Today 2010

• ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic • 21st to 25th March 2011 • London •  

 

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TODAY at the Canary Wharf Classic ... THE FINAL

[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
        12/10, 6/11, 13/11, 11/3 (69m)

LEGENDS: Simon Parke bt Peter Nicol 11/8, 9/11, 11/7

Parky wins Legends challenge

Peter Nicol's unbeaten record in the Legends Tour came to a halt in the London launch as Simon Parke prevailed 2/1 in a thoroughly entertaining encounter which served as rthe ideal warmup for tonight's Grand Final.

[1] Nick Matthew (Eng) bt [2] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
        12/10, 6/11, 13/11, 11/3 (69m)

Mighty Matthew Nicks
first Canary Wharf title

By ALAN THATCHER

Top seed Nick Matthew won his first ISS Canary Wharf Classic title by overpowering Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in tonight’s final.

The 69-minute victory crowned a magnificent week for the 29-year-old world No.2 from Sheffield, who was kept on court for more than two hours in his semi-final battle with fellow Yorkshireman James Willstrop the previous evening.

Matthew showed few signs of fatigue following one of the most epic battles in squash history and it was Gaultier who blamed tiredness for letting slip a 6-2 lead in the third game.

Gaultier was still ahead at 9-6 but was unable to convert that lead as Matthew forced the second tiebreak of the match, finally clinching it 13-11 after Gaultier held game ball at 11-10.

Matthew then ran out an easy 11-3 winner in the final game as Gaultier’s challenge wilted.

Earlier, Matthew had won the crucial opening game 12-10, despite Gaultier holding game ball at 10-9.

The Frenchman, who topped the world rankings in November, responded in stunning style, racing to a 5-0 lead and winning the game comfortably by an 11-6 margin.

He continued the attack in the third game but was unable to maintain his control as Matthew mounted a phenomenal physical response to clinch the title and continue his quest for the world No.1 slot.



"It's a bit of a miracle I pitched up today, lots of thanks to Sylvan, a 20 minute session today turned into to two hours as he found one sore point, then another, then another and fixed them all up.

"I got a bit lucky today, Greg could easily have won 3/0 but I won some big points at the crucial stages.

"If there's two tie-breaks in a match you sort of expect them to go one each. I was feeling and playing better at the end and it may have been preying on his mind that he could have won 3/0."

"Congratulations to Nick, I was a bit unlucky to miss out on game balls in the first and third, but he stuck in well, and he's big too!

"I'm happy to be almost back to my best after some good training and I'm enjoying playing now.

"I hope Nick gets to number one soon, before I get back up there!"



Matthew answers the question

"So who's going to win" was a much-asked question before the start of the seventh Canary Wharf Classic final. Conventional wisdom had it that had they started on equal terms Nick Matthew would be favourite, but how would he be physically after that mammoth semi-final?

As for Gregory Gaultier, while he had been much-improved over his recent form so far this week, and at his best he should surely be too good for a less than 100% opponent, it was a question of whether he could keep the fragility he has shown at bay if placed under severe pressure.

So no definitive answers there, and no clues in the first game either as they traded points to 7-all. Gaultier was the first to get a 2-point lead at 9-7, but Matthew levelled to 9-all. Gaultier was first to get game ball but then Matthew was the first to score three points in a row, taking the game as Gaultier tinned.

The Frenchman visibly upped the pace in the second, opened out to 5/0, and soon enough levelled the match.

He continued in the same vein in the third, looking calm, assured, and the likely winner as he went 4/1 then 6/3 up. But Matthew wasn't going to let it go, as much as his body might have been wanting his brain to. Playing with the power, accuracy and court control we've grown accustomed to, he worked his way back, levelling at 9-all, earned a game ball which Gaultier saved with a sweeping crosscourt.

The Frenchman smashed away a winner to go 11-10 then was seriously unhappy when his ball was called out on the next point. He was unhappy from there to the end of the game, disputing two more incidents then flinging his racket into the corner after tinning to give Matthew the lead.

He was never really in the fourth, quickly going 4/0 and 7/1 down, tinning three service returns along the way. Matthew wasn't doing anything special, he didn't need to, but he never let up, never let his opponent get the impression he might be able to get back into it, and soon enough was the new Canary Wharf Classic champion.

SEMIS ] QUARTERS ] Day TWO ] Day ONE ] Qualifying ]

Today 2010

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