Supports Tickets 4 Troops

The ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic is set to join the growing number of premium events supporting the charity, Tickets 4 Troops, as it pledges tickets and opens its doors to British servicemen.  

The top international event, which runs from 22 – 26 March 2010, has invited domestic heroes to attend the competition at its iconic East Wintergarden home in London’s premier business district.

Tickets 4 Troops supports all serving military personnel and any veterans who have been medically discharged through injury since 2001 and is supported by a host of celebrity patrons including Steven Gerrard, Gary Lineker, Lawrence Dallaglio, Ian Botham, Freddie Flintoff, Stephen Hendry, Joss Stone, James Blunt and Joanna Lumley.

Joanna Lumley, Patron of Tickets 4 Troops, said, "This is a win-win arrangement: brave and deserving troops get to see shows, concerts, fights and games whilst we in the world of entertainment and sport get a chance to show them that we think they are the best of the best, and support them with all our hearts. Fabulous!"

The charity is a new not-for-profit organisation, whose main activity is to secure the donation of tickets to major sporting and cultural events across the country from the organisers. Tickets are available through a dedicated website ( to all serving members of HM Forces, and all those medically discharged from the Forces since the commencement of military action in Afghanistan in 2001.

The ISS Canary Wharf Classic will again feature an array of the world’s top squash talent, having hosted eight of the top ten players in 2009. Current British number one Nick Matthew will be amongst the favourites to take victory in London having finished 2009 in top form, taking his third successive PSA World Tour Super Series Final. After winning the World Games in July, the current world number two also lifted the British Open trophy for the second time in September and followed it up with the Qatar Classic title in November.

Tim Garner, Event Director, said, “We are very proud to be associated with a charity as worthwhile as Tickets 4 Troops and hope that through our provision, we can do our bit to demonstrate our support of such a deserving cause.”


The ISS Canary Wharf Classic, which will take place at the spectacular East Wintergarden in London between 22 & 26 March 2010, has received an early boost as Canary Wharf Group plc joins renowned facilities services management company, ISS, in partnering the event for another two years.

The Canary Wharf Classic has renewed its association with title sponsor ISS through to the 2011 tournament, whilst also extending its ongoing partnership with Canary Wharf Group plc who have confirmed use of the East Wintergarden venue for this duration. The event, which draws an affluent city audience, has proved to be an attractive proposition for companies looking to engage the corporate sector and following demand for sponsorship opportunities, has released additional partnership packages.

The tournament, run by events company Eventis and fronted by legendary squash player Peter Nicol MBE, has always been a popular sporting occasion in the City and, having enjoyed record early ticket sales, looks set to sell out once more. Interest in other available associations, which include the travel and hotel categories, has been equally promising and further underlines the event’s prestigious standing.

Eventis Director, Peter Nicol MBE, points to the ISS Canary Wharf Classic’s broad appeal as the foremost reason for the event’s continued success, saying, “With the tournament now moving into its seventh year, it has become a focal point both within the global squash calendar and as a unique event within one of the world’s top business centres. Canary Wharf’s accessibility allows corporate guests, the London public and core squash fans alike to enjoy East Wintergarden’s intimate yet electric atmosphere whilst the venue’s grandeur and the tournament’s pedigree attracts the world’s top players every year.”  

Canary Wharf plc Arts and Events Manager, Lucie Moore, added, “We are very pleased to renew our association with the ISS Canary Wharf Classic and look forward to another event as successful as it has been in previous years.”

The ISS Canary Wharf Classic will again feature an array of the world’s top squash talent, having hosted eight of the top ten players in 2009. In a highly charged final, Australian two-time World Champion David Palmer beat Sheffield’s former world number two James Willstrop to thwart his attempt at a third successive Championship title.

Current British number one Nick Matthew will be amongst the favourites to take victory in London having had a disappointing outing at last year’s meeting. Matthew finished 2009 in top form having fully recovered from injury to take his third successive PSA World Tour Super Series Final. After winning the World Games in July, the current world number two lifted the British Open trophy for the second time in September and followed it up with the Qatar Classic title in November.


Full details from Tim Garner at Eventis Sports Marketing Telephone: 07973 817468.