James Willstrop Wins Fourth Canary Wharf Classic Crown

James Willstrop collected his fourth Canary Wharf Classic title with a stunning display to subdue a spirited challenge from compatriot Peter Barker in the final of the PSA World Tour International 50 event at East Wintergarden in London.

Barker, the fourth seed, had produced an outstanding performance to beat reigning champion Nick Matthew in the semi-finals, but was unable to repeat the same level of consistency against Willstrop, against whom he has only recorded two career wins.

Buoyed by his sensational semi-final victory, Barker launched a ferocious attack at the start of the much anticipated match, winning the first four points, but once his archrival found his rhythm and range Willstrop soon began to dominate the tenth anniversary final of this sell-out London tournament.

From 5-2 down Willstrop won four consecutive points and from 7-7 before closing-out the game 11-8 with a succession of spectacular winners.

However, the No.2 seed looked strangely subdued as he failed to maintain the same level of consistency in the second game. Barker, making fewer errors & seeking to re-establish a foothold in the match with high-paced driving, had his 6ft 4in opponent twisting and turning uncomfortably to level the contest at one game all.

However, Barker's period of supremacy was quickly subdued in the third with Willstrop achieving greater length and width; winning 10 points in a row from 7-4 in the third to 6-0 in the fourth to illustrate his supremacy before going on to win the fourth game 11-4 to claim a fourth title in his sixth final at a packed East Wintergarden.

Willstrop, who won the very first Canary Wharf final against Frenchman Thierry Lincou as a 20-year-old in 2004, was delighted to claim his first PSA World Tour title since beating Egypt's Ramy Ashour in the final of the North American Open in February last year.

"Winning titles at this level is getting harder and harder - the effort you need to put in is immense. This is one of my favourite venues - I love playing in the Canary Wharf Classic," said Willstrop, who has played in every event since 2004 and now boasts his 17th title on the PSA World Tour.

PSA International 50 Canary Wharf Classic, London, England
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [4] Peter Barker (ENG) 11-8, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4 (57m)

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