Squash: Pulverised by the class of Ashour - Willstrop

James Willstrop.

James Willstrop.

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The PSA Kuwait cup was won by world number one Egyptian Ramy Ashour.

It was his seventh major title win in a row and marks a 36-match unbeaten run.

Ashour can claim to be the world’s best by a distance in terms of the ranking computer, and adding the title of world champion to this means nobody can argue as to the man to beat at present.

I had a decent run of matches to reach the final in Kuwait, and took a healthy 1-0 and 7-5 lead to put myself within close range of the winning line. But 7-5 proved the turning point when a huge swing in momentum took over. Ashour allowed me only one more point in that game as he levelled the scores.

From then on it was a bit of a rout. The match turned on its head, and he pulverised me 11-3 11-3 in the last two games.

Elsewhere, a couple of young protegees from my club in Pontefract experienced their first foray into international team squash over the weekend when they won their first England caps in the Five Nations under-13 and under-15 tournament in Le Mans in France. Sam Todd and Ellen Cooper both won their matches in the under-13 final against France and the team won 5-0.

The under-15 team beat Ireland to win their title.

The Canary Wharf Classic, one of the most anticipated events of the year, began yesterday in the capital.

The top four seeds are Nick Matthew, myself, Greg Gaultier and Mohamed El Shorbagy. All being well an exciting week of squash ahead.