Pontefract Squash Club’s James Willstrop, the world number six and Commonwealth Games silver medal winner, suffered a shock defeat in the opening round of the 2014 Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash Open earlier today at the hands of Egyptian Tarek Momen.
Willstrop fell to a comprehensive 3-0: 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 defeat at the hands of the 26-year-old world number 12 in a 42-minute defeat that sees him fail to reach the second round of a World Series event for the first time since the 2006 World Championship.
The 2011 Hong Kong Open winner appeared to be struggling with his movement throughout the match, evidence that he hasn’t fully recovered from a hip injury which troubled him prior to the Glasgow Games in July, but he was quick to praise the play of conqueror Momen.
“I’m obviously disappointed with the result but Tarek played well and he is a top class player,” said 30-year-old Willstrop following the defeat.
“It hasn’t gone the way I wanted it today. He was quicker, moved better and edged it when he needed to. It was close and only a few points difference in each game but all credit to him his game worked today.
“I lost to him last time out and he’s a lot better than many people think he is. On his day he’s right up there among the top players and it was certainly one of the toughest first round matches I have ever had.”