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

 TODAY at the Canary Wharf Squash Classic 2016

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Tue 8th Mar, Day FOUR, Round One (Bottom):
Quarter-Finalists decided
The main draw of the 13th Canary Wharf Classic started on Monday at the spectacular East Wintergarden venue, with Omar Mosaad, Daryl Selby, Borja Golan and Fares Dessouki booking their quarter-final places.

Round One (bottom half):

[6] Cameron Pilley (Aus) 3-0 [Q] Mohamed Reda (Egy)
           11/8, 11/6, 11/6 (51m)

[2] Simon Rosner (Ger)  3-0 [Q] Charles Sharpes (Eng)
           11/6, 11/6, 11/6 (32m)

[3] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 3-0 [Q] Joe Lee (Eng)
           11/5, 11/8, 11/5 (48m)

[5] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-0 Paul Coll (Nzl)
           14/12, 12/10, 11/8 (58m)    watch Paul's Double Dive

Seeds progress in straight games
in bottom half of the draw ...

Former finalists Cameron Pilley and Simon Rosner set up an enticing quarter-final meeting as they beat Mohamed Reda and Charles Sharpes in straight games in the opening matches of the second day's play at East Wintergarden.

France's Mathieu Castagnet also won in straight games against Joe Lee, and he'll meet another English opponent after four-time champion James Willstrop finished the round off by winning three close games against rising Kiwi Paul Coll.

So that's seven of the eight seeds through to the quarter-finals, should be another exciting night tomorrow ...


LATEST Interview:
11 Points with Paul Coll

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He put me under a lot of pressure, and I haven’t been on that glass for a long time. I haven’t played at the level of squash, at that speed, and I need to get used to it again.

And I also need to improve my fitness, the game has gone faster in the past two years. Plus he played an amazing squash.

I have learned a lot from this match, and I am going to go back to Egypt and work even harder…

[6] Cameron Pilley (Aus) 3-0 [Q] Mohamed Reda (Egy)
           11/8, 11/6, 11/6 (51m)

Pilley prevails in High Quality match
Fram reports

It was a pleasure to watch those two on court tonight. Very accurate squash coming from their racquets, not a word spoken to the ref, fluid, fair, fast paced and attacking squash: extremely pleasant indeed…

Immaculate squash from Cameron really, 3 unforced errors for the Australian – while Mohamed Ali seemed to make a few from the middle of each game : 4 in the first game, 5 in the second and 3 in the last one.

First game was the closest, 19m, 5.5, 6.6, 7/7, but Cameron finding his groove at the end, 11/8. A bit the same story in the second, 4/4, but again a few errors that allow the Australian to soar 10/5, 11/6.

The third, too good of a squash for Cameron, 10/4, 11/6, despite a great big push from the Egyptian at the end of the game….

I feel that our Australian is just extremely relaxed on this tournament, he is confident, moving very well, and I think he could be dangerous indeed…

"It has been a few years since I last played here. I made the final in 2008, came back the year after, and this is my first time back since then. It's good to be back.

"Me and Reda haven't played since 2011 and I watched that match in preparation because I won then and I needed a bit of confidence!! It was a pretty high paced match, he made a few errors and gifted me a few cheap points at the ends of the games, but it was a good match and I'm happy to get off three-love in that one.

"There aren't too many tournaments that are sold out from the first round like this tournament. Maybe only a couple of tournaments like the Grasshopper come close.

"I'm 34 this year and touch wood I've not had too many injuries and the body has been keeping well over the past few years. I must be doing something right. I'm very happy with how things are going and I just have to keep it going."

[2] Simon Rosner (Ger)  3-0 [Q] Charles Sharpes (Eng)
           11/6, 11/6, 11/6 (32m)

Rosner subdues quiet Charles
Fram reports

How pleasant it is when Charles is focusing on his accuracy and let the talking aside!!! He was pretty sharp today, took the game to his attacking opponent, and stayed with him the whole first two games.

Simon took excellent starts in the first two games, 3/0, 6/2 in the first game, 4/0 8/3 in the second. The end of each game were pretty intense, and the score doesn’t tell the whole story really.

11 m each, with a good last push from Charles in the 3rd, down 10/2 match ball, he found some lovely attacks but lost the match on a reviewed (and justified) no let….

Very pleasant indeed…

It's never easy, even when you are leading 10-2 you have to keep going. He played some good shots and was coming back in the third so I'm happy to get through.

You have to enjoy playing in places like this - it's a great opportunity to experience a great venue and if you enjoy it you play your best squash.

Good to get off with a 3-0 win obviously - there are a few tough opponents waiting so it was important to get off and save as much energy as possible.

There's a lot of tough competitors here so it will be a tough week. Yes, a lot of Egyptians in the draw this year, but thanks with Mr Pilley, I don’t have anymore in my half!

It was the first time playing him, and it’s takes some getting used to, his size plus he takes the ball so early!
I don’t have much experience on the glass, but I enjoyed it out there.

I think I need to push up the court more, take his time away from him, it’s hard to do, getting a bit more my comfort zone, but I think I would see the dividends.

It’s a bit of a busy period for us, Wimbledon next week, 25k, then the British, then Grasshopper and Dublin!

My short term, very short term target is reaching top 50, I have been as high as 51, so hopefully I should reach that one soon. But what I’m really trying to achieve now is to qualify for the big events, I lost in too many qualifying finals… I’m 24, now is the time really….


I think this is a few more lessons learned…

I know I’m capable of playing at the level and beyond, but it’s a good stepping stone to where I want to go.

But in training, the ball doesn’t keep coming back…. I think I was in it 2/3 of every game….

[3] Mathieu Castagnet (Fra) 3-0 [Q] Joe Lee (Eng)
           11/5, 11/8, 11/5 (48m)

What it takes to win a point from Mathieu is a lot…
Fram reports

“I’m glad I took the 2nd” giggled Mathieu as we walked into the PressRoom/ChangingRoom/RefsRoom at the side the court. “He is such a fighter, I’m happy I win that one in three”….

Yes. My compatriot took the first game rather comfortably score wise, but it was still hard work though, 15m for 11/5, and forcing, literally forcing the errors out of his opponent in the middle of the game, three in a row, at the back of extremely long and intense rallies with each tin echoing the “ohhhhh” from the disappointed crowd….

The second is crucial: Joe is ahead, not much, but he is ahead. And I can see my Mathieu getting tired – yes, I swear he does get tired sometimes. First a tin – the first of the match, at 5/4, then a little argument – as in questioning a pickup, chatting a bit, completely uncharacteristic out of him.

Joe is ahead now, and it’s feeling that we could have a little of an upset. Mathieu has been having a very heavy schedule, first the French Nationals, off to Chicago, back to Paris, then off to the French League in Mulhouse, and zoom back here. I can feel that Mathieu is feeling the danger and at 8/5 down, he put a bit of petrol in the tank, and zooooom he claws back, one point at a time, to win the game, 11/8, having forced out of Joe 9 unforced errors in two games…

If Joe looks a bit out of source at 5/2 down in the 3rd, all credit to him, he keeps playing the immaculate and brilliant squash he’s been playing on this tournament, patient, attacking, accurate, fair, moving fast and smooth. He comes back to 5/5, but Mathieu is collecting the dividends of the hard work he forced on Joe in the first two games, and it’s 11/5 in 12m for a Mathieu extremely relieved he didn’t have to play a fourth…

Joe will have to be pleased with this match. He played out of his skin, and showed how fit and mentally strong he now is… Well done. More to come from him I’m sure…

Joe is a very good player and a very tough fighter. We had a few battles in the past, he never gives up and he made it a bit of a nightmare tonight - especially in front of this English crowd. Hopefully they will get behind me now for the rest of the tournament - but it wasn't easy at all.

I will play either Paul or James in next round but both will be very difficult - all the players here are top players so it is going to be a tough tournament. James is my team mate in Mulhouse, and a very fair player indeed, I think I am one as well!

The dive - the 4th again Daryl was very important. I was tired and he's so good in the 5th, I was just trying to pick up all the shots and get the 4th game so he couldn't go into a fifth game, because he has won so many matches from 2/0. There were 10 millions people that watch that video, so I start to wonder if it’s better to do that dive, or being world Champion!!!

[5] James Willstrop (Eng) 3-0 Paul Coll (Nzl)
           14/12, 12/10, 11/8 (58m)

Willstrop survives Coll onslaught
Alan Thatcher reports

James Willstrop, a former world number one and a four-times champion of the Canary Wharf Classic, was a very relieved man after withstanding a ferocious onslaught from New Zealander Paul Coll in the first round tonight.

The 22-year-old Coll, based in Amsterdam, is one of the fittest and fastest players the game has ever seen.

Willstrop, a giant of an athlete at 6ft 4in tall, weathered the storm to win 14-12, 12-10, 11-8 as both players served up spectacular entertainment in front of a sell-out crowd at the East Wintergarden venue.

Willstrop, the number five seed this year, repeatedly found his best shots coming back as Coll raced around the court, with the first game alone lasting 26 minutes.

The New Zealander came desperately close in the first two games but the 33-year-old Englishman used his vast experience to contain his opponent and win the vital points when it mattered.

Willstrop had more of a cushion in the third thanks to tight and disciplined shot selection, and he joined the applause as the audience gave Coll a huge ovation at the end of the match.

It's a cliché but there aren't easy matches. You can play anyone inside the top fifty and it's brutal squash - he pushed me very hard.

I didn't know how I was going to get the ball to slow down and even when I did he was still getting everything - he had some excellent retrieving and I think we'll all be seeing more of him in future.

He just doesn’t stop running does he… He. Just. Doesn’t. Stop. You can play all the squash you want, if he keeps getting everything back… Squash wise, I thought I could move him around, but I tried and broke him down, I just couldn’t. Except at the very last bit. Mind you, it’s a good blow out… As you’ve heard in the beginning, I’m coughing my lungs out…

I will never forget what he did - it could be as big as Castagnet's dive. If we keep delivering action like that and we can't get into the Olympics then what can we do.

He played such a tight squash, I’m not used to play that kind of tight squash, I mean, normally I can counterattack, but because his shots were so tight, I just couldn’t in the first game, I was trying to drag him forward…

My game plan was to stay in front of him and play fast. I have a tendency to play frantic squash, so I try and control the ball a bit more, but it’s all a question of finding the balance between controlling the ball and still playing fast without the frantic side to it…

To be honest, I’m really gutted about it all, I’m going to go and watch the match now, trying to see what I could have done better, at the moment it’s still fresh. And I hope I’m going to get a win soon, because it’s tough keeping losing like that…

Paul Coll's Dives !!!

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