IT was a case of unlucky 13 for Pontefract Squash Club’s James Willstrop when he was beaten in the final of the Tournament of Champions in New York last night (Thursday).
Willstrop (pictured) lost 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 to long-time rival Nick Matthew in front of a packed crowd in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal.
Afterwards Willstrop conceded that he “needs to work harder” to find a way to beat Matthew who has now defeated the Pontefract player 13 consecutive times, dating back to February, 2009.
With his victory, top seed Matthew also won back the world number one ranking from Willstrop.
Willstrop won the first game and took an early 5-2 lead in the second.
At 9-7 up, Willstrop looked like he would have game ball when he forced a loose shot from Matthew but instead he hit the tin.
Willstrop admitted: “The end of that second game was really the difference in the match. I needed to put it away.”