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Willstrop in final defeat at the Wharf

PUBLISHED: 18:40 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:15 05 October 2010

Defending champion James Willstrop said there were ""no excuses"" after falling short in the final of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic

By JONATHAN CLEGG

Defending champion James Willstrop said there were "no excuses" after falling short in the final of the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic.

England No 1 Willstrop missed out on his bid to secure a third straight title at East Wintergarden this week as Australia's David Palmer claimed a 11-9 12-10 8-11 11-7 victory on Friday night.

Willstrop had made a habit of staging comebacks on his way to the final, first coming from 2-0 down to beat Borja Golan in the quarter finals, before overcoming a one-game deficit to defeat top seed Amr Shabana in the last four.

He briefly looked on course for a third successive come-from-behind win when he fought back from a two-game deficit to win the third and take a 4-1 lead in the fourth.

But a third comeback proved beyond Willstrop as Palmer (inset) clinched his 25th PSA Tour title.

"Absolutely no excuses - he won by playing excellent squash," said Willstrop.

East London ace Peter Barker suffered a quarter-final loss to in-form world No 3 Gregory Gaultier. Barker, from Limehouse, fell to a 11-9 11-8 11-3 defeat but believes he is closing the gap on the world's top players.

He said: "I wasn't that far away but narrowly losing to narrowly winning is a big step, which I'm trying to take at the moment.

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