Rankingykköset: James Willstrop

james willstrop

Valokuvaaja Sofia Tapolan squashin maailman rankingykkösiä esittelevä upea näyttely, osa 3/5. Kolmantena vuorossa on James Willstrop.

James Willstropin esittely (PSA)

James Willstrop is one of England’s most competitive squash players, known for his rivalry with three-time World Champion Nick Matthew. Known as ‘The Marksman’ after his accurate shot placement, he has a large, rangy build and stands at an impressive 6 feet 4 inches. He lifted the Qatar Classic in 2005 after losing out in the final of the British Open and picked up a silver medal alongside Vicky Botwright in the 2006 Commonwealth games.

2008 saw more heartbreak at the British Open after a 3-2 defeat to David Palmer despite Willstrop holding match ball on two occasions. He reached the final again a year later but lost out in a tense five-set match with Matthew.

Willstrop started 2010 with an impressive win at the Tournament of Champions, dropping just one game throughout the whole tournament. He lost out to Matthew though in arguably the biggest match of his career, the World Championship final, later that year.

The Englishman had a stunning 2011 and earned a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games after defeat to Matthew again. Willstrop followed this up by winning fifteen matches in a row to clinch the Hong Kong Open, the Kuwait Open and the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters. This led to him reaching a career high World No.1 ranking in January 2012 but he surrendered it to compatriot Matthew after defeat in the Tournament of Champions the same year.

The Norfolk-born Willstrop wrote the book Shot and a Ghost in 2012 which released to positive reviews.

Injury dogged the next two years but Willstrop still managed to pick up a solitary PSA World Tour title in March 2013 at the Canary Wharf Classic. The Englishman celebrated the birth of his son, Logan, in November 2013 with partner Vanessa Atkinson, a former Women’s World Champion.

Willstrop showed signs he was getting back to his best when he picked up his third silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, his old foe Matthew proving victorious once more. He finished 2014 on a high, winning the China Open for the first time in September.

More injury problems went on to disrupt Willstrop's season and, despite claiming a handful of quarter-final finishes, his World Ranking took a hit as he dropped out of the top ten at the end of the 2014/15 season.

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