Local lad Fallows to fulfil a dream of playing at Canary Wharf in wild card contest
PUBLISHED: 11:16 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:16 15 March 2019
Newham's Richie Fallows will face another of England's rising stars in the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic this week.
Fallows meets Josh Masters in a wild card challenge, with the winner earning a place in the main draw of London’s most popular tournament next year.
Masters has previously lost to Nathan Lake and Lyell Fuller, but this will be Fallows’ first experience of playing on the glass court before a full house at the East Wintergarden venue.
And as a local lad, living a few tube stops away at Stratford, he is determined to put on a good show before the main final on Friday (March 15).
The world number 57 said: “I have played in the qualifying rounds a few times without getting through to the main draw so this will be my first appearance on the glass court.
“It has always been a big dream of mine to play at Canary Wharf. It’s a great tournament and an amazing venue. The place is packed out every night and it’s just an incredible atmosphere to play in.
“The first live matches I ever saw were at Canary Wharf and I grew up watching guys like Nick Matthew and James Willstrop. They became heroes of mine and their two-hour battle at Canary Wharf in 2011 was one of the best matches I have ever seen.
“Two things stuck with me, firstly the intense quality of play from them both throughout the match, and the respect at the end when Nick refused to take the win when James injured himself.
“I can honestly say that the reason I became a squash player was because of Canary Wharf. Watching those players in that amazing venue made my mind up: That’s what I want to do.
“I am looking forward to it so much. Josh is a good friend and a very talented player. He loves going for his shots so I will try not to give him too many openings.”
Fallows reached the last eight at the British Championships in Nottingham, before losing to Scotland’s Greg Lobban 11-5, 13-11, 12-10, while Masters lost in the first round to Chris Simpson.
*The 2019 Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic between March 10-15 sees a best-of-three games format trialled for a second successive year up until the semi-finals.
All fixtures will be live on SQUASHTV (rest of world) and Eurosport Player (Europe only). Semi-finals will also be live on BT Sport, Fox Sports Australia, Astro and other mainstream broadcasters.