JAMES Willstrop stayed on course for a third successive PSA Tour title and the coveted No 1 world ranking spot with a 12-10, 11-4, 11-5 victory over Alister Walker in the Punj Lloyd PSA Masters in New Delhi.
Third seed Willstrop was pushed close by his former England team-mate – who now represents his native Botswana – and now faces Brentwood’s Darryl Selby in today’s quarter-finals.
Should world No 2 Willstrop reach the last four, he will most likely face top-seeded Egyptian Ramy Ashour, who was world No 1 until January when he was succeeded by Sheffield’s Nick Matthew who has stayed there ever since.
Ashour despatched Australian No 1 Cameron Pilley 11-5, 12-14, 11-2, 11-4 in 42 minutes and will now face England’s Peter Barker, who defeated Leeds-based Saurav Ghosal 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 in 52 minutes.
With Matthew out injured until 2012 and Ashour just back from a lengthy injury lay-off of his own, 28-year-old Willstrop is well-placed to reach top spot in the men’s game for the first time. Eclipsing his current No 2 standing, which he returned to just this month more than six years after first reaching such heights in his early 20s.