Annual rush as fans clamour for tickets to London’s top tournament
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
The Canary Wharf Squash Classic is one of the most popular squash tournaments in the world, and also has a reputation for innovation in the sport.
For the 2018 edition, matches in the early rounds will be played to a best-of-three-games format, with the semi-finals and final best of five.
This system has been successfully trialled at the PSA World Series Finals in Dubai and has proved popular among players and spectators alike.
The 2018 edition of the Canary Wharf Classic takes place from March 5-9, with 70,000 dollars of prize money up for grabs, and the PSA confirmed this week that the event will be the first ranking World Tour event to be played using a best-of-three games format.
This follows a number of innovations at the tournament down the years. One major breakthrough for the sport followed the installation of a jumbo screen inside the spectacular East Wintergarden venue by host sponsors Canary Wharf Group, which allowed the tournament to trial video reviews for referees.
The event has sold out for the past six years and organisers expect another rush for tickets when they go on sale to the public at 10am on Friday October 6.
Tournament director Tim Garner is convinced the new format will provide more entertaining matches. He said: “Throughout our 15-year history the Canary Wharf Classic has embraced new technology and developments, forging a reputation as one of the most innovative events on the PSA World Tour.
“The best-of-three format brings a new dynamic to the sport and the crowd at the East Wintergarden, who are among the best in the world, will be treated to another instalment of world class squash in 2018, when the skill and drama on show will be greater than ever before.
“As the sport has grown more competitive, and with the introduction of video reviews, the matches have got longer and longer, making it almost impossible to play four matches in an evening session whilst at the same time making in an enjoyable consumer experience.
“Despite being sold out, every year we witness empty seats for the first and last matches as people can’t get there from work or need to catch last train home, respectively. We think this new format for the first three days will enable everyone to watch and enjoy the matches they have come to see!”
PSA Chief Operating Officer Lee Beachill said: “The best-of-three scoring system has featured in the season-ending World Series Finals for the past few years and has contributed to what have been some of the most intense and exciting matches of recent seasons.
“Every point matters under the shorter format, a scenario that increases the intensity of the match from the opening exchange and as a sport it would be foolish not to explore the wider opportunities this format could bring to an event.
“For fans it will deliver a more intense viewing experience – which matches played at a higher, more explosive pace – while best-of-three matches also allow players greater recovery time between matches, essential for them to perform at their best day-in, day-out.
“We are excited to see how the format will work in practice during the Canary Wharf Classic.”
Tickets for the 2018 Canary Wharf Classic are on sale now and can be purchased here: www.cwsquash.com/tickets.htm
Canary Wharf Classic partners with AS Insurance Services
Yorkshire-based insurance broker AS Insurance Services Ltd have become an official partner of the 2018 Canary Wharf Classic, PSA M70 tournament, which will take place in London’s stunning East Wintergarden between March 5-9, 2018.
AS Insurance Services Ltd are an award-winning insurance broker with a strong and loyal customer base throughout the United Kingdom and join an extensive portfolio of partners ahead of what will be the 15th edition of the Canary Wharf Classic, one of the best known and highly-anticipated tournaments on the PSA World Tour calendar.
The partnership will see AS Insurance Services Ltd branding included on court, while they will also have a presence onsite at East Wintergarden throughout the tournament.
“We are delighted to have AS Insurance Services Ltd join us as partners for the next instalment of the Canary Wharf Classic,” said Tournament Director Tim Garner.
“The team at AS Insurance Services Ltd are industry specialists and we look forward to working with them closely during what promises to be one of the most exciting editions of the Canary Wharf Classic ever.”
PSA Chief Commercial Officer Tommy Berden said: “Bringing AS Insurance Services Ltd on board as a partner is very pleasing and will be a huge boost to the Canary Wharf Classic.”
AS Insurance Services Managing Director Avril Storey said: “We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to partner with the Canary Wharf Classic 2018, we are huge supporters of squash and are looking forward to being a part of the event.”
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