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

 TODAY at the Canary Wharf Squash Classic 2016

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Mon 7h Mar, Day THREE, Round One (Top):
On to East Wintergarden
Qualifying concluded at Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club yesterday, with the final four places in the first round at the spectacular East Wintergarden venue taken up by one Egyptian and three English  qualifiers.

Tonight it's the top half of the main draw ...

Round One (top half):            match scoresheets

[7] Daryl Selby
(Eng) 3-1 [Q] Declan James (Eng) 
              8/11, 11/3, 11/9, 11/4 (51m)

Fares Dessouki (Egy) 3-2 [4] Marwan Elshorbagy (Egy)
             4/11, 11/5, 11/7, 9/11, 11/8 (80m)

[1] Omar Mosaad
(Egy) 3-1 Chris Simpson (Eng)
           13/11, 11/5, 9/11, 11/7 (72m)

[8] Borja Golan
(Esp) 3-0 [wc] Ben Coleman (Eng)
            11/4, 12/10, 11/2 (44m)

Seven up for Selby as Dessouki stuns Shorbagy,

The first match saw Daryl Selby recover from a clip to the nose during the first rally, and a first game loss to qualifier Declan James.

The seventh seed, a Canary Wharf veteran, took the next three games to reach the quarter-finals for the seventh year in a row.

Then it was an all-Egyptian battle between fourth seed Marwan Elshorbagy and Fares Dessouki, with Dessouki prevailing in five tempestuous games to create the first upset.

More Egyptian success followed as top seed Omar Mosaad held off a determined chllenge from Guernsey's Chris Simpson in four games.

Ben Coleman earned the wildcard spot in last year's shootout, and his reward was a match against Spanish eight seed Borja Golan. The young Englishman acquited himself well, having a game ball in the second, before Golan pulled away in the third.


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[7] Daryl Selby (Eng) 3-1 [Q] Declan James (Eng) 
              8/11, 11/3, 11/9, 11/4 (51m)

Daryl’s experience does the talking
Fram reports

It started strangely, as within three shots, Declan hit Daryl on the nose, nothing bad, but a little clip, and hop, bleeding! That was our break gone, thanks guys! Ten Fifteen minutes went and Daryl got back with a black/orange plaster in the nose, nicely matching his lovely orange/glowing in the dark/stop the traffic outfit/shoes….

The second rally was the longest of the match, went for a bit. “After a break, we like to have an extended rally” smiled Daryl at the end, “that was extended alright”…

And the first game was really a good start for the young contender, 5/1, 6/2, but picking up the pace, Daryl pushed back to 8/8. Still, it’s Declan that finds his shots at the end of the game, scoring the next three, 11/8…

The second is all about Daryl, just too accurate, and Declan probably paying the price for the hard work produced, 8/1, 9/2, 11/3 in 10m.

The third was the best game of the match, with Declan having relaxed a bit and finding some lovely shots, staying in nice long rallies. 3/0 he goes, but the rest of the game is pretty close, 3/3, 4/4, 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. A let that becomes a stroke for Daryl after review and a “silly shot”, far too early, tin for Declan, 11/9 Darly, who’ll control the last game completely, Declan going too short too early…

"The second was over quickly, so I knew I had to reset the game and start the 3rd like if it was 0/0 in the first. I played much better and it was pretty close. At the end, I saw an opening, and I took it, maybe I should have been more patient, but I took that decision…

"In the fourth, he lifted the pace, his experience made the difference, but overall, I am happy with a way I played, maybe a couple of things I could have done better… But yes, happy overall …"

"That was a very tough start to the week. I knew it would be tough because he came through qualifying with two solid performances and he showed that he wasn't intimidated by the glass court.

"He's one of the young up and coming English players - he's got great reach and he punished me when I was loose. He played well and took the match to me and he deserved the game he got.

"Having a break like that so early was a big comedown. There's a lot of adrenaline spikes before a match and I think we both really needed a long rally to get the blood flowing again.

"I've tried that shot [between the lege winner into the nick!]about 50 times especially against Nick as he plays down the middle against me a lot, and I've clipped the tin so many times. I would have loved to have played it against Nick just to see the look on his face but it is nice for it go up.

"We all play with a smile on our faces and I like to improvise and not play the same shots all the time. I get my inspiration by playing different shots like that.

I'm really enjoying the court here and my nicks are going well….

It was a tough match, I’ve been struggling for the past months, I’ve been losing in the first rounds of my last events, and I think it’s my first win of the year. It was a very tough match mentally.

We were both a bit nervous, I was nervous in the first game, and then, he got nervous in the second, but it was a high quality squash, high quality match.

Marwan is a very good player, he is very smart on court, I had to be focused and play at a high pace.

He is top ten, playing great squash and causing trouble for the top guys too!

I’m really happy to be back and to have my game again…

Fares Dessouki (Egy) 3-2 [4] Marwan Elshorbagy (Egy)
               4/11, 11/5, 11/7, 9/11, 11/8 (80m)

Fares through in all-Egyptian battle
Fram reports

No. This will not stay as a classic…

First of all, as you may know, we are trialling having only one ref – no marker – and one video ref. I must say for this first hard match, it had a few problems … I guess the refs need to get used to it?

From the start the atmosphere between the two players – both from Alexandria – was not the most relaxed. I feel that Marwan was still tired – he was at the end of a long road of matches when we spoke in Chicago after his loss against Miguel and didn’t really enjoyed being back on court that quickly.

On the other side of the ring – that what it felt like a bit – Fares, having had a terrible start of the year, losing his way/squash, with I feel its lowest point in Chicago, a terrible match against Diego that I personally hated from the start to the end.

Marwan didn’t want to lose. But Fares wanted to win. Desperately.

Marwan didn’t feel comfortable the whole match I thought. Extremely nervous, argumentative, discussing far too much with the referee, he was not in the match I felt. Fares running straight into him a few times didn’t help the friendship to develop, and I lost the plot of why lets, no lets or strokes were given. It was a bit of a messy stop start in patches, but then again, some excellent patches as well, with lovely shots and good attacking squash..

First game went quickly to Marwan, the second quickly to Fares, who dominated the start of the 3rd too, 7/1, 8.3. Both players were warned to give access and go to the ball. It helped a bit.. Fares is on top, 11/7, leading 2/1.

But Marwan digs in, 6/3, 7/4, Fares coming back strongly at the end of the game, 8/8, 9/9. A no let and crosscourt later, we are in a decider, dominated by Marwan, 7/4 again. So many lets later, we are back at 7/7, 8/8.

But with the hunger that comes from being 21, having something to prove to the world but mostly to oneself, Fares scores 4 points from 7/8 to 11/8.

Marwan slapping his opponent’s hand exits the court. The crowd doesn’t like it. But a very emotional Fares doesn’t hear anything. He falls on the floor, just laying there, emotions overflowing.

[1] Omar Mosaad (Egy) 3-1 Chris Simpson (Eng)
           13/11, 11/5, 9/11, 11/7 (72m)

Mosaad holds off Simpson challenge

Top seed Omar Mosaad had to fight off jetlag and a very determined opponent in Chris Simpson to reach the quarter-finals of the Canary Wharf Squash Classic.

Mosaad arrived in London from Chicago two days ago after reaching the semi-finals of the Windy City Open and Simpson, the 28-year-old world No.22 from Harrogate, was trying to catch him cold.

Simpson worked hard to contain Mosaad’s phenomenal pace and was ahead all the way through the first game.

He reached game ball at 10-8 but the 6ft 4in Egyptian finished strongly to steal the game 13-11.

Mosaad dominated the second to win it 11-5 but he fell off the pace in the third game as Simpson took control. He built a 7-3 lead and although Mosaad fought back to level at 8-8 and 9-9, it was Simpson who took the last two points.

The tall Egyptian found his length again in the fourth game and earned a round of applause after sportingly conceding a point when Simpson’s ball was wrongly called down.

Mosaad advanced from 6-3 to 9-4 and although Simpson produced a determined resistance, Mosaad delivered those precious closing points to book a quarter-final place against Daryl Selby.

"Of course I'm very happy to win today - I came here from Chicago a few days ago and I am feeling a little tired so I am happy to come through.

"Chris played very well today, especially in the first and third games.

"He is a hard player. I need to get through as easy as I can to save energy from Chicago and I tried hard to push so I'm really pleased to win and reach the quarter-finals for the second time."

"To be honest, I’ve been feeling good today like I have been feeling good for most of my PSA matches for the last 6 months.

I feel I’m actually getting closer, without actually winning. It’s because players like Omar are classy players, and they have that little extra in their game. And I’m trying to add that little extra in my game…

"It was a very clean game, that ball at the end, I thought it was 100% up, and he thought it was 100%, but still he gave a let. That’s really a great sporting gesture, showing the classy player he is, especially as it was at a crucial time of the match.

"I haven’t been playing in Canary Warf for a few years, and I must say I love the intimate atmosphere, and I was really touched to have the crowd supporting me, although I’m not from London.. I really appreciated it."

[8] Borja Golan (Esp) 3-0 [wc] Ben Coleman (Eng)
            11/4, 12/10, 11/2 (44m)

Golan beats wildcard Coleman
Alan Thatcher reports

Borja Golan overcame wild card Ben Coleman in straight games, but he was at pains to point out that it was anything but easy against a young Englishman with four more tournament wins this season.

Golan is a great pressure player, and he appeared to break Coleman’s spirit with a strong recovery in the second game when he trailed 7-4 and was game ball down at 10-9.

Coleman may regret asking for a review of a let decision, which was upheld, and the time that elapsed possibly caused the ball to cool down.

If that was the case, it worked in Golan’s favour as he drew level with a tight boast that Coleman was unable to reach.

Golan powered through the third and reached match ball at 10-1 before Coleman claimed a consolation point.

Golan now meets a fired-up Fares Dessouki in the quarter-finals, and knows he will have to play exceptionally well to advance beyond that stage for a first time in five attempts.

"Ben is improving a lot and he was playing at home in front of a home crowd which give you extra motivation.

"The first match of a tournament if always difficult for every player but overall I thought it was a good match. He made second game especially very difficult.

"I think I dealt with it well mentally and had a good lead early in the third so I'm really happy to win 3-0 in the first round.
"Every year here the draw is difficult - I have been coming here for many years and I have never reached the semi-finals. Hopefully I can make that happen this year and keep playing well throughout the week.

"I have a day off now so I'll look forward to coming back for the quarters on Wednesday."


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