Barker survives first-round scare at Canary Wharf Squash Classic
Peter Barker survived a real scare to come from a game down against unseeded Daryl Selby and reach the second round of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic
Peter Barker survived a real scare to come from a game down against unseeded Daryl Selby and reach the second round of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic at East Wintergarden on Tuesday.
East London ace Barker, from Limehouse, dropped the opening game to qualifier Selby but battled back to triumph 11-13, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9 in a 92-minute marathon - the longest match in the tournament's six-year history.
Eighth-seed Barker (right) was scheduled to meet world No 3 Gregory Gaultier in the second round last night after both players avoided opening-round upsets at East Wintergarden.
Gaultier defeated last year's finalist Cameron Piley, from Australia, 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9 in 70 minutes to maintain the impressive form that saw him retain his Super Series title at Queen's club last week.
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Top seed Amr Shabana also progressed to the second round with an easy 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 win over Italian qualifier Davide Bianchetti, but former world champion Thierry Lincou crashed out crashed out as Spanish outsider Borja Golan recorded an astonishing 9-11, 4-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 victory in the tournament's opening match.
England No 1 Nick Matthew also fell at the first hurdle on a day of stunning upsets as world junior champion Mohamed El Shorbagy saved a match ball in the fourth game before claiming the biggest scalp of his career to earn a place in the quarter-finals against compatriot Shabana.
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Meanwhile, pupils from Mayflower Primary School, Poplar were invited to East Wintergarden on Tuesday to attend a training session with event organiser and former world No 1 Peter Nicol.
The youngsters were put through their paces in a one-hour masterclass by Nicol before watching the best of the first-round action at the tournament as England Squash bids to attract a new generation of followers to the game.
"Being able to ally this great event with a really positive grassroots initiative makes it all the more worthwhile," Nicol said.