World No.1 Ali Farag will be the favourite to capture his first Canary Wharf Classic title after the draw for the PSA World Tour Gold tournament – taking place 14-19 November in London’s spectacular East Wintergarden – was released today.
Farag was a beaten finalist last year and the 29-year-old will look to take a step further to capture one of the sport’s few prizes that has eluded him.
Farag, who has won the World Championship, Egyptian Open and Oracle NetSuite Open this year, is predicted to meet mercurial compatriot Mazen Hesham in round two and will need to be on his toes if he is to beat one of squash’s most creative players.
The winner of that match is seeded to play former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad in the quarter finals, while U.S. Open champion Mostafa Asal or No.3 seed Tarek Momen could be semi-final opponents.
In the other half of the draw, New Zealand’s World No.3 Paul Coll is projected to make a strong bid to recapture the title he won in 2019.
Lying in his path, though, will be the likes of tireless Welsh No.7 seed Joel Makin, Egyptian No.4 seed and 2020 semi-finalist Marwan ElShorbagy, and Peru’s Manchester Open champion and No.8 seed Diego Elias.
For the home crowd, there are three English representatives to cheer for, with all three entering in the first round. Former World No.9 Daryl Selby – who will be celebrating his 39th birthday two weeks before the tournament begins – faces France’s Gregoire Marche, Declan James plays Germany’s Raphael Kandra, and wildcard Charlie Lee takes on Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez.
“The Canary Wharf Classic is world famous for having one of the best atmospheres in squash, thanks to a raucous and knowledgeable crowd. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we are delighted to be able to deliver the 18th edition of such a special event and look forward to a fantastic and safe tournament,” said tournament director Tim Garner.
He added: “With so many of the world’s top stars in attendance, and in such an iconic venue, we can’t wait for all the action to begin.”
Once again, the Canary Wharf Classic will use a best-of-three games scoring format up to and including the quarter-finals, before reverting to best-of-five scoring for the semi-finals and final.
Tickets for the event are available for purchase via Ticketmaster.
2021 Canary Wharf Classic – Draw
 Ali Farag (EGY) [bye]
Iker Pajares Bernabeu (ESP) v [9/16] Mazen Hesham (EGY)
[9/16] Raphael Kandra (GER) v Declan James (ENG)
 Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) [bye]
 Mostafa Asal (EGY) [bye]
Mohamed ElSherbini (EGY) v [9/16] Eain Yow Ng (MAS)
[9/16] Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v [WC] Charlie Lee (ENG)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) [bye]
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) [bye]
Daryl Selby (ENG) v [9/16] Gregoire Marche (FRA)
[9/16] Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) v Baptiste Masotti (FRA)
 Diego Elias (PER) [bye]
 Joel Makin (WAL) [bye]
Cesar Salazar (MEX) v [9/16] Saurav Ghosal (IND)
[9/16] Youssef Soliman (EGY) v Mathieu Castagnet (FRA)
 Paul Coll (NZL) [bye]