James Willstrop to help England title defence in World Team Championships Final

James Willstrop will today represent England against top seeds Egypt in the final of the WSF Men's World Team Squash Championship after helping the defending champions defeat Australia in yesterday semi-final.

England, the second seeds, overcame arch-rivals Australia 3/0 while favourites Egypt saw off surprise semi-finalists Hong Kong China - the fifth seeds who shocked hosts France in the quarter-finals.
 
Despite the absence of the home side, the packed crowd at Salle Vallier fully engaged with the teams on show - particularly throwing themselves behind underdogs Hong Kong in their battle with Egypt.
 
The victory over perennial rivals Australia saw England secure a place in the final for the ninth time since 1983. The two countries have won the title 13 times between them - and were clashing in the championship for the 12th time since 1983, with England narrowly ahead 6-5 before today's encounter.
 
The teams' third strings took to the court for the opening match - with Aussie underdog World No.126 Zac Alexander facing World No.15 Daryl Selby. It was the pair's first meeting and Alexander saved a game ball in the first game before taking the lead 12-10. But Selby soon stamped his authority on the match, taking the next three games 11-7 11-5 11-7 to give England the lead.
 
Australian No.1 Ryan Cuskelly came into the second match after being taken to five games in a gruelling 97-minute encounter with Kiwi Paul Coll the night before. The New South Welshman faced Nick Matthew, the three-time world champion whom he had never beaten in four meetings in seven years.
 
Matthew delivered a masterclass in consistent squash to beat Cuskelly, ranked eight places lower, 11-8 11-6 11-4, to clinch England's place in the final.
 
In the best-of-three dead rubber which gave England maximum points, James Willstrop - playing in his third successive world championship battle against Australia since 2007 - defeated Cameron Pilley 12-10 11-6.
 
"We've got New Zealand to thank for pushing Australia hard in their quarter-final last night," Matthew told the crowd when interviewed post-match. "I'm sorry it won't be France, but I can't wait for tomorrow's final - whoever we play!"
 
England team coach David Campion was impressed with Alexander. "He led throughout most of the first game and it was only in third game that you could see that Daryl was getting to him.
 
"Nick had a plan in his match and it worked.
 
"We've got massively experienced players and we'll be ready tomorrow, whether it's Egypt or Hong Kong."
 
UNSQUASHABLE players James Willstrop, Joel Makin, Iker Pajares Bernabeu and Bernat Jaume are all competing in this year’s WSF World Team Squash Championships.
 
Fellow UNSQUASHABLE players both produced impressive performances for Spain who narrowly lost to seventh seeds Germany. Bernat Jaume defeated Valentin Rapp 11-2 11-2 11-5 whilst Iker Pajares Bernabeu pushed German No.1 & World No.9 Simon Rösner before eventually being denied 11-7 5-11 11-13 11-1 11-2.
 
Spain will today play Malaysia in the play-off for 11th place.
 
Welsh No.1 Joel Makin confirmed that he will play no further part in the championships after discovering discomfort in a five-game battle against US No.1 Todd Harrity. Wales will today play Canada in the play-off for 13th place and Joel will stay with his Welsh teammates but will focus on preparing for next week’s AJ Bell PSA World Championships in Manchester.
 
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
 
Joel Makin, Iker Pajares Bernabeu and Bernat Jaume use the UNSQUASHABLE Y-TEC PRO racket which is available exclusively from www.unsquashable.com
 
UNSQUASHABLE sponsored players and brand ambassadors competing on the PSA World Tour are sponsored by AJ Bell, one of the UK’s largest providers of online investment platforms and stockbroker services.
 
For more information regarding the 2017 World Squash Federation (WSF) Men’s World Team Squash Championships, visit: www.wsfmensteams.com & www.squashsite.com