Willstrop aims for tenth success at Cleethorpes

James Willstrop has played in 17 of the 18 championships, winning on no less than nine occasions.
James Willstrop has played in 17 of the 18 championships, winning on no less than nine occasions.

Pontefract Squash Club’s James Willstrop will again be competing in the 19th annual Cleethorpes Invitation tournament this weekend.

It always attracts a formidable eight players and this year’s line-up looks stronger than ever.

It has been won by some illustrious players including John White, the former world number one, Mark Chaloner, former world number four, and Saurav Ghosal, the 11 times Indian champion and that country’s best ever player.

Willstrop has played in 17 of the 18 championships, winning on no less than nine occasions.

Timed as it is, the tournament provides high-class match play as the new professional season approaches.

In last year’s final, Willstrop beat Daryl Selby, his Commonwealth bronze medal winning doubles partner and fellow England international over many years.

They again head this year’s draw which also incudes Alan Cyne, the Scottish number one, and Matthew Hopkins from Australia.

The matches will be of value as Willstrop prepares for the Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Open in the third week of August.

In an age when no draws are easy, such is the depth of the professional game, Willstrop has an acceptable draw in Hong Kong, facing England international Tom Richards in the first round with a prospective meeting with Marwan El Shorbagy, the world number six, in the second round.

Pontefract is also preparing for its first PSA Tournament, the Courtcare Open, an event with a prize fund of £10,000 which has attracted players from Holland, Belgium, Egypt, Kuwait and Australia. Englishman Ben Coleman is seeded one, with recently married Eddie Charlton at number two. The championship first round is on August 11 and the doyen of tournament organisers Terry Dudley will be running the event