Big guns Cam Pilley and Omar Mosaad to clash
By ALAN THATCHER and NATHAN CLARKE
Major upsets could be on the cards from the very first day of the 2017 Canary Wharf Classic after the release of the draw for the PSA M70 tournament, which will mark its 14th edition this year at the stunning East Wintergarden venue from March 6-10.
Five time tournament winner Nick Matthew, the top seed, will be up against it as he takes on in-form Australian Ryan Cuskelly in a block-buster opener.
Cuskelly triumphed at the Motor City Open in Detroit this week to lift the biggest title of his career to date and will fly to London full of confidence to compete against Matthew on a day that will also see 2015 runner-up Simon Rösner, number four seed, face the dangerous Paul Coll.
New Zealander Coll, who broke through into the world’s top 20 this year, has been in a rich vein of form winning the Channel VAS Open at Weybridge in December and reaching his first World Series quarter-final in New York in January, and will prove a huge threat to Rösner’s hopes of a run deep into the event.
The bottom half of the draw also pits 2016 runner-up Omar Mosaad and 2008 runner-up Cameron Pilley together in a battle of the Tour’s hardest hitting players in what promises to be a raucous encounter.
That battle could see Canary Wharf fans witness the world record for the hardest ever shot – currently held by Pilley at 178mph – broken on the glass court at the East Wintergarden while reigning Canary Wharf champion Mathieu Castagnet faces England’s wild card Lyell Fuller in the first round.
Castagnet has slipped to 20 in the rankings since toppling Mosaad in the 2016 Canary Wharf final and will be looking for a good performance to climb back up the list.
Number two seed Marwan ElShorbagy, compatriot Fares Dessouky, English stalwart Daryl Selby and Spaniard Borja Golan have all been drawn to face qualifiers in the first round.
2017 Canary Wharf Classic, East Wintergaren, Canary Wharf, London.
Main Draw First Round:
 Nick Matthew (ENG) v Ryan Cuskelly (AUS)
[Qualifier] v  Fares Dessouky (EGY)
 Daryl Selby (ENG) v [Qualifier] Paul Coll (NZL) v  Simon Rösner (GER)
 Omar Mosaad (EGY) v Cameron Pilley (AUS)
[WC] Lyell Fuller (ENG) v  Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Borja Golan (ESP) v [Qualifier] [Qualifier] v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
The 2017 Canary Wharf Classic takes place in London’s East Wintergarden from March 6-10.
Qualifying takes place at Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club on the weekend of March 4-5.
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA