9:00 am
15 Jul 2024

Matthew & Willstrop Canter Into Canary Wharf Classic Quarters

23 Mar 2010

English rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop powered through their first round matches in the ISS Canary Wharf Classic, the $52,500 PSA World Tour event being staged in front of a sell-out crowd at the spectacular East Wintergarden venue in London.

In an all-English clash, top seed Matthew, the world No2 from Sheffield, took just 34 minutes to remove qualifier Chris Ryder, the world No40 from Leamington Spa.

Matthew, who faces former world champion Thierry Lincou in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, said: "It's good to get the first one out of the way and I was feeling nice and sharp. I haven't played a tournament for three weeks and I wanted to get things right from the start.

"I played Chris in the Premier league last week so I had a good idea of what to expect. I'm looking forward to playing Thierry. He is someone I have always looked up to throughout my career."

Frenchman Lincou was made to fight by German qualifier Simon Rosner, who played exceptional squash to win the second game. Lincou, the 33-year-old former world number one from Marseille, squeezed home in a tight third game and then asserted his authority to race home 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3 after 40 minutes.

Matthew is seeded to meet fellow English powerhouse James Willstrop in the semi-finals. The 6ft 5in Yorkshireman overpowered 5ft 6in Indian No1 Saurav Ghosal 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 in 40 minutes of high-quality squash.

Willstrop did not have things all his own way as his Pontefract training partner led 7-4 in the opening game and 7-5 in the second.

Willstrop admitted: "Saurav is one of the fastest players on the world tour. He is a very difficult and frustrating opponent because he keeps getting the ball back and forces you to play a lot more shots than you would like to."

Third seed Willstrop meets fellow Englishman Daryl Selby, the world No12, in Wednesday's quarter-finals. Essex ace Selby defied jetlag to beat talented Egyptian Tarek Momen.

Selby won the Rocky Mountain Open in Calgary on Sunday and flew back to London yesterday morning.

The 27-year-old struggled to move fluently at the start of the match as Momen fired in a succession of dazzling winners to win the opening game. The score see-sawed throughout the match as Selby won the second game, producing gasps from the crowd with an audacious shot played behind his back.

The 22-year-old from Cairo asserted himself again to win the third game but Selby produced a gutsy performance to win the fourth and draw level again. Selby maintained the pressure in the fifth as Momen's touch deserted him.

1st round (top half of draw):
[1] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [Q] Chris Ryder (ENG) 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 (34m)
[6] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [Q] Simon Rosner (GER) 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3 (40m)
[3] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Saurav Ghosal (IND) 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (40m)
[8] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt Tarek Momen (EGY) 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7 (54m)