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Willstrop advances to the Quarter-Final in Manchester


Former World No.1 James Willstrop overcame Laurens Jan Anjema in a hard-fought first round match at the AJ Bell British Grand Prix, PSA M70 event.

The Yorkshireman maintained his 100% head-to-head record against his Dutch opponent to claim a confident 3-1 victory.

After a highly-competitive first game, which Willstrop claimed 11-8, a determined Anjema fought back to win the second game 11-4, levelling the match in the process.

However, 'The Marksman' grew more confident as the match progressed, displaying a variety of immaculate shots to take the third game 11-5.

Willstrop continued to dominate in the fourth, claiming it 11-6 to clinch an assured 3-1 victory.

“Its good to have a blow out so the body gets moving,” said Willstrop.

“You need to blow the cobwebs out. Hopefully that got rid of them because it gets the lungs to open up. Its all positive and I'm happy to be playing in a quarter final against a world class operator [Matthew] and it's a big rivalry. You never know whats going to happen.

“I usually use a lob serve and I just couldn’t get the angle so I started trying it [a new serve] and it works well with a left hander because you’re serving more to that side maybe. There no sort of particular science it just kind of gives me a bit more of an angle, whereas when I'm doing it straight I can't always get the angle straight.”

The Yorkshireman's triumph now sets up a tantalising quarter-final match with long-term rival and fellow Englishman Nick Matthew, which is sure to be the highlight of the action on Saturday.

Result- First Round: AJ Bell British Grand Prix 2015
[8] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Laurens Jan Anjema (NED) 3-1 : 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-6

Report by Jonny Coverdale

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