George meets Daryl on ‘Selby Sunday’ as eight tasty starters get the tournament under way
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor
Egypt’s Karim Abdel Gawad has withdrawn from the Canary Wharf Classic after having close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Peru’s Diego Elias, the recent Qatar Classic champion, takes over Gawad’s position as the No.4 seed.
Meanwhile, Frenchman Gregoire Marche moves up to the No.8 seeded position and receives a bye into the second round instead of facing the cauldron of sound that will greet Daryl Selby as he begins his farewell tournament at the East Wintergarden.
Instead, world No.37 George Parker enters the draw and will take on fellow Englishman Selby, who will make his Canary Wharf Classic farewell before a passionate home crowd at his favourite tournament on what has been dubbed “Selby Sunday”.
Their match is scheduled for 6.45pm, following several mouthwatering appetisers.
Earlier today, Mexico’s World No. 39 Cesar Salazar of Mexico withdrew from the upcoming tournament due to injury.
Replacing the Mexican in the main draw will be Scottish No.1 Greg Lobban. In what will be Lobban’s fifth Canary Wharf Classic, he will face 9/16 seed Saurav Ghosal from India in the first round.
The pair have met five times on the PSA World Tour, with Ghosal leading the head-to-head 4-1. But the last victory went to Lobban in the Macau Open in 2019, by a 3-1 margin.
Last year Lobban reached the Canary Wharf quarter-finals after producing an outstanding performance to beat Gawad, having accounted for Mazen Hesham in the first round.
Earlier this week, Canary Wharf fans were delighted to see tournament favourite James Willstrop, a four-times champion, enter the draw following the withdrawal of Marwan ElShorbagy following a suspension from the PSA.
Willstrop faces a fascinating first round battle with Mohamed Abouelghar in a match that will be a classic for purists who will look forward to seeing two of the game’s most stylish and skilful players trying to outwit each other.
The PSA World Tour Gold event starts on Sunday with eight first round matches at the superb East Wintergarden venue.
All of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV while the semi-finals and final will be shown live by PSA’s broadcast partners.
2021 Canary Wharf Squash Classic: Revised draw.
 Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v [9/16] Mathieu Castagnet(FRA)
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER) v Declan James (ENG)
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) [bye]  Mostafa Asal (EGY) [bye] Adrian Waller (ENG) v [9/16] Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
[9/16] Baptiste Masotti (FRA) v [WC] Charlie Lee (ENG)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]  Diego Elias (PER) [bye] [9/16] Daryl Selby (ENG) v George Parker (ENG)
[9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v James Willstrop (ENG)
[8 Gregoire Marche (FRA) [bye]  Joel Makin (WAL) [bye] Greg Lobban (SCO) v [9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Borja Golan (ESP)
 Paul Coll (NZL) [bye]
Revised draw and match times here
Pictures courtesy of PSA and Steve Cubbins (SquashSite)