The Canary Wharf Squash Classic is one of the most popular squash tournaments in the world, and also has a reputation for innovation in the sport.
For the 2018 edition, matches in the early rounds will be played to a best-of-three-games format, with the semi-finals and final best of five.
This system has been successfully trialled at the PSA World Series Finals in Dubai and has proved popular among players and spectators alike.
The 2018 edition of the Canary Wharf Classic takes place from March 5-9, with 70,000 dollars of prize money up for grabs, and the PSA confirmed this week that the event will be the first ranking World Tour event to be played using a best-of-three games format.
This follows a number of innovations at the tournament down the years. One major breakthrough for the sport followed the installation of a jumbo screen inside the spectacular East Wintergarden venue by host sponsors Canary Wharf Group, which allowed the tournament to trial video reviews for referees.
The event has sold out for the past six years and organisers expect another rush for tickets when they go on sale to the public at 10am on Friday October 6.
Tournament promoter Tim Garner is convinced the new format will provide more entertaining matches. He said: “Throughout our 15-year history the Canary Wharf Classic has embraced new technology and developments, forging a reputation as one of the most innovative events on the PSA World Tour.
“The best-of-three format brings a new dynamic to the sport and the crowd at the East Wintergarden, who are among the best in the world, will be treated to another instalment of world class squash in 2018, when the skill and drama on show will be greater than ever before.
“As the sport has grown more competitive, and with the introduction of video reviews, the matches have got longer and longer, making it almost impossible to play four matches in an evening session whilst at the same time making in an enjoyable consumer experience.
“Despite being sold out, every year we witness empty seats for the first and last matches as people can’t get there from work or need to catch last train home, respectively. We think this new format for the first three days will enable everyone to watch and enjoy the matches they have come to see!”
PSA Chief Operating Officer Lee Beachill said: “The best-of-three scoring system has featured in the season-ending World Series Finals for the past few years and has contributed to what have been some of the most intense and exciting matches of recent seasons.
“Every point matters under the shorter format, a scenario that increases the intensity of the match from the opening exchange and as a sport it would be foolish not to explore the wider opportunities this format could bring to an event.
“For fans it will deliver a more intense viewing experience – which matches played at a higher, more explosive pace – while best-of-three matches also allow players greater recovery time between matches, essential for them to perform at their best day-in, day-out.
“We are excited to see how the format will work in practice during the Canary Wharf Classic.”
The Canary Wharf Squash Classic at the East Wintergarden is jointly promoted by Eventis Sports Marketing and Squash UK
Tournament Dates: March 5-9, 2018 Venue: East Wintergarden, Bank Street, Canary Wharf, E14
The qualifying competition takes place at Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club over the weekend of March 3-4 with four winners joining the top 12 seeds in the main draw. Event website: www.canarywharfsquash.com
+++ TICKETS: Online: www.ticketmaster.co.uk Ticket Hotline: 0844 8472419
Corporate Hospitality: Full details from Tim Garner at Eventis Sports Marketing Telephone: 07973 817468. Email: email@example.com
BEST VENUE / BEST PLAYERS / BEST CROWDS / BEST FOR BUSINESS
Sponsorship Packages: Superb packages are available, with fantastic benefits for companies who wish to be associated with this squash success story.
Full details from Tim Garner at Eventis Sports Marketing Telephone: 07973 817468. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org