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James Willstrop in action against Greg Lobban

Qatar Classic RD2: Willstrop Through to Last 16

England’s former World No.1 James Willstrop overcame Scotland’s World No.22 Greg Lobban 11-7, 13-15, 11-7, 11-7 to reach the last 16 of the Qatar Classic in Doha.

Willstrop, who is featuring in his 17th Qatar Classic event and has won the trophy before in 2005, was at his accurate best in the first game to take a one game lead.

Lobban rose to the fight in the second though and found his length to push Willstrop into the back corners, saving two game balls to push the game to the tie-break. Some rapid court coverage from both players ensued with Lobban playing good squash to put Willstrop under pressure and was rewarded with errors from the experienced Englishman to draw level.

World No.18 Willstrop ensured he got his accurate shot selection back on track in the third and fourth though to stay ahead of Lobban in each and close out in 59 minutes.

Willstrop will face the winner of Tarek Momen v Youssef Soliman in the next round.

“He is a real fighter, but his squash is coming on all the time,” said Willstrop.

“I think he’s known for being physical and strong, but honestly the quality of what he is doing at the minute, especially on the left, it was very hard to get a way in. I thought the quality was really good by both of us and I had to play so well, but I was just finding today that I couldn’t find the opportunities at all. There were so many rallies down that left side that I couldn’t get a chance because the accuracy on the length was so good. I thought it was a great game and he was unbelievably tough to beat.

“I feel alright and quite fit. We’ve been training all week and it’s just exciting to be on the court now. It’s a bit of a sad situation right now everywhere but we’re enormously grateful and we’re pleased. I’m in a good frame of mind and feeling good.”

Result:
James Willstrop (ENG) bt Greg Lobban (SCO) 3-1: 11-7, 13-15, 11-7, 11-7 (59m)

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