11:09 am
27 Feb 2024

Willstrop's Swedish Open Win Caps Best Ever Tour Run

10 Feb 2008

England's James Willstrop beat fellow countryman Peter Barker in today's final of the Case Swedish Open to cap the best ever PSA Tour run of his squash career in Linköping.

Winner of the Mamut English Open in Sheffield in December, the 24-year-old world No6 from Pontefract in Yorkshire went on to reach the Bear Stearns Tournament of Champions final in New York last month, before - in his third Tour event in a row - he clinched the $55,000 title at the Linköping Sporthallen.

It was after triumphs over fellow Englishmen Joey Barrington and Adrian Grant, the eighth and sixth seeds, respectively, that Willstrop faced England team-mate Barker in the Swedish Open climax.

The first game in front of a packed house at Linköping Sporthallen was one of high quality - in which the English pair were neck and neck until a run of points gave Willstrop the early advantage. The Yorkshireman took the second game comfortably and had an answer for everything that Barker threw at him in the third to win 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 in 38 minutes.

"The first game was all-important with Peter having played so well all week," Willstrop told WWW.PSALIVE.TV later. "We both raised our games very early and I just managed to nick it. I've been working on a few parts of my game and feel that things are coming together well.

"I'm very happy to win here in front of a big knowledgeable crowd and in a tournament which has a great feel about it with so many age groups players coming here to watch in the last few days. That really makes a difference.

"I think this gives me a really good platform for retaining my British National title next week which will be tough in itself with such a strong field," added the British champion.

There was also English success in the women's Zack-sponsored Tour 4 WISPA World Tour final, when Sarah Kippax, the top seed from Cheshire, beat Pakistan's No2 seed Carla Khan 9-0, 4-1 (ret.

Men's Final:
[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [3] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-4 (38m)

Women's Final:
[1] Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt [2] Carla Khan (PAK) 9-0, 4-1 ret. (18m)