You'll have to dash to get to this one, but the final of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic takes place tonight at 6pm. There are a lot of leisure squash players out there, of course, but this is a chance to see the world's best in action, and a pair of Britons at that, as world number one, and former winner of the event, Scotsman John White takes on England's James Willstrop over five, best-of-11-point sets.
Last night fourth seed Willstrop saw off his compatriot Nick Matthew in straight sets lasting 45 minutes while White needed all five to despatch the reigning champion, Frenchman Thierry Lincou, in an hour and a half. Afterwards Willstrop told the competition's official site:
We were watching John's game as we waited to go on, it was such a brutal game, great squash. I just hope he's totally gone for tomorrow!
Wherever they were around the action, Willstrop and Matthew probably had a very good view. The glass walled court is situated in the middle of the impressive and complementary glass construction of the East Wintergarden hall at Canary Wharf (pictured right).
Another innovation, in which football in particular might be particularly interested, is the usage of three referees situated around the outside of the court, one of whom is a current player. Where decisions such as whether or not to give a "let" because of accidental obstruction are required each referee makes a hand signal and the majority vote prevails. Tournament referee Linda Davie feels the system is working well:
The players get confidence from seeing other players giving decisions. One of the pleasing aspects is the high percentage of unanimous decisions, about 90/95%, and very few instances where the central referee is over-ruled. It's certainly cut out all the arguments - and some of the long explanations too!
If you fancy seeing how this works for yourself, sidewall tickets for the final are still available at £20. Pre-match entertainment begins at 5:30pm.
Picture of the East Wintergarden and its taller sister building, 40 Bank Street, via .Martin.'s Flickr stream.