Pontefract’s Willstrop going for gold in Commonwealth Games final

James Willstrop: Through to the Commonwealth Games final.
James Willstrop: Through to the Commonwealth Games final.

Pontefract Squash Club star James Willstrop is aiming to make it third time lucky in the Commonwealth Games this morning.

The 34-year-old former world number one has turned back the clock with a series of outstanding displays and has reached the men’s singles final for the third time.

In the previous two he has lost to Sheffield’s Nick Matthew, but this time he will be up against New Zealander Paul Coll as he looks to add a gold medal to the two silvers he won in the previous two Games.

Willstrop came into the event as the number four seed and reached the final by comfortably beating the player who beat Matthew in the quarter-finals, putting away Malaysian second seed Nafiizwan Adan in straight sets.

He said: “I was just desperate to get here and try not to build it up too much.

“Last time around there was lots of media and pressure and this time there’s been a lot less focus on me, which I’ve really welcomed.

“I thought my form was pretty good but I had no idea what was going to happen this week. It will be different to play a Commonwealth Games final against someone who isn’t Nick (Matthew), but it doesn’t make any difference to me.

“Paul is the favourite. He’s an incredibly tough player on the up and has beaten me the last few times.”