James Willstrop winds back the Clock at US Squash Open in ‘Shock of the Season’

July 16 2022

In a season packed with incredible drama on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour, where there was no shortage of comebacks, shocks & upsets, the PSA have recognised the sensational performances of James Willstrop at last year’s US Squash Open as one of the 'Shocks of the Season'.

James Willstrop approached last year’s U.S. Squash Open ranked World No.31 – his lowest PSA World Ranking since November 2003.

Despite the setbacks of the previous 12 months, including two bouts of COVID, the 38-year-old former World No.1 rolled back the years to produce one of his best tournament displays in recent memory as he reached his first major quarter-final since the 2017 J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions.

James Willstrop began his campaign in Philadelphia in assured fashion with an 11-8 11-7 11-7 victory over World No.53 Tsz Fung Yip of Hong Kong before capturing the headlines as he fought from one game down to beat 5th seed Marwan ElShorbagy 9-11 11-5 11-4 11-8.

The Englishman then proved his remarkable display was no fluke as he once again defied the seedings to mount another comeback in the third round. After going 2-1 down to World No.15 Mohamed Abouelghar, James Willstrop clawed his way back with an 11-4 win & then sent the fans into raptures with an 11-3 victory in the fifth.

Although World No.4 Tarek Momen ended James Willstrop’s fairytale run in the quarter-finals, the former World No.1 & reigning Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist was able to push the 2019 World Champion all the way before Momen eventually closed-out a hard-fought 63-minute 11-7 11-13 11-6 11-9 victory.