Hopes High In London World Series Finals
A trio of Englishmen promise strong home
hopes in London next month at the ATCO PSA World
Series Finals, the flagship PSA World Tour squash
event which features the eight players who have earned the
most points from the nine PSA World Series
championships in 2011.
The $110,000 event will take place for the
third time at The Queen's Club, from 4-8 January
secured an outstanding victory over Frenchman Gregory
Gaultier at last week's Punj Lloyd PSA Masters,
the final World Series event of the year in the Indian
capital New Delhi - thus moving ahead of fellow
Yorkshireman Nick Matthew both in the World Series
Standings and in next month's world rankings.
Willstrop, the top seed from Leeds, will be
making his seventh appearance in the event since 2005 - and
could face England team-mate Matthew, the No2 seed from
Sheffield, in Sunday's final.
It would be the pair's first clash since
Matthew slipped behind his rival in the rankings - with
Willstrop looking for his first victory for more than four
In his fifth appearance in the event last
year, Matthew reached the final for the first time. But the
match against Egypt's four-time world champion Amr
Shabana was not played, due to problems with the court.
Shabana, twice a finalist since making his
first World Series Finals appearance in 2004, is the event's
sixth seed - behind fellow countrymen Ramy Ashour,
the 2007 champion, and Karim Darwish, the third and
fifth seeds, respectively.
But Gaultier has a distinguished World Series
Finals record. The 28-year-old from Aix-en-Provence, seeded
four, has reached the final in all his three appearances in
the event, winning the title in 2008 and 2009.
England's Peter Barker, who made his
debut last year, will be providing London interest in the
event. At least a quarter-finalist in all nine World Series
events this year, the left-hander is the No7 seed.
And Mohd Azlan Iskandar will be only
the second Malaysian ever to appear in the event. The
29-year-old from Kuala Lumpur has enjoyed his best run on
the PSA Tour for some years and will celebrate his debut in
the event after finishing in eighth place in the standings.
Players will compete in two pools of four,
leading to semi-finals between the winners of each pool and
the runners-up of the other, followed by the final.
James Willstrop (England), Ramy Ashour
(Egypt), Karim Darwish (Egypt), Mohd Azlan
Nick Matthew (England), Gregory Gaultier
(France), Amr Shabana (Egypt), Peter Barker
Wednesday 4 January 2012 draw:
Group 1 - Ramy Ashour v Mohd Azlan Iskandar
Group 1 - James Willstrop v Karim Darwish
Group 2 - Nick Matthew v Gregory Gaultier
Group 2 - Amr Shabana v
Thursday 5 January 2012
Group 1 - Karim Darwish v Mohd Azlan Iskandar
Group 1 - James Willstrop v Ramy Ashour
Group 2 - Nick Matthew v Amr Shabana
Group 2 - Gregory Gaultier v
Friday 6 January 2012
Group 1 - James Willstrop v Mohd Azlan Iskandar
Group 1 - Ramy Ashour v Karim Darwish
Group 2 - Nick Matthew v Peter Barker
Group 2 - Gregory Gaultier v
Saturday 7 January 2012
Group 1 Winner v Group 2 Runner Up
Group 1 Runner up v Group 2 Winner
Sunday 8 January 2012
More details on the event