Willstrop takes Richmond crown!

James Willstrop (ENG) was the commanding force when he beat Ramy Ashour (EGY) 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 in the final of the North American Open 2012

England’s James Willstrop (ri) produced a tactical master-class to subdue Egypt’s fiery entertainer Ramy Ashour (le) to win the North American Open squash in Richmond, Virginia.

The top seed admitted that his priority was to contain Ashour’s shot-making opportunities in the 2nd World Series event of the year – but his own play at the front of the court was immaculate to take the 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 victory.

Willstrop’s volley-drops, especially, worked to perfection on both sides of the court. At 6ft 4in, the Englishman is the tallest player competing on the PSA World Tour and Ashour, like so many opponents, struggled to place the ball beyond Willstrop’s reach.

“He has come back after injury to play here in Richmond and it’s good for the game to have him back. I am pleased with my whole week, not just today, and it’s great to win the title again here in Richmond.”

Willstrop’s performances this week have propelled him back to the world number one position in March. Willstrop was celebrating his 6th PSA Tour final in his last eight events – and has now racked up his 4th Tour title since November, and the 16th of his career.

“I don’t think many people expected that,” tweeted world champion Matthew. “James played a tactical master-class and deserved the win.”

[1] James Willstrop (ENG) bt [4] Ramy Ashour (EGY) 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 (51m)