Lobban and Parker head for Canary Wharf
By ALAN THATCHER
Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad has withdrawn from the Canary Wharf Classic after having close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Peru’s Diego Elias, the recent Qatar Classic champion, takes over Gawad’s position as the No.4 seed and will receive a bye into round two.
Meanwhile, Frenchman Gregoire Marche moves up to the No.8 seeded position and also receives a bye.
World No.37 George Parker enters the draw and will take on fellow Englishman Daryl Selby, who will make his Canary Wharf Classic farewell before a passionate home crowd at his favourite tournament.
Earlier today, Mexico’s World No. 39 Cesar Salazar of Mexico withdrew from the upcoming tournament due to injury.
Replacing the Mexican in the main draw will be Scottish No.1 Greg Lobban. In what will be Lobban’s fifth Canary Wharf Classic, he will face 9/16 seed Saurav Ghosal from India in the first round.
The pair have met five times on the PSA World Tour, with Ghosal leading the head-to-head 4-1. But the last victory went to Lobban in the Macau Open in 2019, 3-1.
Earlier in the week, Canary Wharf fans were delighted to see tournament favourite James Willstrop, a four-times champion, enter the draw following the withdrawal of Marwan ElShorbagy following a suspension from the PSA.
Willstrop faces a fascinating first round battle with Mohamed Adouelghar in a match that will be a classic for purists who will look forward to seeing two of the game’s most stylish and skilful players trying to outwit each other.
The PSA World Tour Gold event starts on Sunday with eight first round matches at the superb East Wintergarden venue.
All of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV while the semi-finals and final will be shown live by PSA’s broadcast partners.