R1: James 3/0 George

James Willstrop (ENG) 3-0 George Parker (ENG) 11-4, 11-5, 12-10 (44m)

MasterSpider at work

Although the conditions were not the best for the former world number 1, James Willstrop played a scintillating squash against hungry George Parker. Played on the side court, with bouncy conditions, and two tall guys taking their space, this match was extremely entertaining.

George was not happy with the ref – hold the press – and made his opinion very clear, especially at the end of the first game, being warned for descent, but that was the only interaction with the ref really. A few remarks on James movement, reproaching the Pontefract player to prevent him access to the ball, but nothing bad really. Probably more frustration not being able to control/contain his compatriot than actual anger against the ref.
Despite the “Come on big boy” from his supporting brother, George today was unable to counter James mastermind squash. Well, except in the 3rd, where James looked a bit deflated, and George playing his best squash.

Leading for the first time, the 23 years old was able to twist and turn his opponent, leading 7/3, a,d overtaking him from 7/9 to 10/9 game ball. But it wasn’t to be, and I feel James’ experience and emotion control were the key today, 12/10, 20m last game…


You have got to expect you cannot sustain that quality of squash throughout the game, especially as George was playing extremely well. Thing is not to let negative thoughts come to your mind, and stay positive. It would be very easy to let your head down, but it’s all about being ready to react when you feel the danger coming up.
At 36, I have to play my squash, and use my strength and experience when sometimes my physic is not as good as those young players half my age!