The Professional Squash Association (PSA) can confirm that James Willstrop has tested positive for COVID-19 following a PCR test taken yesterday (August 14) prior to the Allam British Open.
Following his positive test, Willstrop has been withdrawn from the tournament – which takes place between August 16-22 – and will now self-isolate at home for 10 days in line with the UK government restrictions. His positive test has also resulted in the withdrawals of Declan James, Patrick Rooney and Lisa Aitken due to them being classed as ‘close contacts’ having trained with Willstrop on Friday.
Before joining the ‘tournament bubble’, all players are required to take a PCR test prior to travelling to the event hotel as well as another PCR test the day before the tournament begins. Further tests are then taken regularly during the tournament in accordance with PSA’s strict COVID-19 protocols.
The PSA sends its best wishes to Willstrop and hopes he makes a speedy recovery.
As a result of the withdrawals, Scotland’s Greg Lobban takes Willstrop’s spot as a 9/16 seed and receives a bye into round two, where he will face World Champion Ali Farag. Scotland’s Alan Clyne takes Lobban’s position in the draw and will face France’s Auguste Dussourd.
Spain’s Bernat Jaume will now play compatriot Iker Pajares Bernabeu, while England’s George Parker takes James’s spot as a 17/32 seed and will line up against wildcard Sam Todd in round one. Joshua Masters takes Rooney’s spot in the draw and will play Frenchman Baptiste Masotti, while Portugal’s Rui Soares comes into the draw to face Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller.
In the women’s event, Malaysia’s Rachel Arnold takes Aitken’s place in the 17/32 seeded positions and will go up against Egypt’s Hana Ramada in round one. England’s Lily Taylor comes into the draw and she will play USA’s Sabrina Sobhy.
The Allam British Open takes place between August 16-22 and you can catch all the action live from the Allam Sports Centre on SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).