Willstrop hails ‘best-ever performance ‘ after downing world No 1 Elshorbagy

JAMES WILLSTROP blasted through to the quarter-finals of the World Championships by beating world No 1 and tournament favourite Mohamed Elshorbagy.

Friday, 20th November 2015, 8:24 am
James Willstrop, right, on his way to victory over tournament favourite and world No 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy at the World Championships. Picture: squashpics.com

The 32-year-old Yorkshireman, from Harrogate, produced the shock of the tournament so far at the Meydenbauer Centre in Bellevue, Washington, rediscovering the kind of form that made him world No1 himself for an 11-month period back in 2012.

Willstrop, who trains out of Pontefract under the watchful eye of his father Malcolm, played a near-perfect game in the early stages to take an unexpected two-game lead.

His Egyptian opponent saved three match balls in the third to claw a game back, but it was to be Willstrop’s day as he steadied himself and recovered to take the fourth and the match.

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Sheffield's Nick Matthew, on his way to victory over Marwan Elshorbagy in the third round of the World Championships. Picture: squashpics.com

“In the context of everything, it’s maybe one of my best-ever performances,” said Willstrop.

“I feel great for the moment but I can’t get too carried away - it’s not the end.

“This is the biggest tournament in the world and I need to get myself together now for the next round, it’s as simple as that. I’ve won but I need to perform again tomorrow.”

Matthew’s encounter with Marwan Elshorbagy saw the latter make the greatest strides in the opening stages as he aimed to avoid the same fate as his brother.

But the 35-year-old second seed, from Sheffield, was able to withstand everything thrown at him to take the victory in three and move on to the next stage.

“I’m delighted to get through that one really,” said Matthew.

“I was a bit flat to start with and I found myself working my way back into that first game. Fortunately I won it and got a bit lucky in the second. I switched off when I had game balls and, when you win two tie-breaks to go 2-0 up, you know that it could have easily been the other way around and you’d be poor not to then capitalise on that and I managed to do that in the third.”

Willstrop goes on to face Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez on Friday night for a place in the semi-final, while Matthew moves on to face eighth seed Tarek Momen from Egypt after he defeated Gregoire Marche.


Third Round: PSA Men’s World Championship 2015

James Willstrop (ENG) bt [1] Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-7 (64m)

[5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL) bt [9] Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) 3-1: 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-2 (74m)

Ali Farag (EGY) bt [6] Simon Rösner (GER) 3-1: 7-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9 (78m)

[3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt Karim Ali Fathi (EGY) 3-0: 11-5, 11-3, 11-3 (28m)

[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt [12] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7 (54m)

[7] Omar Mosaad (EGY) bt [14] Borja Golan (ESP) 3-1: 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 13-11 (65m)

[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-1: 7-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-7 (55m)

[2] Nick Matthew (ENG) bt [10] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY) 3-0: 13-11, 12-10, 11-5 (54m)

Draw - 2015 Men’s World Championship, Quarter-finals

James Willstrop (ENG) v [5] Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)

Ali Farag (EGY) v [3] Gregory Gaultier (FRA)

[4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) v [7] Omar Mosaad (EGY)

[8] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG)