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PSA PLAYER BIOGRAPHY

Name: James Willstrop
Country: England
Date of Birth: 15/8/83
Height: 6ft 4
Place of Birth: Norfolk
Place of Residence: Pontefract/Manchester
Current World Ranking (Mar 06): 8
Highest World Ranking (Jan 05): 5
National Ranking: 5
PSA Titles: 5
PSA Final Appearances: 8

Willstrop on SquashPics.com

James Willstrop crowned a sensational junior squash career in 2002 when he claimed his third consecutive British Junior U19 National Championship title to establish himself as England's most successful junior player of all time - having won National titles at all age groups U12, U14, U17 and U19, and British Junior Open trophies at U14, U17 and U19. In the same year, he established himself as the world's top junior, claiming both the European and the World titles.

After representing England with distinction at all junior levels, captaining the England U19 junior team to victory in the 2002 European Junior Team Championships, James has gone on to be one of the youngest players ever to play for the senior England team, representing his country for the first time at both the European and World Team Championships in 2003.

But the tall Yorkshireman has made rapid progress on the senior stage - and in 2005 reached the final of the British Open for the first time, as the seventh seed, then followed this by outplaying a top-quality international field in Doha to lift the Qatar Classic trophy.

This first-time success led to 22-year-old Willstrop leaping six places to a career-high world No2 in the PSA World Rankings published in December.

It was sandwiched between his national and European junior triumphs in 2002 that Willstrop claimed his first PSA Tour title, winning the Swiss Open in Geneva. He went on to reach the final of the Odense Open in Denmark - as qualifier - then in December picked up the Santa Barbara Open trophy in the USA.

He made enormous strides in 2004, beginning the year at 18 in the rankings - and twelve months later finding himself at five! A qualifier in the Kuwait Open in January, he brushed aside significant experienced opposition to reach the final - where he finally found his match in top seed Peter Nicol.

His next significant scalp was Egypt's world champion Amr Shabana in the Swedish Open - then the former world champion David Palmer in February's Tournament of Champions.

After reaching the quarter-finals of the World Open in Qatar in December, he went on to the Pakistan Open in Islamabad. Seeded eight, Willstrop played the tournament of his life as he despatched Alex Gough, Olli Tuominen, third seed Amr Shabana and second seed Nick Matthew - before beating Anthony Ricketts 6-11 11-9 11-10 11-3 in the final to collect his maiden Super Series title.

Early in 2005, Willstrop made his first appearance in the British National Championships final, only to lose to his close friend and Pontefract training partner Lee Beachill. In September, he notched up another notable scalp in the USA when he beat France's world No1 Thierry Lincou for the first time to advance to the semi-finals of the St Louis Open.

But the National Squash Centre in Manchester - his second squash 'home', where he plays English Premier League squash for Manchester/Pontefract - was the scene of his best ever British Open run, beating Jonathon Power in the semis to reach the final where he lost out to Anthony Ricketts.

A month later, he achieved his best PSA success to date, avenging his earlier loss to Ricketts to beat the Australian in the semi-finals, then David Palmer in the final to win the Qatar Classic.

The world number two ranking which followed this triumph catapulted Willstrop to the position of top-ranked Englishman - which led to his promotion to squad number one in the England team for the World Team Championships in Pakistan which followed.

Willstrop lost to Lincou in the quarter-finals of the Saudi International in December before reaching the last four of the Windy City Open in January and the British Nationals in February where he was defeated by friend and club colleague, Lee Beachill.

JAMES WILLSTROP
TOURNAMENT SUCCESSES:

Feb 06 Quarter-finalist Canary Wharf Classic ENG

Jan 06 Semi-finalist Windy City USA

Mar 05 Quarter-finalist Sheika Al Saad Kuwait Squash Open KUW

Nov 05 Winner Qatar Classic QAT

Apr 05 Quarter-finalist Mamut English Open ENG

Nov 05 Quarter-finalist Saudi International SAU

Jul 05 Quarter-finalist Pakistan Open ENG

Apr 05 Quarter-finalist Bermuda Masters BER

Oct 05 Finalist British Open ENG

Feb 05 2nd round *Tournament of Champions USA

Jan 05 Quarter-finals Windy City Open USA

Dec 04 Winner *Pakistan Open PAK

Dec 04 Quarter-finals *World Open QAT

Nov 04 1st round Canadian Classic CAN

Nov 04 2nd round British Open ENG

Sep 04 1st round US Open USA

Sep 04 2nd round *Hong Kong Open HKG

Aug 04 Semi-finals English Open ENG

Apr 04 2nd round *PSA Masters QAT

Mar 04 1st round Bermuda Open BER

Feb 04 Quarter-finalist Tournament of Champions USA

Feb 04 Semi-finalist Swedish Open SWE

Jan 04 Runner-up Kuwait Open KUW

Nov 03 Winner Dutch Open NED

Oct 03 Quarter-finalist British Open ENG

Jun 03 Quarter-finalist Spanish Open ESP

Oct 02 Winner Santa Barbara Open USA

Aug 02 Semi-finalist Colombian Open COL

Aug 02 Semi-finalist Brazil Open BRA

Apr 02 Runner-up Odense Open DEN

Mar 02 Winner #European Junior Championships FRA

Mar 02 Winner Swiss Open SUI

Mar 02 Winner #British U19 Nationals ENG

Jan 02 Winner #British Junior Open (U19) ENG

Sep 01 Quarter-finalist Spanish Open ESP

Apr 01 Runner-up #European Junior Championship BEL

Mar 01 Winner #British U19 Nationals ENG

Jan 01 Runner-up #British Junior Open (U19) ENG

Jul 00 Semi-finalist #World Junior Open ITA

Apr 00 Runner-up #European Junior Championship GER

Mar 00 Winner #British U19 Nationals ENG

Dec 99 Winner #British Junior Open (U17) ENG

Feb 99 Winner #British U16 Nationals ENG

Jan 99 Runner-up #British Junior Open (U17) ENG

Feb 98 Winner #British U16 Nationals ENG

Nov 97 Winner #British U16 Nationals ENG

Jan 97 Winner #British Junior Open (U14) ENG

Oct 96 Winner #British U14 Nationals ENG

Oct 94 Winner #British U12 Nationals ENG