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16 Apr 2024

Walker Steps In For Injured Abbas In ISS Canary Wharf Classic

7 Mar 2008

Egyptian squash star Mohammed Abbas has withdrawn from next week's ISS Canary Wharf Classic in London because of an injury sustained this week in the USA.

The world No13 from Giza twisted his ankle playing former Canary Wharf champion Thierry Lincou in the Players Cup in Boston.

The Egyptian's withdrawal means that Renan Lavigne moves to fill the fifth seed's slot in the draw - which is great news for Lavigne, who now faces a qualifier instead of fellow Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the top seed.

England's Alister Walker, the world No32 from Leeds, comes directly into the main draw to tackle Gaultier in the first round of the 5-star PSA Tour event on Tuesday.

"It's a great shame that Abbas has had to withdraw," said Tournament Director Tim Garner. "He delayed his decision for a day but the injury was clearly not responding to treatment and he reluctantly had no choice but to pull out.

"However, I am sure that Renan Lavigne will be mightily pleased - as will Alister Walker, who is now spared the effort of qualifying and is sure to receive tremendous support from the crowd when he steps on court against Gaultier."

Englishman James Willstrop is expected to meet Gaultier in next Friday's final. The 24-year-old Yorkshireman, who retained his British National Championship title last month, is enjoying his best ever run on the PSA Tour having reached his fourth successive Tour final last week in the US state of Virginia, where he won the Davenport Professional Championship, his third Tour title in three months.

Qualifying for the Canary Wharf Classic takes place at Wimbledon Health and Rackets Club tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday, with the Main Draw action at East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, starting on Monday.

1st round draw:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Alister Walker (ENG)
[8] Renan Lavigne (FRA) v Qualifier
[4] Peter Barker (ENG) v Daryl Selby (ENG)
[7] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v Davide Bianchetti (ITA)
[5] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v Joey Barrington (ENG)
[3] Lee Beachill (ENG) v Qualifier
[6] Alex Gough (WAL) v Qualifier
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) v Qualifier