15 March 2012


I personally believe that next to the Tournament of Champions at Grand Central Station New York, the Canary Wharf Classic in London provides  the best overall settings on the tour. First of all, you have a full house from the very beginning (so different to most other main tournaments), secondly, the viewers area is set up close (very close) to the glass court; players visibly enjoy this and it creates a great atmosphere also for television coverages. Thirdly, the VIP gallery provides a fantastic, almost bird-view perspective to the lucky-ones (am afraid tickets are already sold out for this area). And not at last, the whole event is so smoothly organized by deeply engaged squash professionals (Peter Nicol, Tim Garner, Alan Thatcher just to mention the main ones). Now to the history. Probably the most remembered match of the tournament is the famous semi-final between Matthew and Willstrop, but I would like to remind you another one. One, that in my eyes is probably even bigger (maybe also for personal reasons, as I was there in the first row, and it was my first time to see a squash tournament, in fact I received the ticket as a birthday present). I am talking about the 2007 final between Willstrop and John White. Beyond the personal things, I continue believing that this match must have been one of the all time greatest. I was a total beginner at that time, but it was this match that showed me that squash can be played in hilarious ways, using all four corners and that if you want, there is a way to avoid interference almost completely (and you know that these two are really big blocks). If you are in a hurry you can wind forward to 0:35 where the rallies start, it is the third game of the match at one each. All the rallies shown are hilarious, but please don't not miss in any circumstance those at 3:1 (1:00) and at 8:4 to White (4:05), both examples of "four-corner-squash" at its maximum. The one at 8:4 was also crucial as it would have brought White to 9:4 and if he hadn't wasted that much energy to grab that game (13:11) I think he would have had a good chance to win the match (remind you he has had at that stage of the tournament already three five gamers behind him, and the one against Thierry Lincou in the semi-finals was a classic for itself). Anyway, if you couldn't get yourself a ticket, you can still follow the event live with squashtv. And I will come back soon with the conclusion of the below Willstrop-White match.