4:47 am
23 Jul 2024

James Willstrop 'A Future World No1' Say Prince

7 Sep 2007

England's leading squash player James Willstrop will be a future world number one, according to racquet brand Prince which celebrated the signing of the world's seventh-ranked player today at a reception at the University of Birmingham.

The announcement was made on quarter-final day of the Prince English Grand Prix - Birmingham 2007, a new international event which has attracted the world's leading players, and is staged on an all-glass court in the University's Great Hall.

Willstrop, who captained England to success in the recent World Team Championships, has signed a three-year worldwide agreement with Prince Sports which includes racquets, bags, grips, strings and clothing.

The 24-year-old Yorkshireman is making his ranking event debut in the Birmingham event using the revolutionary new Prince O3 Black racquet.

In a presentation made by Mike Ballardie, the VP and Managing Director of Prince Sports Europe revealed that the UK represented 50% of the European squash market, which made Willstrop an ideal candidate as the new face of the brand worldwide

Ballardie pointed out that Prince's pioneering O3 technology - which is featured on all the brand's tennis, squash and badminton racquets and used by over 100 top tennis players including Maria Sharapova, Nikolay Davydenko and Jelena Jankovic and more than 20 squash players like England's four-times Commonwealth Games gold medallist Peter Nicol and world No1 Nicol David - has helped all players improve their world rankings!

"We believe that James's skills combined with our technology will help him become world number one," said Ballardie.

Willstrop agreed that signing to Prince was a natural move: "I see joining Prince as a real way forward - it's the right company for me.

"But thanks for all the pressure," joked Willstrop, eyeing the Prince MD. "I'm quite glad that I am seven in the world - not two - after that speech!"