Willstrop makes his return after injury

RETURN: Yorkshire's James Willstrop. Picture: Steve Cubbins/squashsite.com
RETURN: Yorkshire's James Willstrop. Picture: Steve Cubbins/squashsite.com
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James Willstrop returns to the PSA Tour for the first time in nearly five months today when he takes on fellow Harrogate resident Chris Simpson in the Swedish Open.

The 31-year-old won the China Open back in September, but – save for a Premier Squash League appearance for Pontefract last month – has been out of action following a hip operation.

Fellow Yorkshireman Nick Matthew is also in action; the 34-year-old from Sheffield is seeded No 2 and takes on Finland’s Olli Tuominen.

England’s Peter Barker, the World No8, has withdrew through injury on Tuesday and had been due to play South African Stephen Coppinger, the man who beat him at the quarter-final stage of the recent Motor City Open.

As a result, Coppinger moves up in the draw to face wildcard Rasmus Hult in the opening round.

Barker’s withdrawal also sees fellow Essex-man Adrian Waller profit as the 25-year-old automatically moves into the main draw where he will face German World No 10 Simon Rösner.

The amended first round draw is as follows:[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) v Fares Dessouki (EGY); [Qualifier] v [6] Nicolas Mueller (SUI); [8] Stephen Coppinger (RSA) v [WC] Rasmus Hult (SWE); Chris Simpson (ENG) v [3] James Willstrop (ENG); [4] Simon Rösner (GER) v Adrian Waller (ENG); [Q] Shaun Le Rous (Rsa) v [5] Marwan Elshorbagy (EGY); [7] Cameron Pilley (AUS) v [Q] Joe Lee (Eng); [Q] Olli Tuominen (FIN) v [2] Nick Matthew (ENG).

World No 1 Nicol David beat Egypt’s Raneem El Welily 11-5 11-9 11-4 to clinch her third Cleveland Open title.

It was an impressive return to form by the 31-year-old from Penang who suffered a shock quarter-final exit in last month’s JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York.