Commonwealth Games: Experience helps Willstrop stay on course for double gold

Jenny Duncalf, left, in action during the women's doubles quarter-finals against New Zealand's Amanda Landers-Murphy. Picture: World Squash Federation.
Jenny Duncalf, left, in action during the women's doubles quarter-finals against New Zealand's Amanda Landers-Murphy. Picture: World Squash Federation.
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EXPERIENCE paid dividends for James Willstrop as he battled his way into contention for another medal at the Gold Coast.

The 34-year-old men’s singles champion, playing alongside Declan James, and went a set down to India’s India’s Ramit Tandon and Vikram Malhotra on the show court at Oxenford Studios.

But the English pair bounced back to take the next two games and emerge victorious, 10-11 11-8 11-5.

“Experience paid off there.” said the Harrogate-based former world No 1. “We’ve done a lot of work together and had a good last summer. We spent an awful lot of time on the doubles court now so, as a pair, we’ve got experience.

“I’ve been at it longer than Dec, just because of my age. But in his career he’s already had plenty of big experiences.

“We’ve been there before and we’ve been bronze medallists in the doubles. We try and draw on it and I’ve seen a lot of squash in my time. When you’re 1-0 down you can’t let negative thoughts creep in. We didn’t do that for a second – it was all positivity.”

Daryl Selby, left, on his way to defeat in the mixed doubles against Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (above) but is through to the last four in the men's doubles with Adrian Waller and will face Yorkshire's James Willstrop and Declan James. Picture courtesy of World Squash Federation.

Daryl Selby, left, on his way to defeat in the mixed doubles against Donna Urquhart & Cameron Pilley (above) but is through to the last four in the men's doubles with Adrian Waller and will face Yorkshire's James Willstrop and Declan James. Picture courtesy of World Squash Federation.

Willstrop and James go on to play team-mates Daryl Selby and Adrian Waller in the semi-finals, after they beat home duo Cameron Pilley and Ryan Cuskelly 9-11 11-8 11-10 in a 75-minute epic to reach the last four.

Elsewhere at Oxenford Studios it was not to be for Jenny Duncalf as she and Alison Waters exited the women’s doubles in the quarter-finals.

Drawn against the top seeds, Duncalf and Waters made a good start against Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy but squandered game points in the opener to go down 10-11 5-11.

At the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre, Gabby Adcock and husband Chris set up a mixed doubles badminton semi-final after overcoming home opposition 21-10 21-14.

When you’re 1-0 down you can’t let negative thoughts creep in. We didn’t do that for a second – it was all positivity.

England’s James Willstrop

The world bronze medallists eased past Sawan Serasinghe and Setyana Mapasa to book a final four match against Malaysia’s Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon.

Huddersfied’s Marcus Ellis also made the mixed doubles final four as he and Lauren Smith beat Singapore’s Tan Wei Han and Hee Yong Kai Terry 21-17 21-13.

They will play India’s Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwik Rankireddy in the semi-final, while Ellis is also in the men’s doubles semi-finals after he and Chris Langridge downed Hee and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta 21-18 21-17.

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