Nick Matthew Celebrates Fifth Title At
Nick Matthew bagged his fifth Canary Wharf
title, beating Simon Rosner 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 in a heavyweight battle full of
ferocious hitting and frenzied rallies.
The scoreline might suggest it was a fairly routine win against a
lower-ranked opponent - it was anything but.
Rosner brought his a-game, which had already seen him beat James Willstrop
and Peter Barker this week, but Matthew had an answer for everything the
German "treechopper" could throw at him.
At times, it was like watching a prize fighter take punch after punch on the
ropes and not only recover but have enough composure to land several
haymakers of his own.
Not to say, he was merely counter-punching. In the pivotal second game, he
hit seven winners to just one error - something Rosner credited afterwards.
Matthew said: "I've enjoyed this tonight. It's amazing to win this title for
the fifth time."
"It's a great venue. This is where you want to be playing squash.
"I had one of those moments here two years ago where I was looking around
wondering why I wasn't enjoying it. Because I was thinking you should be
"That makes you appreciate it even more. It was just brilliant.
"I feel a bit guilty because two years in a row I've been the only person in
the building that doesn't want it to go to a five-game match. So apologies
The Wolf flew out of the blocks, to the extent that when he made his first
error, at 7-1 up there was an audible note of alarm in the crowd, as if god
He drew gasps from the crowd with some gut-ripping retrievals. After losing
one such point Rosner, who displayed fantastic movement himself, was looking
to the skies, presumably thinking ‘What must I do to beat this man?’
Matthew took the first game 11-4 and went three points up in the second. The
6ft 3in Rosner fought back with some ferocious hitting, but the Yorkshireman
dealt with the onslaught and took it 11-9.
Then the intensity rose yet another level at the start of the third, with
the rallies drawing several "oohs" and "aahs" from the packed-house crowd,
before Matthew pulled away at 4-4 to make it 9-5.
Rosner fought back in some incredible rallies, to the delight of the crowd
who wanted more - but, as Rosner said, Matthew was "just too good on the
day", sealing the win 11-7.
“He was just too good. Some days you just have to accept that. Nick is such
an amazing player and he’s playing so well these days. I’m pleased with my
week, pleased with the way I played tonight, I just lost to the better
“I think this is just the beginning of the year. I’ve had some good results
already in the first three months of 2015 on the Tour and this is a good
step forward again. I’m able to go into the next tournaments with extra
confidence because I know I can really challenge those boys. I’m looking
forward to the rest of the year.
“Nick just doesn’t give you any simple points. You have opponents where you
play and you feel that every once in a while they are going to give you a
free point. That’s something Nick does extremely well; he’s error free and
so mentally strong that it’s tough to get into his mind. I think he’s a true
champion and I’m glad I was able to be in the final against him today.”
Tactically, Rosner couldn’t understand why he made such a slow start in the
opening game. He said: “It’s a mystery. I did the same against Peter Barker
last night and I need to do something about it. It’s not like I have any
distractions. I’m just slow getting into the match.”
Rosner added: “Even when I was winning points I still felt I was under
pressure the whole time. Nick is so strong across the middle of the court. I
like to hit crosscourts and he likes to volley, so it’s a high-risk option.
That’s something else I need to work on against him. Sometimes you just
don’t have enough time to shape up to play the ball straight.”
“First thing to say is congratulations to Simon on his week; beating James (Willstrop)
and Peter (Barker) at a venue where they’ve played some of their best squash
is a tough feat and three days in a row is tough mentally. I tried to make
it really hard for him but I’m building up notes on Simon because he’s a
very dangerous players and I need to be aware of how much he’s improving
quickly. I’m sure we’ll be in a few more finals.”
“I’ll enjoy this tonight. It’s amazing to win this title for a fifth time in
this great venue. Places like this are where you want to be playing squash.
I had my lowest moment here too years ago when I felt like I wasn’t enjoying
it so when I do enjoy it, it makes you appreciate it even more.”
“Life can change very quickly in sport, you know I’m aware of how quickly
things can change. One minute you can feel a million dollars and the next
minute injuries or loss of form or loss of motivation can catch up with you
a little bit. I’m aware of hat and my longer term goals are more short term
than they were when I was 25. Our brilliant sport is aiming for a place in
the 2020 Olympics but my legs and back and hips are looking forward to
having a seat in the commentary box and commentating on a Simon (vs)
(Mohamed) El Shorbagy final or something.”
Simon Rösner aims for a hat-trick of English
scalps as he meets Nick Matthew in Canary Wharf final
gatecrashed the party again to book a
place in the final of the Canary Wharf Classic.
After beating the English number three James
Willstrop in straight games in the quarter-finals, he outfought home number
two Peter Barker in a brutal semi-final, and tomorrow he meets England
number one Nick Matthew in the biggest match of his career.
was a comfortable winner against Willstrop, who was suffering from the
effects of a flu virus, let alone the fatigue brought on by five months out
of action recovering after a hip operation.
Tonight there was not a moment of comfort in
a tense, physical battle with Barker.
There were frequent collisions in
mid-court and Rösner
clearly blamed his opponent for incidents that resulted in 38 refereeing
Rösner, the highest ranked German squash player of all time,
booked his place in the final courtesy of a steely come-from-behind victory
against number two seed and world No.8 Barker.
That win was his first ever against the Essex man, coming
just 24-hours after he claimed his first ever tour win over Willstrop, the
former world No.1 from Pontefract, and he'll be hoping to cap a breakthrough
week with a first ever tour win over the three-time world champion from
Sheffield in the finale.
"Beating James for the first time in my career yesterday, and
beating Peter for the first time in my PSA career today, at the same
tournament, is something special for me for sure and I can't wait to play
another Englishman tomorrow,"
"I'm just really relieved and so happy to be in the final in
front of such a great crowd and in such a great venue.
"It was a little bit scrappy at times tonight but taking the
win is the main thing and I'm just going to try and relax now and come back
“As for the physical issues, I wasn’t happy with a lot of it.
There is no need for that stuff on court. You can play hard, but you always
need to play fair.”
Defending champion Matthew moved into the final for a fifth
time in six years with a commanding 3-0 win over compatriot Daryl Selby.
The 34-year-old, who is on course to complete a hat-trick of
PSA World Tour event triumphs after claiming both the Swedish Open and Windy
City Open inside the last month, showed his class as he withstood a spirited
fight from the talented 32-year-old from Essex to squeeze a straight games
12-10, 11-6, 11-9 win in 55-minutes.
But the pragmatic three-time world champion says he isn't
getting carried away ahead of what promises to be a tough encounter against
in-form German world No.9 Rösner tomorrow.
"I'm not really thinking about what's gone on so far this
year because you have to start each match and each tournament from scratch,"
"You can take confidence from what's happened before, but you
can't rely on it, and you have to earn the right to win and I'm going to
have to improve again tomorrow and continue to take it one day at a time.
"Although I've had a lot of success here I've also had my
fair share of disappointment as well so I'm not taking anything for granted.
"Two years ago I was at one of the lowest points of my career
here and my racket ended up in the Thames after one match. Those moments can
really remind you to keep your perspective and helps me appreciate my squash
when I'm playing well and enjoying it."
Click images for a larger view
Matthew moved into the final for a fifth time in six years
with a commanding 3-0 win over compatriot Daryl Selby
Simon Rösner, the highest ranked German squash player of all
time, booked his place in the final courtesy of a steely come-from-behind
victory against number two seed and world No.8 Barker
German Spoils English Party At Canary
German World No.9 Simon Rösner prevented the semi-finals of the Canary Wharf
Classic from being an all-English affair for the first time in the
tournament's history with a resounding 3-0 victory over former World No.1
James Willstrop at London's East Wintergarden earlier today.
The powerful man from Paderborn, who stands 6' 3", had never previously
beaten the 31-year-old Pontefract-based Englishman but put in an assured
performance as he romped to an 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 triumph in just 36-minutes,
ending Willstrop's hopes of winning the PSA International 50 title for the
fifth time in his career.
"Obviously I'm very happy to be in the semi-finals here for the very first
time and it feels amazing to get my first win over James," said Rösner.
"He's just come back from surgery and he's been playing good squash but I'm
very pleased with how I kept my focus today and I was pleased with my
performance because I made very few unforced errors."
Rösner will take on number two seed Peter Barker, the Essex-based World No.8
who knocked him out of the competition at the quarter-finals stage in 2014,
while defending champion Nick Matthew will face Daryl Selby as he aims to
add a fifth Canary Wharf Classic trophy to his already impressive trophy
"I've had some very tough battles with Pete over the years and hopefully
I'll be able to go out there and get my revenge for our quarter-final match
last year," added Rösner.
34-year-old Matthew came through a testing encounter against dangerous
Egyptian Fares Dessouki, 14-years his junior, coming through 11-7, 10-12,
11-7, 11-8 in 78-minutes to line-up against Selby, who took 125-minutes to
get past Spanish champion Borja Golan.
"Fares is a fearless young guys and it was a very tough match - there was
only really a couple of points in it," said Matthew.
"All credit to him because he played with a lot of discipline and attacked
at the right times but I think it was just a case of a little bit of
experience helping me at the end."
Victory for Matthew would see him reach a fourth consecutive PSA World Tour
event final in 2015 and with a chance of completing an impressive hat-trick
of titles, having already claimed the Swedish Open and Windy City Open
crowns inside the past month.
Matthew came through against Egyptian Fares Dessouki
Daryl Selby (above) and Peter Barker (below) both Through to Semi Finals Click images for a larger view
JAMES WILLSTROP went through the menu on his return to Canary Wharf last
night, a year after he left the iconic venue fearing he may never play
The former world number one and four-times winner of the London event
feasted on the adoration of the capital crowd, devoured his opponent
Omar Abdel Meguid and even savoured the delights of a first-game bagel as he
powered to an 11-0, 11-9, 11-7 victory.
The Yorkshireman’s career was on the line 12 months ago following his final
defeat at the hands of great rival Nick Matthew.
“On the Saturday morning, after the final at Canary Wharf, the difficulties
were slightly more pronounced than usual, but I still wasn’t thinking the
problem would be significant enough to change the whole outlook of the next
year of my life,” said Willstrop.
“In June I took the call from a doctor who delivered the news that my career
could well be over. The layer of cartilage in the hip had worn thin and was
“Arthritic? At 31? I wondered if I should visit the local Job Centre.”
Fortunately, surgery, rehab and a lengthy lay-off put Willstrop back in the
game and his performance last night suggested he will be climbing the world
ranking charts sooner rather than later.
“It feels very, very good to be back on court, “ added Willstrop. “I’m
enjoying every playing again but I wouldn’t have put a bet on winning a game
11-0. It was a little scrappy out there, two lumbering guys, but overall I
have to be pleased with that result.
“I am playing the big German Simon Rosner tomorrow night. That will be
another challenge but I am looking forward to it immensely. I love the venue
and the new court is terrific.”
Sports fans in these parts of London are well accustomed to the Hammers so
the ranks of West Ham fans in last night’s Canary Wharf crowd were fully
appreciative of the thundering hammer-forehand Egyptian Mazen Hesham brought
to the show against Hong Kong’s Max Lee.
It is a fearsome weapon and the 20-year-old from Cairo unleashed its full
ferocity as he went toe-to-toe with the tournament’s seventh seed over five
punishing games that finally halted the clock after 76 minutes.
Hesham, ranked 27 in the world and climbing fast, is a raw talent with a
Sadly for him, Lee, who at a distance looks half his size and half his age,
can handle the big-hitters and has plenty of beguiling skills to back it up.
Lee won a fascinating match up 3-2 to make the quarters for the second year
running. His ability to absorb Hesham’s pace while limiting the error count
was crucial and telling.
The Egyptian crashed down 31 straight winning shots but matched that with 26
errors. In contrast, Lee errored just 10 times. Match-winning stats at this
Afterwards, Lee suggested he had been lucky in game five. A little gracious,
maybe, but certainly now how the crowd saw it. They may be Hammer fans, but
they can spot a battling winner a mile off.
As for Hesham, he will no doubt be reflecting on the tins he hit at 9-9 and
then on match ball down.
In his pre-match interview he had admitted to playing crazy, reckless,
Most of it is wonderful to watch but, in the end, it all came down to those
two crushing mistakes when a calmer, less outrageous approach was called
Lee will meet Peter Barker in the quarter-finals after the left-handed No.2
seed saw off Mohamed Abouelghar in straight games.
The Egyptian, who often trains with Hesham, is a skillful, attacking player
and Barker knew he had to adopt a cautious approach to avoid setting him up
with any free winners.
Teacher 3, Student 0. A somewhat saucy summation of Peter Barker’s predicted
win over Egyptian qualifier Mohamed Abouelghar but, in truth, pretty accuate.
Barker hails from a nearby postcode and after a dozen or so years on the PSA
circuit, more than knows his way around the block. Some call is nous, some
refer to experience…whatever it is, Barker has it in spades.
The stats are irrelevant, but for the anoraks among us, Barker won 3-0, hit
22 winners , few errors and romped home by a country mile. Abouelghar is
among the new breed of Egyptians who will shine bright in future. The
present, however, still has the hallmark of Barker, Matthew, Shabana, Selby
and Willstrop firmly engraved on the silverware.
For the Essex man, the only way is effort, and the hard yards on the
training court are, for now, enough to keep the young bucks at bay. Like all
good students, Abouelghar asked questions. Sadly for him. Barker had the
Barker said: “I read the report from the qualifying competition and could
see how dangerous he is.
“So I apologise for making the match so boring. I just wanted to play the
ball as straight and tight as I could to avoid giving him too many openings,
because I know how he can put the ball away.”
When asked about the wave of young Egyptians marching up the rankings,
Barker added: “There are so many of them. Each year the English guys have a
meeting and we always ask which player we’ve got to watch out for next. But
there are so many of them it’s becoming harder and harder.
Some of them have overtaken us already.
“But it’s great to have that kind of rivalry in the sport, especially in big
tournaments like this.
“I love the new court. It’s hot and bouncy, which suits my game.”
Germany’s Simon Rosner snuffed out the challenge of Frenchman Lucas Serme
then spoke of his desire to build on his world ranking of nine.
“I spent a long time trying to break into the top 10 players in the world,
and now that I am here, I want to rise event further,” said Rosner following
his well grafted 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 win over the French number two.
Rosner has added a steeliness to the cerebral, and it’s a potent cocktail.
While Serme pushed and probed looking for frailties in the German’s game,
the chinks were few and the rewards even fewer.
The closest he got the Rosner was a painful blow to the head when the
players had a coming together in the third game.
It will give him a headache in the morning, but not as big as the one he’ll
get trying to fathom how to beat his Eurozone foe in the near future.
Click Images for Larger View
James Willstrop devoured his
opponent Omar Abdel Meguid
Peter Barker saw off Mohamed Abouelghar in straight games.
Simon Rosner snuffed out the
challenge of Frenchman Lucas Serme
Lee won a fascinating match up 3-2 to make
the quarters for the second year running. Beating Egypt's Mazen Hesham’s
2014 champion Nick Matthew began the defence of his Canary Wharf Classic
title with a comfortable 3-0 victory over fellow Englishman Eddie Charlton
during the first day of action at London's East Wintergarden today (Monday
The 34-year-old from Sheffield, vying to win the PSA International 50 title
for the fifth time in his career, was in sublime form as he dispatched World
No.52 Charlton 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 in just 36-minutes to send out a message to
his main rivals as he seeks to win a third consecutive PSA World Tour title.
The three-time World Champion has been in emphatic form recently, winning
both the Swedish Open and Windy City Open, and he will now take on dangerous
Egyptian talent Fares Dessouki in the last eight to keep his hopes of
clinching a tour hat-trick alive.
"It was important to get a good start in each game tonight and I was pleased
with how I got going and kept going and I'm really enjoying my squash at the
moment," said Matthew,
"It was unbelievable to come out and play in front of a packed house on the
first night - the atmosphere here is always great - and I'm looking forward
to hopefully having a few more matches on court here this week."
Dessouki, competing at the event for the first time in his career, booked
his place to face Matthew with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Adrian Waller
while Daryl Selby and Borja Golan were also victorious on the first day of
action, overcoming Joe Lee and Laurens Jan Anjema, respectively.
Click Images for Larger View
Nick Matthew Begins His Defence
Wharf Set For Classic Week Of Squash Action
London's Canary Wharf will be
the stage for a compelling week of action on the PSA World Tour as the first
round of the 2015 Canary Wharf Classic, PSA International 50 tournament,
gets underway tomorrow (Monday March 23) at the city's stunning East
After winning both the Swedish Open and Windy City Open in the last month,
England's three-time World Champion Nick Matthew is firm favourite to retain
the title he won in the capital in 2014 and add a fifth Canary Wharf Classic
to his impressive title collection.
Matthew faces wildcard Eddie Charlton in the first round while number two
seed Peter Barker, the Essex-based World No.8, will take on World No.33
Mohamed Abouelghar in his first round encounter after the Egyptian came
through today's final qualification round to earn a place in the main draw.
Londoner Joe Lee also came through qualification, the only home talent to do
so, with an impressive performance against Scotland's Greg Lobban and the
25-year-old will face Essex's Daryl Selby in another all-English first-round
Elsewhere James Willstrop, the former World No.1 who recently returned to
competitive action following a five-month injury-enforced absence will take
on Egyptian qualifier Omar Abdel Megiud, while number three seed Borja Golan
and number four seed Simon Rösner, face stiff first round matches against
Laurens Jan Anjema and Lucas Serme, respectively.
The first round action gets underway at the East Wintergarden at 5.30pm on
Monday March 23, with all the action available to watch live on SQUASHTV:
The Canary Wharf Squash Classic has added a novel feature to this
year’s final day programme – an on-court shoot-out between two rising
English stars to win a coveted wild card place into the main draw of next
Coleman (left) and Lyell Fuller are the lucky lads chosen by Tournament
Director Tim Garner, who is expecting fireworks on the glass court before
the main final on Friday, March 27.
He said: “Qualifying tournaments are a brutal part of every major squash
event, with young players desperate to reach the main draw. As well as
picking up some extra prize money, their main focus is on gaining ranking
“Climbing through the rankings is a tough process for players, and every
tournament organizer is always inundated with requests for local spots in
qualifying and the wild card in the main draw.
“The competition for places is so intense that this year we decided to make
a special feature of it and have two very deserving players fight it out for
real on the glass court before the final.”
Coleman is the more experienced of the two players. The 23-year-old from
Chelmsford, Essex, is currently ranked 65 in the men’s PSA world rankings.
His shoot-out opponent, Fuller, is a 19-year-old from Devon, ranked 164 in
the world, who is now based in London as he bids to make a major
breakthrough in the senior game.
The two players met in the final of the Croydon Open in December and Coleman
won a tough match in straight games. He said: “Lyell had a fantastic run to
get through to the final.
“He's quickly improving but I managed to stay ahead of him throughout that
match and I was playing well. I never gave him many chances, which was nice.
“At Canary Wharf, I expect him to try and dictate the game against me from
in front, but my task is to stop that from happening.”
Coleman added: “The shoot-out is a great idea and Lyell and I are very
grateful to the Canary Wharf organisers for making it happen.
“Qualifying for big events can be tough because to start with you usually
get drawn against a top-seeded player if you make it through.”
(right) said: “I’m looking forward to playing on the glass court in front of
a big crowd at the East Wintergarden.
“I have never been to Canary Wharf before but I have grown up watching it on
SquashTV every year. It looks like a great event so I'm looking forward to
As for his tactics against Coleman, he added: “That's a secret, but I'm
going to try my hardest, keep to my processes and enjoy the experience.”
By Alan Thatcher
BREWIN-DOLPHIN Confirmed As
Official Event Partner
Financial management experts Brewin Dolphin have joined forces with the
Canary Wharf Squash Classic as Official Event Partners of London’s most
With the 2015 tournament a complete sell-out, Tournament Director Tim Garner
was delighted to announce this new partnership with one of London’s oldest
and most prestigious financial institutions. Founded in 1762, Brewin Dolphin
has 28 offices throughout the UK.
Garner said: “The success of the tournament, and its setting in such a
wonderful venue at the East Wintergarden, in the heart of Canary Wharf’s
financial district, makes the Canary Wharf Squash Classic an attractive
vehicle for sponsors.
“We are delighted to welcome Brewin Dolphin as Official Event Partners and
look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Alistair Beattie, a divisional director at Brewin Dolphin, said: “We are
pleased to be associated with such a well-established and popular
tournament. The standard of play produced by the leading professionals
delivers phenomenal skill and entertainment for the spectators. We are very
much looking forward to our partnership with one of the most successful
tournaments in the world of squash.”
The 2015 Canary Wharf Classic takes place from March 23-27 and Garner added:
“This week the attention of the squash world is on the JP Morgan Tournament
of Champions, which is taking place inside Grand Central Terminal in New
“Many of those players will also be competing at Canary Wharf. The two
tournaments have a lot in common, being the only two major events in squash
that sell out every ticket, every day.”
Tickets for the
2015 Canary Wharf Classic have sold out but a waitlist is open in case
any tickets are returned. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The fabulous East
Wintergarden also offers superb opportunities for corporate hospitality,
with the gallery restaurant offering “the best view of squash anywhere
in the world” according to former world champion Peter Nicol.
competition takes place at Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club over the
weekend of March 21-22 with four winners joining the top 12 seeds in the
Sponsor: Canary Wharf Group plc
Official Event Partner: Brewin Dolphin
Official Racket Partner: Harrow
Partner: Radisson Blu
The Canary Wharf
Squash Classic at the East Wintergarden is jointly promoted by Eventis
Sports Marketing and SquashUK
March 23-27, 2015
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.