TODAY at the
Canary Wharf Classic 2013
Day FIVE at the
22-Mar, The 10th Canary Wharf Final:
James Willstrop 3-1  Peter Barker
11/8, 5/11, 11/4, 11/4 (57m)
James Willstrop, an ever-present in all ten editions of the
Canary Wharf Squash Classic, claimed his fourth title in six
appearances in the final with a hard fought win over fellow
Englishman Peter Barker in front of a packed and appreciative
crown at the East Wintergarden venue.
Player Info, CW Performance History
Final Photo Gallery
Willstrop wins fourth Canary Wharf title
Alan Thatcher reports
James Willstrop collected his fourth Canary Wharf Classic
title with a stunning display of quality squash to subdue his
England team-mate Peter Barker.
The No.4 seed from Essex had produced an outstanding performance
to beat reigning champion Nick Matthew in the semi-finals, but
he was unable to repeat that level of consistency against
launched a ferocious attack at the start of the match, winning
the first four points, but once Willstrop found his rhythm and
length he began to dominate the tenth anniversary final of this
sell-out London tournament.
From 5-2 down Willstrop won four points in a row and from 7-7 he
controlled the closing phase of the game to win 11-8.
The No.2 seed from Leeds looked strangely subdued as he failed
to maintain that level of consistency in the second game.
Barker made fewer mistakes and his high-paced driving had the
6ft 4in Willstrop in all sorts of trouble, twisting and turning
However, that was Barker’s last moment of supremacy as Willstrop
reached his peak. Playing supremely accurate squash, his drives
clung to the side walls and his drop shots found their targets
at the front of the court.
won 10 points in a row from 7-4 in the third to 6-0 in the
fourth to illustrate his control.
He even had time to throw in a few attempts at matching the
amazing triple-fake shot he produced in the recent Davenport
North American Open and launched an internet sensation.
He won the third and fourth games by an 11-4 margin to clinch a
fourth title in his sixth final at a packed East Wintergarden.
It was the first final in the tournament’s history to be
concluded in less than an hour.
While the majority of the London crowd may have been cheering
for local favourite Barker, they acknowledged the sheer mastery
of a sporting genius playing squash of a phenomenally high
Willstrop, who won the very first Canary Wharf final against
Thierry Lincou as a 19-year-old in 2004, was delighted to claim
his first PSA title since beating Ramy Ashour in the final of
the North American Open in February last year.
received his trophy from the Canary Wharf Group company
secretary, John Garwood, who said:
“That match, and the quality of the squash we have seen all week
at Canary Wharf, demonstrates why squash should be in the
Olympics instead of a sport like golf.”
His feelings were echoed by BBC sports presenter John
Inverdale, who was in the audience.
He said: “Golf doesn’t need to be in the Olympics because so
many leading players are ambivalent about playing.
“But there is no reason why squash shouldn’t be in the Games
because it would be the peak of any squash player’s career.
“If squash can fulfil the IOC requirements of global
participation then it stands a very good chance of being voted
win any final at this level requires a massive physical and
“Peter played superbly to win last night and any victory against
Nick requires a huge effort.
“He must have gone home feeling very happy with that victory and
it must have felt like winning the final.
“It’s so difficult to back it up the next day but the first two
games tonight were as tough as they come and I was pleased to
play so well and win my fourth Canary Wharf title.
“Winning any title is a wonderful occasion and especially here.
This is a fantastic venue, and I love coming here. To win
at Canary Wharf is very special to me.”
“He played much better than me, that’s for sure. You saw tonight
just how good a player James is.
“It was a good win for me last night but I couldn’t back it up.”
TEXT UPDATES - as it all happened