The current World No.1 and Commonwealth Silver Medalist James Willstrop burst onto the scene when in 2002 he crowned a sensational junior career with his third consecutive British Junior, European Junior and World Junior titles.
In the very next year he would become one of the youngest players in history to represent the senior England team at the European And World Team championships.
The 6 foot 4 inch Yorkshireman, coached by his father Malcolm Willstrop and brother David Campion at the Pontefract and Queens Clubs, became the world’s top-ranked Englishman just two years after becoming a ‘senior’. In December 2005, after reaching a career-high world No2, he led England to victory for the first time in eight years at the World Team Championships in Pakistan James had well and truly announced his arrival on the world stage.
After a glorious 2008 in which the Yorkshireman reached five Tour finals, with success in the Swedish Open, Virginia Pro Championship and Canary Wharf Classic (for the second time) his career suffered a major setback in April 2009 when he was forced to undergo ankle surgery. Thankfully James proved his remarkable strength of character to bounce back and, in September battled through to the British Open final for the second year in a row.
2010 saw James pick up the prestigious Tournament of Champions trophy in New York under the chandeliers in Grand Central Terminus, and it was his sole World Series title of that year.
2011, though, was his best yet. He won the Hong Kong Open, the Kuwait PSA cup, and the Punjj Lloyd PSA masters consecutively in November and December to hold the number one position in the world rankings on January 1 2012. He remains the occupier of that position. He has just written his first book of diaries, 'Shot and a Ghost', and writes a weekly column for the Yorkshire Evening Post.
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