James Willstrop defeats Greg Lobban at Canary Wharf Classic

Four-time Canary Wharf Classic champion James Willstrop got off to a winning start at the 2018 edition of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) M100 tournament as all seeded players claimed victories for the second successive day inside London’s East Wintergarden as the trial of the best-of-three games scoring format continued.

34-year-old Willstrop is a real crowd favourite at East Wintergarden and has been a perennial title contender at the prestigious tournament since his first appearance here in 2006, winning four of the seven finals in which he has participated.
 
Lobban, meanwhile, had beaten top qualifying seed Declan James to qualify for the main draw of this tournament for the first time and brought the best out of Willstrop as he covered the court well and hit some fine shots of his own to push the Yorkshireman hard at the beginning of both games, but Willstrop showed his class to come through by an 11-6, 11-7 margin.
 
“I’m very pleased to win that,” Willstrop said afterwards. “He’s so strong and so fast and I know that the rankings show a certain story but the players don’t even look at that story really. I had to prepare so well and I’m really pleased to win.
 
“This best of three is a fantastic sharpener for everyone and you have to bring more out of yourself. It’s completely different, it changes the whole thing and it’s fascinating stuff for us. The idea is that it’s fascinating for the crowd, so hopefully it’s working. "
 
Willstrop will take on the in-form World No.6 Tarek Momen in the last eight after the Egyptian came out on top against French qualifier Gregoire Marche, winning it 11-7, 11-6 on his first Canary Wharf Classic appearance since 2012, when he lost out to Willstrop in the quarter-finals.
 
The quarter-finals of the Canary Wharf Classic take place tomorrow (March 7) when the best-of-three games scoring format will be used for the final time in this tournament, with the traditional best-of-five games format coming into play for the semi-finals and final.
 
Play starts at 18:00 local time (GMT) and will be shown live on SQUASHTV (Rest of World) and Eurosport Player (Europe only).
 
Results - First Round (Bottom Half): 2018 Canary Wharf Classic
[7] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 2-1: 11-5, 6-11, 11-7 (63m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [WC] Nathan Lake (ENG) 2-0: 11-8, 11-9 (32m)
[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt [Q] Gregoire Marche (FRA) 2-0: 11-7, 11-6 (32m)
[6] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [Q] Greg Lobban (SCO) 2-0: 11-6, 11-7 (33m)
 
Draw - Quarter-Finals: To Be Played March 7th
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v [5] Simon Rösner (GER)
[8] Daryl Selby (ENG) v [3] Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
[7] Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) v [2] Ali Farag (EGY)
[4] Tarek Momen (EGY) v [6] James Willstrop (ENG)
 
UNSQUASHABLE is committed to developing equipment to be used by the world’s leading players because we believe that engineering equipment for professional competition makes for a better product for the everyday player.
 
James Willstrop uses the UNSQUASHABLE JAMES WILLSTROP AUTOGRAPH racket which is available exclusively from www.unsquashable.com and www.pdhsports.com
 
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