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• Canary Wharf Squash Classic • 7th to 11th March 2016 • London •  

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TODAY at the Canary Wharf Classic

Wed 25th Mar, Quarter-Finals:

[6] Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-2[3] Borja Golan (Esp)
                       11/8, 10/12, 11/7, 3/11, 14/12 (125m)
[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) 3-1  [8] Fares Dessouki (Egy)
                        11/7, 10/12, 11/7, 11/8 (77m)

[2] Peter Barker (Eng) 3-0 [7] Max Lee (Hkg)
                       11/4, 11/7, 11/8 (43m)
[4] Simon Rosner (Ger) 3-0 [5] James Willstrop (Eng)
                        11/7, 11/3, 11/3 (36m)

Rosner denies English clean sweep
in Canary Wharf quarters ...

Quarter-finals day at Canary Wharf saw three English winners as Daryl Selby, Nick Matthew and Peter Barker triumphed in highly contrasting manners, concluding with a first win in nine attempts for Simon Rosner over James Willstrop to deny an English clean sweep.

Selby survives two hour marathon
Lee Horton reports

England's Daryl Selby came through a “boxing match” to reach his first Canary Wharf semi-final last night after a monumental 125-minute 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 3-11, 14-12 dust-up against Spanish number 3 seed Borja Golan.

Referee John Massarella had to make an amazing 67 decisions, including 36 in the fifth game alone, as the two players scrapped it out in a show that wouldn’t have been out of place at Madison Square Garden.

“It probably wasn't the prettiest game tonight. But that can add to the atmosphere in a weird, boxing style kind of way,” said Selby in the understatement of the day.

Remarkably, the players enjoyed a good clean fight for the first three games but the show went south after that.

With lets and strokes peppering the proceedings, Massarella was sweating as much as the players. Whether he will pick up a well-earned bonus has not been established, but he certainly deserved it.

Golan took a 7-3 lead in the first game, but, buoyed by the home crowd, Selby worked his way back into it to take the game 11-8.

Golan was making most of the running, hitting six winners in the first game - twice as many as Selby. But the game was mostly played at Selby's slower rhythm and in trying to force the issue, the Spaniard's errors told.

He was fortunate not to find himself two games down as he saved four game balls in the second to win 12-10 - Selby making two bad, and uncharacteristic errors, on the backhand drop shot from 10-8 before Golan played two superb drops to take it in the tie-break.

Selby took the third, Golan the fourth…then all hell let rip. With more stoppages than the London underground, it wasn’t a classic, but it was memorable.

Selby wasted a huge chance with a forehand volley opening at 10-8, match ball. Golan battled back to take it into a tiebreak and held match ball himself at 11-10, but Selby stuck to his task through a succession of lets, blocks, video reviews to reach the last four for the first time after falling at the quarter-final stage five years in a row.

Matthew still on track

Nick Matthew remains on course for a fifth Canary Wharf Classic title but he was made to dig deep last night before overcoming Egyptian qualifier Fares Dessouki, despite dropping his first game at Canary Wharf since his 2013 semi-final loss to Peter Barker!

The former three-times world champion faces Essex battler Daryl Selby tomorrow and will be thankful to have got off court with his impressive record in the Docklands event intact. Selby took over two hours to win his quarter-final; Matthew escaped in 76 minutes.

Dessouki, 20, was far from fazed at playing the world number three and took the game to the Yorkshireman. He has plenty of shots in the locker and treated the sell-out crowd to his full repertoire.

Matthew kept his nose in the front during a competitive opener winning 11-7 but the kid from Alexandria is no pushover. Seven winners and few errors helped him bag the second game 12-10 in 20 minutes, and suddenly there was the whiff of an upset in the air.

The third was tight and cagey as the players shared the opening 10 points. Then Matthew turned up the gas and Dessouki’s error count went into over-drive. He clocked up six and suddenly the writing looked on the wall as Matthew bagged it 11-7 in 18 minutes.

But if Matthew, and the crowd, thought it was match over, Dessouki had other ideas. He came out banging winners from all over the court, opening up an 8-5 lead putting the reigning champion on the back foot. But champions know how to get themselves out of a bind.

A power-surge from the Yorkshireman saw him quickly gain parity and within two minutes it was all over 11-9.

Matthew was relieved to get over the line.

“He was fearless and a real handful. It was a stop-start match with very little rhythm. I have to give him credit for that. It was tough following Daryl and Borja. They were on court for over two hours so it’s hard to judge your preparation.

“I’m relatively happy with my game but I know I need to do better.”

Rosner denies English clean sweep
 
Peter Barker made it a hat-trick of English winners as the second seed beat Hong Kong's Max Lee in straight games, but Simon Rosner dashed hopes of an English clean sweep as he beat four-time champion James Willstrop in the last match of a long evening.

The fourth seeded German claimed his first PSA victory over Willstrop after eight defeats, easing through 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 with a display of controlled squash against an opponent who appeared to suffering from movement problems.

Still, Rosner was pleased with his composure and said: "I know James has been coming back from an operation but I had to concentrate all the time and I was very pleased with the way I kept my focus through all three games.

"It is so easy to switch off but I was very pleased that my error level was very low and I hope to keep that form going into the semi-finals tomorrow against Peter Barker."

 

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