Canary Wharf Classic 2012

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March 2012


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Alan Thatcher Reports

Matthew masters Willstrop to clinch Canary Wharf hat-trick

World champion Nick Matthew extended his long winning run against English rival James Willstrop by claiming a hat-trick of Canary Wharf Classic titles.

Matthew clinched victory in straight games but the quality of the squash and the length of the rallies meant that a brutally-fought encounter lasted 78 minutes.

The result provided a 20th consecutive victory for Matthew against Willstrop in all competitions. It was his third victory this year, following earlier triumphs in the Tournament of Champions in New York and the National Championships in Manchester.

It also provided Matthew with his 23rd PSA tournament victory in 48 finals.  

The opening game was a tense affair with prolonged rallies but Matthew produced a strong finish to hit back from 6-5 down to win 11-7.

He threatened to run away with the second as he raced into a 5-1 lead before Willstrop clawed back the deficit with three consecutive points.

Each time Matthew pulled ahead, Willstrop fought back to excite the capacity crowd at the stunning East Wintergarden venue, but again the gritty 31-year-old from Sheffield showed his determination to clinch the 31-minute game 11-8.

Willstrop maintained a narrow lead throughout the majority of the third game but at 9-9 he hit the ball out and on match ball he struck the ball back to himself in mid-court to concede the match.

Willstrop had conceded seven penalty strokes during the match, and Matthew said after receiving his trophy: “James has played well and been the best player in the world over the past five or six months so any win over him at the moment has to be earned the hard way.

 “We both spent a lot of time on court before reaching the final and maybe that was the reason some of the squash was a bit scrappy at times. But the intensity was always there throughout the match.

“That would have made a great Olympic final. It’s galling to pass the Olympic Stadium every day heading to and from the venue knowing that we are not taking part.

“I’m 31 now and know the end of my career is not too far away. But the hunger is still there and especially for matches like this in such a fantastic venue and in front of crowds like this.

“Canary Wharf is now the home of squash in London the way Wembley used to be in the days of Jahangir Khan.”

Willstrop added: “I have to take something positive out of that match. I am happy with my game and am enjoying being at number one. It’s been an amazing few months with Nick and I swapping over at number one and it’s nice to hear that I can open another bottle of champagne at the end of the month knowing that I will still be number one in April.

“Nick was too good for me today and he has the edge at the moment.”


World no 1 James Willstrop has a tremendous battle against unseeded Saurav Ghosal

Nick Matthew struggles through against Mohd Ali Anwar

World no 1, James Willstrop, survives an epic 5 games tussle against Tarek Momen

James Willstrop overcomes Mohamed Shorbagy in 4

. Draw
 . Alan Thatcher Reports

 . Qualifying Reports

 . Previews

Matthew beats Willstrop in straight games

Nick Matthew is taken to 5 games by Peter Barker

ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic
 East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, London, England $50,000
19-23 March 2012

First Round
March 19
March 21
March 22
March 23
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11-5, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6 (60m)
Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
Nick Matthew
11-8, 11-7, 11-9 (65m)
Daryl Selby
Nick Matthew
8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3 (83m)
Peter Barker
Nick Matthew
11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (78 mins)
James Willstrop
Daryl Selby (Eng)
11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (55m)
Q Robbie Temple (Eng)
Simon Rosner (Ger)
11-8, 11-5, 11-6 (52m)
Q Adrian Waller (Eng)
Simon Rosner
11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (50m)
Peter Barker
Q Mark Krajcsak (Hun)
11-2, 11-5, 11-3 (29m)
[3] Peter Barker (Eng)
[4] Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (38m)
Joe Lee (Eng)
Mohamed El Shorbagy
11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (30m)
Adrian Grant
Mohamed El Shorbagy
11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 (61m)
James Willstrop
Adrian Grant (Eng)
11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6 (74m)
Q Chris Simpson (Eng)
Tarek Momen (Egy)
12-10, 13-11, 11-7 (43m)
Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy)
Tarek Momen
6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9 (65m)
James Willstrop
Saurav Ghosal (Ind)
11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5 (84m)
[2] James Willstrop (Eng)


Robbie Temple (Eng) beat Omar Abdel Aziz (Egy) 12-14, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 (92m)
Adrian Waller (Eng) beat Olivier Pett (Eng) 11-8, 12-10, 12-10 (51m)
Chris Simpson (Eng) beat Yann Perrin (Fra) 6-11, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5 (79m)
Mark Krajcsak (Hun) beat Davide Bianchetti (Ita) 4-11,15-13, 11-6, 12-10 (80m)


Alan Thatcher Reports:

English rivals Matthew and Willstrop to clash in Canary Wharf final

Bitter rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop will clash in the final of the Canary Wharf Classic after negotiating physically challenging hurdles in the semi-finals.

World champion Matthew and world number one Willstrop will meet for the third time this year – all of them finals - with Matthew winning both marathon encounters in New York and Manchester.

Matthew holds an astonishing psychological advantage, having won their last 15 matches. Willstrop’s last victory was in the 2007 final of the English Open in Matthew’s home city of Sheffield.

Willstrop said: “Everyone knows about the rivalry and if it gains media coverage for the sport then it is a good thing. Nick and I have an enormous respect for each other but he has enjoyed a long winning run and I want to do something about that in the final.”

In two pulsating semi-finals before a sell-out crowd at the East Wintergarden venue, Matthew took 83 minutes to overcome England team-mate Peter Barker, the number three seed.

Willstrop then withstood a ferocious onslaught from hard-hitting Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy before winning 3-1 in 61 minutes, his shortest match of the week after two brutal battles against Saurav Ghosal and Tarek Momen.

In a repeat of last year's final, Matthew started slowly against a determined Barker but fought back to gain control of the match after losing the opening game.

He quickly built a substantial lead in the second game but from 7-1 up he had to withstand a sustained fightback from Barker before drawing level. He stayed in front throughout the third but Barker launched another massive onslaught in the fourth to win it 11-9.

The crowd were willing the Essex player to maintain that form in the fifth but Matthew showed class and composure to power ahead from 3-3 to win the match without dropping another point.

Matthew said: “There are very fine lines between winning and losing and Peter came out strongly in the first game, like he always does. He did the same in last year's final and I was very pleased and relieved to get through.

“After beating the two local favourites on consecutive days (he overcame Daryl Selby in the quarters) I hope the crowd will give me a bit more support in the final.”

Willstrop began solidly against a nervous-looking opponent. Shorbagy, the 21-year-old world number eight from Alexandria, struggled to find his rhythm but after losing the first game he stepped up a gear to win the second.

He mixed powerful drives and volleys with some adventurous angles and a creative touch at the front of the court.

Willstrop then stamped his authority on the match, imposing a disciplined framework that eventually strangled Shorbagy’s attacking opportunities after some phenomenal rallies requiring immense physical commitment.

The Leeds-based Willstrop, who has won three Canary Wharf titles, controlled the third and fourth games and moved to match ball with a floated length that Shorbagy failed to scrape off the side-wall.

That one shot illustrated Willstrop’s dominance as he advanced to his fifth Canary Wharf final.

Willstrop said: “Shorbagy has so many different ways of attacking you. He has won two World Junior Open titles and has moved into the top eight in the world, which shows how quickly he has adapted to the playing at the highest level.

“I am delighted to be in the final and have clocked up many hours and miles on court this week.”

Willstrop’s day had begun with a BBC Radio Four interview on the Today programme, where he spoke about his recently-published book, Shot And A Ghost, and squash’s bid for a place in the 2020 Olympics.

He added: “Tournaments like these, in a fantastic venue and with capacity crowds all week, showcase what a brilliant product we have, one which is absolutely perfect for the Olympic Games.

“The improvements in the TV production are superb, and it is bitterly disappointing that we are not to be involved in the 2012 or 2016 Games.

“Our tournament hotel is in Stratford, right next to the Olympic Park, and that makes it even more galling for us.

“But we will keep plugging away and I sense a groundswell of optimism that squash will finally win a deserved place in the 2020 Olympics.”

Willstrop and Matthew Win Bruising Battles

England’s top seeds Nick Matthew and James Willstrop both survived bruising encounters as they moved one step closer another titanic battle in the final of the Canary Wharf Classic.

Willstrop won his second five-game marathon in the space of 24 hours as he withstood the dazzling racket skills of Egyptian Tarek Momen to reach the semi-finals of this PSA International 50 tournament.

The 24-year-old Momen, who beat Matthew in Qatar last year, played fearless, attacking squash. He raced into a 7-0 lead before Willstrop could settle. The 6ft 4in world No.1 had endured an 84-minute battle against Indian Saurav Ghosal in the first round the day before and clearly took his time to settle.

He lost the opening game 11-6 and although he seemed to have found his stride in the second, winning 11-8, Momen returned to the offensive in the third, volleying spectacular winners and slicing in winning drops from the back of the court.

Willstrop again responded to win the fourth 11-3 and led 6-2 in the fifth, but Momen refused to lie down and accept defeat. He drew level at 8-8 and although Willstrop thought he had won the match when Momen was denied a let at 10-9, the Egyptian requested a video review which overturned the decision.

Willstrop, a three-time Canary Wharf champion, had been desperate to shake hands and get out of the door. But he was forced to focus again and after a quickfire rally he had clinched his place in the last four.  

He admitted: “I’m very relieved to be in the semi-finals. For the second day running I have played an opponent who has shown how narrow the gap is between the top players and those a little further behind.

“Tarek is a very dangerous player. He was attacking non-stop and I had to try to find a way to stop him hitting winners.”

Willstrop, who has recently self-published a book detailing a year on the world tour, admitted: “At times the project has been a welcome distraction but in tournaments like this I have to focus on being a professional squash player and working hard to protect my number one ranking, which means a lot to me.”

Willstrop faces another Egyptian in the semi-finals. Number four seed Mohamed El Shorbagy powered his way past Londoner Adrian Grant to win inside 30 minutes.

He said: “I am happy to have won both my matches in straight games. I wanted to keep up a fast pace on court tonight and it worked. I know James has had two hard matches but he is the world number one and knows how to look after himself in these situations. I haven’t thought about tactics yet but I am looking forward to playing him.”  

World champion Matthew survived a painful collision in mid-court as he advanced to the semi-finals. Matthew, who is bidding for a hat-trick of Canary Wharf titles, was knocked to the floor as his opponent, England team-mate Daryl Selby, dived in vain after the ball.

Matthew’s shot clinched the opening game but he required treatment to a painful knee before returning to the court.

He stepped up the pace to win the second game but Selby battled throughout the third. From 6-5 down, he worked his way to 8-6 up. Matthew drew level, but Selby again got his nose in front at 9-8. However, Matthew’s relentless attack resulted in three crucial points to win the match.  

Selby refused to leave the court as he continued to discuss a “no-let” call on match ball with the referee.  

Matthew said: “Daryl just caught me on my knee at the end of the first game. It was painful for a moment but it didn’t bother me after that.

“It was obvious that the crowd were on his side but we are good friends off court.”

After watching Willstrop’s struggle, he added: “Our match was as long as James’s five-setter so it shows how intense it was. I didn’t really think about tactics before the match. I didn’t want to over-complicate things and just wanted to use my experience and instincts to get through the match and it seemed to work.”

Matthew holds a 14-1 careeer advantage over Barker, while Willstrop leads 4-1 in his head-to-head record against El Shorbagy.

Nick Matthew v Peter Barker
James Willstrop v Mohamed El Shorbagy

Willstrop Wins Canary Wharf Battle

World number one James Willstrop weathered a phenomenal fightback from his training partner Saurav Ghosal before clinching a place in the quarter-finals of the Canary Wharf Classic.

The two players practice together at Pontefract and are neighbours in Leeds, but there was no room for friendship or sentiment on court as they engaged in a battle of enormous skill and brutal physical commitment.

Ultimately, Willstrop’s superior quality delivered victory in 84 minutes of high-quality entertainment, but the Indian number one earned repeated bursts of applause from the packed crowd at Canary Wharf’s spectacular East Wintergarden venue for his never-say-die approach.

After winning 11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5, Willstrop paid tribute to his opponent, saying: “I have repeatedly warned people in pre-tournament interviews that there are no easy matches at this level. If you step off the pace by the tiniest amount, players like Saurav will jump on the ball and punish you.

“He is so fast around the court and kept getting the ball back. His retrieving was so amazing that I could sense the crowd were getting on his side and willing him to do well.”

Ghosal, who has yet to beat Willstrop in a PSA tournament, held match ball against him in the WSF World Cup last year. He said: “That match was very close but this is certainly the best I have played against him in a PSA event. James is playing so well at the moment, and his straight game is so immaculate that he hardly gives you anything to hit.

“We all saw what he did to Ramy Ashour in the North American Open and he is the best in the world at that because he is so good at holding the ball. With some players you know where the ball is going but James keeps you guessing.”  

Willstrop’s quarter-final opponent, Tarek Momen, won an all-Egyptian match against world junior champion Marwan El Shorbagy, 12-10, 13-11, 11-7.

Momen said: “I guess I’m hoping James might be feeling a little bit tired after his long match tonight. I enjoyed my first-ever match against Marwan. He is one to watch for the future, for sure.”

El Shorbagy’s elder brother, number four seed Mohamed, overpowered English wild card Joe Lee in straight games.

After the game, El Shorbagy said: “I am so pleased to be back at Canary Wharf again, playing in this fantastic venue in front of a wonderful crowd. It’s a tough draw, but I was very keen to come back and try to do my best here. I am living in England now so I’m hoping to get a bit of support this week.”

The crowd responded with a loud roar of approval and he added: “Life in Egypt had been very difficult under the former president for so many years and change was long overdue. We are now looking forward to some stability after the forthcoming elections.”

His quarter-final opponent, Londoner Adrian Grant, needed a strapping applied to his right leg during his match against qualifier Chris Simpson but still had enough class and control to win the match in four games.

After taking the opening game, Grant was clearly struggling in a long second, which Simpson won 13-11. Grant immediately summoned the England physio Jade Elias to apply bandages but he failed to allow it to upset his concentration as he won in four games.

He said: “There was no way I was going to give up. The adrenalin kicked in and I was happy to play on. I had enjoyed a session with the England coach Chris Robertson at Wimbledon on Sunday and he was encouraging me to attack more and finish rallies more quickly. I am glad he did because that tactic seemed to work on the glass court here tonight.”

World champion Nick Matthew lead a trio of English players into quarters
World champion Nick Matthew was held up by his Egyptian opponent Ali Anwar Reda before claiming a place in the Canary Wharf Classic quarter-final.

He was also held up by an unusual emergency announcement during the match informing a member of the full-house crowd at the East Wintergarden that a donor kidney was available for an emergency transplant at Royal London Hospital last night.

Matthew was playing his first PSA match since losing to another Egyptian, Ramy Ashour, in the semi-finals of the North American Open.
Reda surprised Matthew by winning the second game. Matthew was in control for the majority of the first game and led 9-6 in the second, but Reda hit back with a succession of tight drives and accurate drops to win it 12-10.
Matthew regrouped mentally in the third game and imposed himself on the match once more. From 5-5, he stepped up the pace, hitting tight, crisp drives to all parts of the court to win six points in a row.
Matthew maintained the pressure at the start of the fourth game to lead 5-1 but Reda rallied to draw level at 5-5 and again at 6-6.
From then on, Matthew stepped up the court and attacked superbly. He had Reda running from corner to corner chasing an array of winners from the world champion.
Matthew said: “It has been nice to have some time between tournaments to work on different things. There is a difference between training fitness and match fitness and tonight was a good hard match to start the tournament with to get time in on court.
“Having said that, I know I will need to play better against Daryl Selby on Wednesday.”
Matthew’s match lasted exactly an hour and Selby was on court for just five minutes less as he was forced to battle past qualifier Robbie Temple.
The 25-year-old left-hander, who employs a double-handed backhand, more than held his own for long periods of the match.
Selby opened up a big lead in the first game but the next two were much closer with hardly a point separating the two players until Selby stepped up the pace at the end.
Number three seed Peter Barker, like Selby from Essex, completed a trio of English victories by overpowering Hungarian number one Mark Krajcsak in just 29 minutes.
His quarter-final adversary, German number one Simon Rosner, will provide considerably tougher opposition.
The world number 18 from Paderborn overcame 22-year-old London qualifier Adrian Waller in straight games. Space on court was at a premium in a match featuring two 6ft 3in combatants.
In the opening two games, the scoring was close until the middle phases, when Rosner raced ahead. In the third, Rosner led 8-1 before left-hander Waller suddenly found a spell of inspired form to make the scoreline look much more respectable.

English Trio Reach Canary Wharf First Round

Three rising English stars won through to the first round of the Canary Wharf Classic after a day of marathon matches in the qualifying finals at Wimbledon.
Robbie Temple and Chris Simpson meet compatriots Daryl Selby and Adrian Grant (ranked 11 and 16 in the world) while Adrian Waller has been drawn against German number one Simon Rosner in this high-quality PSA World Tour International 50 event.
Hungarian Mark Krajcsak fought back from one game down to beat Italian Davide Bianchetti and he is rewarded with a demanding tie against number three seed Peter Barker, also of England.
Eight Englishmen are competing in the main draw at the spectacular East Wintergarden venue at Canary Wharf, led by world champion Nick Matthew, the top seed, who faces young Egyptian Ali Anwar Reda in the first round.

James Willstrop, who regained the world number one position from Yorkshire rival Matthew in the March rankings, meets his Pontefract training partner Saurav Ghosal in the first round.

Temple, the 25-year-old left-hander based in Ealing, won the longest match of the day, recovering from two games down to beat Egyptian Omar Abdel Aziz in 92 minutes.

Waller took a modest 51 minutes to overcome English rival Olivier Pett, fighting back from game ball down to win both the second and third games 12-10.

Simpson laboured for 79 minutes before halting the challenge of Frenchman Yann Perrin, while Krajcsak was kept on court for 80 minutes by Bianchetti, staging a dramatic recovery to win the fourth game after trailing 7-2. 

First Round (top half Monday)
(1) Nick Matthew (Eng) v Ali Anwar Reda (Egy)
Daryl Selby (Eng) v Q Robbie Temple (Eng)
Simon Rosner (Ger) v Q Adrian Waller (Eng)
(3) Peter Barker (Eng) v Q Mark Krajcsak (Hun)

Bottom Half, Tuesday
(4) Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) v Joe Lee (Eng)
Adrian Grant (Eng) v Q Chris Simpson (Eng)
Tarek Momen (Egy) v Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy)
(2) James Willstrop (Eng) v Saurav Ghosal (Ind)



Young Egyptian Stars Challenge Top English Stars

James Willstrop warmed up for the Canary Wharf Classic by winning the Davenport North American Open in Richmond, Virginia.

Willstrop, who is bidding for a fourth Canary Wharf title this year, is enjoying the best form of his career.

He has reached the final of six of his last eight tournaments and has racked up four PSA World Series titles since November in the game’s elite series of events.

He is returning to world No.1 in the March rankings but his great rival Nick Matthew is top seed at Canary Wharf.

London’s premier squash tournament is being staged at the superb East Wintergarden venue from March 19-23 and tickets have already sold out for the semi-finals and final.

Squash fans are clearly intrigued by the massive rivalry between England’s two leading players, who are both from Yorkshire. Despite Willstrop’s current success, Matthew has beaten him 15 times in a row, including the final of the Tournament of Champions in New York and the British National Championships in Manchester.

They avoided meeting in the North American Open as Matthew crashed to a rare straight-games defeat to Egyptian Ramy Ashour in the semi-finals.

Willstrop went on to beat Ashour with a commanding performance that denied his opponent any opportunities to display his outstanding shot-making abilities.

Willstrop said: “I had to find a way to contain Ramy’s attacking play. He will hit winners all day if you let him but I was very pleased with the way I played.”

Willstrop had removed No.3 seed Gregory Gaultier of France in a 97-minute semi-final and added: “That gave me a lot of confidence going into the final. It was a wonderful feeling over Christmas knowing that I was going to be world number one for the first time and I was very disappointed to lose it the next month. It made me determined to win it back, and I was pleased to play well enough to get back to number one in March.”

World champion Matthew Tweeted: “I don’t think many people expected that result in the Richmond final. James played a tactical master-class and deserved the win.”

He was realistic about his own form and shortcomings in Richmond, especially in his loss to Ashour. The first two games went to tiebreaks and Matthew, who blew leads of 10-7 in the first and 8-4 in the second, admitted: “I have got some important lessons to learn from that. It was hard to push on in the third when I could and possibly should have been 2-0 up. I was weak in the third, though.”

There are plenty of Egyptians lying in wait in the Canary Wharf draw, including No.4 seed Mohamed El Shorbagy and his younger brother Marwan. Marwan succeeded his bother as world junior champion and both have made significant impact on the senior rankings, with Mohamed rising to number six earlier this year.

Mohamed has been drawn against wild card Joe Lee, from Surrey, and Marwan meets fellow Egyptian Tarek Momen, who enjoyed a shock victory over Matthew in Qatar last year.

Matthew meets Mohamed Ali Anwar Reda in the first round and is seeded to meet England team-mate Daryl Selby in the quarter-finals.

Willstrop has been drawn against his Leeds-based training partner, Saurav Ghosal, the Indian number one.

East-Ender Peter Barker, the number three seed who has been struggling injury since Christmas, is in line for a tough quarter-final against German number one Simon Rosner, who gave Matthew a hard time in Richmond. Fellow Londoner Adrian Grant is scheduled to meet Mohamed El Shorbagy in the quarters.

Joint promoter Peter Nicol said: “It is an intriguing draw with the top English players and so many talented Egyptians coming over this year. I am sure it will guarantee another week of entertaining squash for our loyal and knowledgeable audience at Canary Wharf.”

Tickets for the 2012 Canary Wharf Classic cost from £15 and are available from Ticketmaster. The fabulous East Wintergarden offers superb opportunities for corporate hospitality, with the gallery restaurant offering “the best view of squash anywhere in the world” according to Nicol.

The qualifying competition takes place at Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club on March 17-18 with four winners joining the top 12 seeds in the main draw.

Ticket Hotline: 0844 8472419
Host Sponsor: Canary Wharf Group plc
Tournament Partners: ISS Facility Services
The Canary Wharf Squash Classic at the East Wintergarden is jointly promoted by Eventis Sports Marketing and SquashUK.
Tournament Dates: March 19-23, 2012
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:


London’s premier squash event - The Canary Wharf Squash Classic - will once again open its doors to the country’s armed forces, as it invites British servicemen and women to attend the spectacular East Wintergarden glass venue to watch top international squash from March 19 - 23.

Tickets for 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 Samantha Cameron, Joanna Lumley, Gary Lineker, Steven Gerrard, Lawrence Dallaglio, Ian Botham, Freddie Flintoff, Stephen Hendry, Joss Stone and James Blunt.

Samantha Cameron, Wife of Prime Minister David Cameron and Patron of Tickets for Troops, said, "Tickets For Troops has been a massive success in terms of recognising the work and courage of our troops but it has also rewarded those families whose support and love is crucial in the frontline. I am delighted and privileged to support such an excellent cause."

The Canary Wharf Classic will be supporting the charity for a third year and will offer the opportunity to watch the world's best players, including Brits Nick Matthew and James Willstrop who currently top the world game at World No.1 and No.2 respectively.

Tim Garner, Event Director, said, "Tickets for Troops is such a deserving cause, we are very proud to demonstrate our commitment for a third year.

“Whilst our focus is on providing the very finest squash in the fantastic venue that is East Wintergarden, it’s great to be able to share that experience with our nation’s heroes."


City financial firm Ernst & Young will once again look to the experience of former World Squash No.2, Peter Marshall, as they look to book their place in the final of the Canary Wharf & Square Mile Corporate Challenge.

The Corporate Challenge has grown in size and prestige since it was introduced eight years ago as a side event to the Canary Squash Classic, the ever-popular international showpiece in London featuring many of the world’s leading professional squash players.

Over 60 city workers representing companies from a range of industry sectors have been battling it out for the a place in the final, which takes place on the spectacular glass show court, during the week of the PSA World Tour event, March 19-23.

Ernst & Young will now face the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the Semi-Final round, joining Credit Suisse and accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to make up the final four in the competition with the Grand Final to place on Friday, March 23.

The Canary Wharf Squash Classic will be staged at the unique glass East Wintergarden venue and will feature 16 players including the three Britons currently in the world’s top 10. All eyes will be on James Willstrop, who recently reclaimed the World No. 1 spot from his national rival Nick Matthew. The draw is set up for a domestic showdown between the two, with Willstrop still looking to claim his first ever victory over his closest rival.



Having retaken the World No.1 spot from his fellow Yorkshireman in February, Nick Matthew has been seeded to meet national rival James Willstrop at the Canary Wharf Classic final on March 23rd, a rematch of the weekend’s National Championships where Matthew took the domestic title to add to his current World Championship crown.

The Canary Wharf Classic is headed for another sell-out as the ever-popular international showpiece once again sees the sport’s top players go head to head at the impressive glass East Wintergarden in London’s premier business district from March 19th to 23rd.

Four of the PSA Tour’s top Egyptian players will join three other nations to add an international flavour to the draw as Matthew returns to London to bid for a third consecutive event title after winning the last two finals against England team-mate Peter Barker last year and French ace Gregory Gaultier before that.

Peter Nicol, former World Champion and Co-Director at event promoter Eventis, said: “The main focus in professional squash is on the astonishing competition between the two Englishmen at the top of the world rankings.

“James won three tournaments back to back at the end of 2011 to reach the world number one position for the first time in his career, but Nick beat him in the final of the Tournament of Champions in New York to return to the top in the February rankings.

“I’m expecting another great event with some fantastic match-ups and the great crowd support we seem to get year after year. And what better place for the battles to take place than on our custom glass court in the all-glass East Wintergarden setting!”

World number eight Mohamed El Shorbagy and his younger brother Marwan, both world junior champions, lead the Egyptian entourage, whilst German number one Simon Rosner and top Indian player Saurav Ghosal carry the hopes of their respective nations.

The qualifying competition takes place at Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club on March 17-18 with four winners joining the top 12 seeds in the main draw.


 Picture Courtesy of Antonio Petronzio


Tickets for the 2011 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: TBA
Main draw: March 19-23, 2012
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:



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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.

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: