Tickets sold out months ago for the Canary Wharf Squash Classic, one of the major events on the sport’s UK calendar.
But readers of The Wharf can be there to soak up the drama on court in this popular PSA World Tour M70 tournament.
Former world champion Nick Matthew is top seed for the event, which runs from March 6-10 at East Wintergarden and is sponsored by Canary Wharf Group .
With Marwan ElShorbagy seeded No.2, fans could be treated to a thrilling final between England and Egypt, squash’s two powerhouse nations.
World No.4 Matthew, still playing top-class squash at the ripe old age of 36, is looking forward to bidding for a sixth title at Canary Wharf after missing last year’s event.
He said: “I was trying to manage my schedule because of an ankle injury and decided to miss Canary Wharf to concentrate on qualifying for the World Series Finals in Dubai.
“But I didn’t realise how much I missed it after not playing. I was injured anyway, with ankle issues and rehab, and would not have been able to compete. But I just missed so many things that make the tournament so special.
“It’s a brilliant venue and it’s packed out every day with full-house crowds. My family always comes down from Sheffield and we all love the crowd there. They always get behind the home players, they appreciate their squash and create such a special atmosphere.”
For the fifth year running, the tournament was sold out in November within a fortnight of tickets going on sale.
However, The Wharf has a pair of tickets for the final on Friday, March 10, to give away to one lucky reader, including a luxury overnight stay for two at the DoubleTree by Hilton, London Docklands Riverside , the official tournament hotel – see the bottom of this post.
We also have three runners-up prizes of a pair of tickets to see Matthew and a host of international stars in first round action on Monday, March 6, as the tournament kicks off in dramatic style.
Matthew, renowned throughout his career for his phenomenal fitness, meets Australian world No.15 Ryan Cuskelly.
Also in action during the evening will be New Zealand ace Paul Coll, who is renowned for training even harder than Matthew and has been rewarded with a massive rise up the rankings into the world top 20.
Fastest strike of a squash ball
Kiwi Coll, who won the Channel VAS Open at Weybridge in December, wowed Canary Wharf fans last year when he dived across court three times to win one sensational rally against England’s James Willstrop.
This time he will be looking to take down No.4 seed Simon Rosner, from Germany, who was runner-up to Matthew in 2015.
Also in action on day one are No.5 seed Fares Dessouky and England’s No.7 seed Daryl Selby. Both face winners from the qualifying competition at Wimbledon Racquets Club.
In the bottom half of the draw, which kicks off on Tuesday, March 7, the match of the night features a battle between two of the hardest hitters in the game, Egypt’s No.3 seed Omar Mosaad and Australia’s Cameron Pilley.
Mosaad is known as the Hammer of Thor, but it’s Pilley who holds the world record of 178mph for the fastest strike of a squash ball.
Reigning champion Mathieu Castagnet, who beat Mosaad in last year’s final, faces London-based wild card Lyell Fuller.
Second seed Elshorbagy and Spain’s volatile No.8 seed Borja Golan both meet qualifiers.
How to enter
To enter our competition, please answer the following question:
How many Canary Wharf squash titles has Nick Matthew won?
Please email your answers, with a daytime telephone number, to
Entries close at 12 noon on Wednesday March 1. Winners will be notified by telephone.
Note: Prizes are not transferable. No travel expenses will be paid. The Wharf Terms and Conditions apply.
Full tournament details: canarywharfsquash.com