Fri 28th Mar 2014, Day FIVE:
The FINAL :
 Nick Matthew (Eng)
3-0  James
11/5, 11/5, 11/5 (51m)
MATTHEW MASSACRE MAKES IT
CANARY WHARF TITLES
by Alan Thatcher
World champion Nick Matthew overwhelmed his great rival
James Willstrop to claim his fourth Canary Wharf Classic title.
Matthew's high-paced attacking game and astonishing court
coverage nullified Willstrop's best shots.
Matthew clinched an 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 victory in just 51 minutes,
the shortest final on record.
Four years ago these two players battled to a standstill in an
epic semi-final at the East Wintergarden that finished with
Willstrop collapsing with cramp after two hours and seven
More recently, Matthew beat his Yorkshire neighbour in the
National Championship final in Manchester lasting 76 minutes.
The sell-out crowd at this spectacular venue must have been
disappointed that this showdown was over so quickly, but were
spellbound by the sheer quality and intensity of Matthew's
performance. At 33, he is one of the fittest players on the PSA
World Tour and ran his rival ragged for most of the match.
Willstrop made an uncharacteristically high number of errors,
which hastened his decline. As five of his shots found their way
into the tin in the first game alone, Matthew was driving the
ball to a dying length in the back corners.
began the evening attending a photocall with fellow world
champion Laura Massaro. He ended it lifting the Canary Wharf
trophy for a fourth time to draw level with Willstrop and joked:
“I was aware before the game that James had four titles and I
had three. So we’d better come back next year to fight for the
fifth title and then both hang up our rackets together.”
He added: “I said to Laura she was going to inspire me this week
so when you say something like that you have to back it up. I’m
so proud of her.
“Me and James both got through to this final fresh and it was
one of the first time I was ready to start strong because I knew
that he was on great form.
“And maybe that worked in my favour that he’d not quite been
pushed, because he’s sometimes more dangerous when he’s had a
four-setter, because then he gets more time to practise those
“Maybe he didn’t have enough practice on those but there was
still some amazing shots, and I think it’s the best I’ve moved
all year and that really helps.
“I got my tactics right this time but he’ll get his right next
time, and it could be his turn.”
The players exchanged some dialogue as Willstrop complained
about crowd noise during the rallies. Matthew added: “Me and
James differ slightly on the noise level. It’s the more the
better for me, and James prefers less. I see his point. It’s not
like us to have two different opinions…”
After lifting the trophy in front of a batter of cameras,
Matthew turned to his opponent and said: “James, we’ll have some
battles, there’s no doubt about that. I can’t play like that
“I thought you would be used to the noise now with a young son.
I’ve got that to look forward to with our first baby due later
Willstrop countered: “I just want to correct Nick – it’s
not the noise I have a problem with, it’s the, sort of,
intermittent thing. I love the noise.
“The best venues, like Canary Wharf, like the Tournament of
Champions, have brilliant atmospheres and people getting
involved, so I’m just putting you right there, Nick.”
He added: “Congratulations to Nick. I just have to take my hat
off. I don’t know if it looks like it off the court, but I
really gave it everything tonight.
“I feel spent and I’ve tried my best, but Nick is on top form,
he’s had a great year.
“I can’t really say anything more – he’s given me a bit of a
“So I have a lot to learn and many congratulations to him. And
thanks to the crowd for turning up, I know it wasn’t a great
final, but I hope there were some decent rallies.”
Seven-time champions square up in Grand Final
With seven Canary Wharf titles between them, Nick Matthew
and James Willstrop are no strangers to finals day at
Matthew, champion in 2010, 11 and 12, enjoys a tremendous head
to head advantage over Willstrop, winner here in 2004, 07, 08
and 13, but the defending champion comes into tonight's final
having spent slightly less time on court so far.
This will be their fourth Canary Wharf meeting -
who can forget 2010's epic 127-minute semi-final - and their
52nd overall. In PSA matches Matthew not only leads 23-8, but
has won every one of the last 16 meetings, stretching back to
Willstrop's victory in the 2007 English Open.