Hammer of Thor hopes to be first Egyptian champion at Canary Wharf
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
Top seed Omar Mosaad is aiming to become the first Egyptian winner of the Canary Wharf Classic when London’s favourite squash tournament returns to the East Wintergarden from March 7-11.
Mosaad began 2016 in his highest position of number four in the PSA world rankings after a run of excellent form at the end of last year.
His outstanding spell followed a devastating personal tragedy when his mother and sister were killed in a car crash near the El Gouna seaside resort.
After a spell out of the game to look after his family, Mosaad returned to squash with renewed focus and determination and reached the final of the US Open in Philadelphia in October and the World Championship in Seattle in November.
In the US Open he beat England’s Nick Matthew, who has won the Canary Wharf title a record five times, and in Seattle he took out fellow Egyptians Ramy Ashour and Tarek Momen. In each final, he finished runner-up to Gregory Gaultier of France.
Last week, Mosaad succumbed to another Egyptian, world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy, in the quarter-finals of the Tournament of Champions in New York.
Mosaad meets England’s world No.24 Chris Simpson in the first round at Canary Wharf.
The No.2 seed is Germany’s Simon Rosner, who was runner-up to Matthew in 2015. Rosner is approaching Canary Wharf in excellent form after beating England’s James Willstrop in New York and losing a ferocious battle to Gaultier in the quarter-finals.
The top half of the draw boasts four Egyptians, with No.4 seed Marwan Elshorbagy meeting Fares Dessouki, and No.8 seed Mazen Hesham facing England’s wild card Ben Coleman.
Mathieu Castagnet (France) is No.3 seed with four-times winner Willstrop at five, Cameron Pilley (Australia) at six and Daryl Selby (at seven). Willstrop faces a tough first round clash with Spain’s Borja Golan.
CANARY WHARF CLASSIC, East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, London, England.
FIRST ROUND DRAW (Top Half) Monday March 7th:
(1) Omar Mosaad (Egypt) v Chris Simpson (England)
(7) Daryl Selby (England) v Qualifier
(8) Mazen Hesham (Egypt) v Ben Coleman (England)
(4) Marwan Elshorbagy (Egypt) v Fares Dessouki (Egypt)
FIRST ROUND DRAW (Bottom Half) Tuesday March 8th:
(3) Mathieu Castagnet (France) v Qualifier
(5) James Willstrop (England) v Borja Golan (Spain)
(6) Cameron Pilley (Australia) v Qualifer
(2) Simon Rosner (Germany) v Qualifier
The qualifying competition takes place at Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club over the weekend of March 5-6 with four winners joining the top 12 seeds in the main draw.
Event website: www.canarywharfsquash.com
Picture by IRENA VANISOVA