Rivals on course for final showdown
PUBLISHED: 11:27 14 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:27 14 February 2014
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Canary Wharf Classic draw revealed
Fierce rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop are seeded to meet in the final of next month’s sold-out Canary Wharf Classic.
The two English stars have dominated London’s most popular squash tournament, with reigning champion Willstrop claiming four titles and Matthew three.
This PSA World Tour International 50 event takes place at the stunning East Wintergarden venue from March 24-28 and the prospect of another high-quality all-English showdown resulted in every ticket being snapped up eight weeks in advance.
However, Matthew and Willstrop face a number of daunting obstacles in every round, with a strong international field lying in wait.
In the top half of the draw, Matthew faces Scottish wild card Alan Clyne in the first round, with the winner facing an Egyptian after world No.13 Omar Mosaad was drawn against compatriot Karim Abdel Gawad.
Matthew began the month as joint world number one with French ace Gregory Gaultier, but his triumph over Ramy Ashour in Sunday’s Swedish Open final, following victory over Gaultier in the semi-finals, means he will be undisputed number one in the March rankings.
Karim Darwish is another celebrated Egyptian making his debut appearance at Canary Wharf and faces a qualifier in the first round, with a mouthwatering second round clash in prospect against either Londoner Adrian Grant or the hugely popular Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez.
The world No.14 is one of the most agile and athletic players on the PSA Tour.
There is a strong domestic presence in the bottom half of the draw, with Willstrop and world No.10 Daryl Selby both meeting qualifiers in the first round before a scheduled clash in the quarter-finals.
No.3 seed Peter Barker, the world No.7 from Essex, faces a difficult first round tie against Indian No.1 Saurav Ghosal, one of the quickest players in the game, before a seeded quarter-final clash with Germany’s Simon Rosner. The tall world No.11 faces a qualifier in the first round.
Fixtures – first round, Monday March 24: 5.30pm: (8) Miguel Angel Rodriguez (Col) v Adrian Grant (Eng); 6.15pm: (4) Karim Darwish (Egy) v Qualifier; 8.15pm: (1) Nick Matthew (Eng) v Alan Clyne (Sco); 9.00pm: (7) Omar Mosaad (Egy) v Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy).
Tuesday March 25: 5.30pm: (5) Daryl Selby (Eng) v Qualifier; 6.15pm: (2) James Willstrop (Eng) v Qualifier; 8.15pm: (3) Peter Barker (Eng) v Saurav Ghosal (Ind); 9.00pm: (6) Simon Rosner (Ger) v Qualifier.