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Mathieu Castagnet kisses the 2016 Canary Wharf Classic title

Throwback Thursday: Story of 2016 Canary Wharf Classic


London’s stunning East Wintergarden plays host to the 2017 Eventis Canary Wharf Classic as a number of the world’s leading players will be welcomed to London for an unforgettable week of world-class action.

England’s three-time World Champion Nick Matthew will bid for a sixth Canary Wharf Classic title and is set to appear at the event for the first time since 2015 after missing out last year.

‘The Wolf’s’ absence left the field wide open in the 2016 instalment of the PSA M70 tournament, with a number of twists and turns captivating spectators – join us as we look back to last year’s event.

First Round Results
[1] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt Chris Simpson (ENG) 3-1: 13-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7 (72m)
[7] Daryl Selby (ENG) bt [Q] Declan James (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 (61m)
[8] Borja Golan (ESP) bt [WC] Ben Coleman (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 12-10, 11-2 (44m)
Fares Dessouky (EGY) bt [4] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-2: 4-11, 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8 (81m)
[3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [Q] Joe Lee (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 (48m)
[5] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 14-12, 12-10, 11-8 (58m)
[6] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Mohamed Reda (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 (51m)
[2] Simon Rösner (GER) bt [Q] Charles Sharpes (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 (32m)

New Zealand’s Paul Coll went down in straight games to former World No.1 James Willstrop – but the Kiwi sensation lit up East Wintergarden by participating in one of the greatest rallies of all time.

Coll, a crowd favourite known for his athletic prowess, pulled off two full-length ‘Superman’ dives to win an electrifying point against Willstrop, earning himself a place in the annals of squash history after his superhuman feats went viral.

Elsewhere, World No.11 Fares Dessouky upset the seedings after he emerged victorious from his first round clash with number four seed Marwan ElShorbagy, prevailing 3-2 to move into the last eight.

[1] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [7] Daryl Selby (ENG) 3-2: 11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-5 (71m)
[8] Borja Golan (ESP) bt Fares Dessouky (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5 (62m)
[3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [5] James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0: 11-6, 11-6, 11-9 (48m)
[6] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [2] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5 ret. (28m)

Top seed Omar Mosaad had to dig in against England’s Daryl Selby to earn his semi-final berth after a dogged challenge from the number seven seed forced Mosaad into a dramatic five-game battle.

Selby twice fought back from a one-game deficit to send the match into a nail-biting decider, but ‘The Hammer of Thor’ Mosaad drew on the remainder of his energy reserves to come out on top in the fifth.

Mosaad’s reward was a semi-final meeting with Spain’s Borja Golan, who beat Dessouky, while Castagnet and Pilley set up the other semi-final fixture after respective wins over Willstrop and Rösner, the latter of whom was forced to withdraw through injury.

[1] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [8] Borja Golan (ESP) 3-2: 8-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 (98m)
[3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [6] Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 11-9, 11-13, 11-1, 13-11 (87m)

Mosaad came through a gladiatorial 98-minute affair with Golan to earn his place in the final, fighting through fatigue to overturn a two-game deficit, while Castagnet’s win over Pilley saw him through to only his second PSA M70 final.

[3] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt [1] Omar Mosaad (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (83m)

A gruelling 83-minute final battle saw Castagnet crowned the first non-English winner of the iconic tournament since 2009, joining compatriot Thierry Lincou – who lifted the 2006 title – in the list of past winners.

Castagnet’s triumph in East Wintergarden was the catalyst for his rise to a career-high World No.6 position two months later and, while he has slipped down the rankings in recent months due to injury, the 30-year-old will be eager to retain his title next week.

Watch the highlights of the 2016 Canary Wharf Classic final below!

Head to SQUASHTV to watch more matches from the Canary Wharf Classic annals – including the incredible 2010 semi-final between Nick Matthew and James Willstrop.

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