English veteran is top seed at East Wintergarden in March
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
Three-time World Champion Nick Matthew will be aiming to make it six of the best when he returns to the 2017 Canary Wharf Squash Classic as the top seed in a draw that will see players from 10 countries come together to compete for the PSA M70 title in London’s stunning East Wintergarden venue from March 6-10.
The 36-year-old World No.4 will be aiming to add to his glittering haul of silverware – which includes three British Opens, three World Championships and two Commonwealth Games Singles Gold Medals – when the 14th edition of the Canary Wharf Classic gets under way. He will be going flat out to regain the crown he last won in 2015 by defeating Germany’s Simon Rösner, this year’s number four seed.
Matthew will be seeded to meet World No.6 Marwan ElShorbagy in the finale, with the 23-year-old number two seed leading a trio of Egyptian stars alongside Fares Dessouky and 2016 runner-up Omar Mosaad – the hard-hitting ‘Hammer of Thor’.
After downing Mosaad 3-1 to claim the 2016 title, the biggest of his career last year, Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet returns to defend the championship crown as the number six seed.
There will be big Antipodean interest in the sell-out tournament as well with 2008 runner-up Cameron Pilley, the 2016 World Series Final runner-up, and the in-from Ryan Cuskelly flying the Australian flag.
New Zealander Paul Coll will be making a popular return after announcing his arrival on the big stage in a dramatic encounter with James Willstrop at the East Wintergarden last year.
In one stupendous rally, Coll dived across the court three times to win the point, with the video highlight of that rally attracting millions of hits online and fully encompassing the drama, skill and athleticism of squash at the highest level.
Coll powered his way into the world top 20 after winning the Channel VAS Open at Weybridge in December and he began 2017 in fine style by reaching his first World Series quarter-final in New York so will be a dark horse for the title.
Veteran duo Daryl Selby, the popular number seven seed, and passionate Spaniard star Borja Golan, number eight seed, complete the list of seeded players, while Lyell Fuller will hope to impress as the tournament wild card.
2017 Canary Wharf Classic – Confirmed Entrants
#1 Nick Matthew (ENG)
#2 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
#3 Omar Mosaad (EGY)
#4 Simon Rösner (GER)
#5 Fares Dessouky (EGY)
#6 Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
#7 Daryl Selby (ENG)
#8 Borja Golan (ESP)
#9 Cameron Pilley (AUS)
#10 Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
#11 Paul Coll (NZL)
WC Lyell Fuller (ENG)