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Willstrop Ends Title Drought to Lift Wimbledon Open Crown


Former World No.1 James Willstrop ended an 18-month barren spell to capture his 19th career PSA World Tour title with a victory over in-form Egyptian Omar Abdel Meguid in the final of the inaugural Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open, PSA M25 tournament.

The Yorkshireman has been in spellbinding form throughout the event and downed a trio of fellow Englishman in straight games to reach the final. Meguid, meanwhile, is in the midst of some of his best ever form and had won three of his last four PSA World Tour events heading into the tournament in Wimbledon.

It was the pair’s second ever professional meeting, with Willstrop prevailing in their first encounter at last year’s Canary Wharf Classic. Both players controlled the opening game in patches but it was Willstrop’s error-free display that saw him take it to build up a 1-0 advantage. Meguid rallied and surged into a five-point lead in game two but Willstrop’s pinpoint accuracy and masterful shot-selection soon came to the fore as he took 11 of the next 13 points to go two games to the good.

A resilient Meguid battled back though in the third and the man from Giza overturned a three-point Willstrop lead to reduce the arrears as he sought to gain a foothold in the encounter.

Willstrop responded with some hard, accurate hitting and outmanoeuvred his opponent impressively to close out the fourth game, earning an 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4 triumph which will give the World No.13 plenty of confidence heading into next week’s prestigious Allam British Open where he has finished as a runner-up on three occasions.

“It was a very high intensity match,” Willstrop said to SquashSite.

“We are two big fellows, I don’t think that there are two bigger or heavier players than us on the Tour so I think that we did pretty well. I’m very happy to play at that level, I hope the crowd enjoyed it and I’m thrilled to win the title. When you’ve been in the [world’s] top 10, you have more experience with the big points, you work very hard for hours and it allows us to have the knack to be able to put the ball away at crucial times.

“The level is so high, it’s been tight squash from the first match. I’m in the top 15 [in the world] and Robbie [Downer] in my first match was ranked 123rd and it was tight throughout the match. The depth of the game is just remarkable and I had to use every bit of experience.

“It’s a mental intensity that I think you develop after hours and hours of work and time on court and matches.”

Result – Final: Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open 2016
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [2] Omar Abdel Meguid (EGY) 3-1: 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4 (62m)

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