England's James Willstrop, the World No.7 and 2014 Commonwealth
Games silver medalist, claimed his first PSA World tour title since
2013 by defeating compatriot Peter Barker 3-2 in the final of the
2014 China Open - Squash Stars On The Bund, PSA International 70
event in Shanghai earlier today.
The 31-year-old Pontefract based player got the better of Barker in
a mammoth 98-minute battle, surviving a thrilling comeback to win
his first tour title since beating the Essex-man to honours at the
2013 Canary Wharf Classic.
After suffering a disappointing first round exit at the recent Hong
Kong Squash Open, his first first-round exit in a PSA tour event
since 2006, Willstrop rebounded to put in impressive back-to-back
performances against Egyptians Marwan Elshorbagy and Omar Mossad to
reach the final of the inaugural China Open and he looked to be
easing to the title after taking an early two-nil lead.
But the resilient Barker, one of the sport's most physical players,
dug deep to level the game after producing some fine play during the
third and fourth games. However he fell short in the final game as
Willstrop managed to find an extra gear, surviving everything Barker
could throw at him, to grind out the victory and lift the trophy
with a 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 10-12, 11-5 triumph.
Duo Set Up Shanghai Showdown
English World No.7 James Willstrop and World No.8 Peter Barker will
go head-to-head in the final of the 2014 China Open - Squash Stars
On The Bund, PSA International 70 tournament, in Shanghai, China
tomorrow to determine who will win the inaugural China Open title.
Separated by just one place on the PSA World Rankings and having
claimed silver and bronze in the Commonwealth Games, respectively,
the pairing are set to contest a gripping finale that will take
place on the 11th floor of the iconic Shanghai Peninsula hotel,
which overlooks the city's spectacular Bund.
Pontefract-based Willstrop, the tournament's number one seed, booked
his place in the final courtesy of victory over Egyptian Omar Mossad,
recovering from an early setback after losing the opening game of
the match to show his experience and shot playing ability to rally
back and complete an impressive 3-1 win.
He will now face Barker for the chance to win his first tournament
since the 2013 Canary Wharf Classic, when it was the Essex-man who
he beat in the final that day, after the physical left-hander
ensured it would be an all-English occasion in Shanghai following a
comfortable 3-0 win over experienced Dutch competitor Laurens Jan
Anjema had ended number two seed Borja Golan's hopes of tournament
success at the quarter-final stage, but Barker remained untroubled
throughout the contest, recording a win that sees him through to his
first final since finishing runner-up in January's Motor City Open.
Stuns Golan In Shanghai
Dutch World No.15 Laurens Jan Anjema pulled off the upset of the
tournament so far to knock out World No.6 Borja Golan in the
quarter-finals of the 2014 China Open - Squash Stars on The Bund,
PSA International 70 event in Shanghai, China.
The 31-year-old twice came from behind against the Spanish national
champion to take the game into a decider that was only settled after
80-minutes in the all-glass show court on the 11th floor of the
Shanghai Peninsula, with its spectacular views over the city's
The pairing had been set to meet in the first round of last week's
Hong Kong Squash Open, PSA World Series event, but Anjema withdrew
from the contest due to injury and he made amends for that with an
impressive and rugged performance which earned him a semi-final spot
against England's Peter Barker, after the World No.8 eased past
Egyptian challenger karim Abdel Gawad.
Number one seed James Willstrop remains on course to win his first
PSA World Tour title since the 2013 Canary Wharf Classic after
seeing off Marwan Elshorbagy 3-1 in what was a difficult encounter
for the World No.7, with little separating the players, while
Egyptian Omar Mossad booked his place to face Willstrop with an
impressive 3-1 win over World No.10 Daryl Selby.
Survive Opening Day In Shanghai
Commonwealth Games silver medalist James Willstrop, the World No.7,
led the way as all eight seeds progressed through the opening round
of the China Open - Squash Stars On The Bund, a PSA International
70 event taking place in Shanghai, China today.
Willstrop suffered a disappointing first round defeat at last week's
Hong Kong Squash Open but bounced back from that setback to put in a
ruthless performance against local Wildcard Junjie Wang, coming
through a comfortable 3-0, 11-2, 11-0, 11-3 winner in just
The win sees Willstrop on course to meet number two seed Borja
Golan, the man who moved ahead of him to occupy the World No.6 slot
in the September PSA Rankings, in the final after the Spanish star
survived a testing first round encounter with rising Egyptian star
Golan twice moved into a game lead only to see the dogged youngster
fight back to draw the match level and force a deciding game, but it
was the experienced Spaniard who eventually prevailed after
93-minutes of action in 3-2; 11-7, 3-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9 win.
Elsewhere in the first day of action Egyptian's Marwan Elshorbagy,
Karim Abdel Gawad and Omar Mossad got the better of qualifiers Joe
Lee, Tom Richards and Henrik Mustonen, respectively, while Peter
Barker, Daryl Selby and Laurens Jan Anjema completed a
straight-sweep for the tournament's seeded players.