Willstrop beats Peter Barker in Shanghai marathon final
England’s James Willstrop, the World No.7 and 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, claimed his first PSA World tour title since 2013 by defeating compatriot Peter Barker 3-2 in the final of the 2014 China Open – Squash Stars On The Bund, PSA International 70 event in Shanghai earlier today (September 7, 2014).
The 31-year-old Harrogate-based player got the better of Barker in a mammoth 98-minute battle, surviving a thrilling comeback to win his first tour title since beating the Essex-man to honours at the 2013 Canary Wharf Classic.
After suffering a disappointing first round exit at the recent Hong Kong Open, his first first-round exit in a PSA tour event since 2006, Willstrop rebounded to put in impressive back-to-back performances against Egyptians Marwan Elshorbagy and Omar Mosaad to reach the final of the inaugural China Open and he looked to be easing to the title after taking an early two-nil lead.
But the resilient Barker, one of the sport’s most physical players, dug deep to level the game after producing some fine play during the third and fourth games.
However, he fell short in the final game as Willstrop managed to find an extra gear, surviving everything Barker could throw at him, to grind out the victory and lift the trophy with a 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 10-12, 11-5 triumph.
2014 China Open – Squash Stars On The Bund: Final:
 James Willstrop (ENG) bt  Peter Barker (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 10-12, 11-5 (98m)
Picture courtesy of PSA