Squash star Barker targets world top four

ISLINGTON’S Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Peter Barker is targeting the world’s top four after rounding off an impressive 2010 season, writes Ziad Chaudry.

The 27-year-old, who took the bronze medal in Delhi in October, was in action last week at the ATCO PSA World Series finals at Queen’s Club in Kensington, where he narrowly missed out on a spot in the last four.

Despite beating Egyptian Wael El Hindi in two straight games, Arsenal fanatic Baker lost to fellow Brit and Commonwealth Games champion Nick Matthew 112-14, 11-3, 11-7 and Egypt’s four-time world champion Amr Shabana 11-8 11-2.

Despite that disappointment, Barker now aims to build on his gold in India to make a push for the world’s top four.

“Obviously the objective is to get to number one in the world but right now if I have a good next six months then I’ve got a great chance to push on and get into the world’s top four,” said Barker. “That’s my immediate goal, also to come back here to the finals next year.

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“It’s been a pretty good season overall. I started terribly where I had real lows, but fortunately towards the end of 2010 I got back into the top eight and finished well.

“There were no ranking points associated with this event so I was just playing for pride. There was pressure on myself to do well in this event.

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“Unfortunately I didn’t start well but played better in my next game and won 2-0.

“I nearly got there against Matthew. but I’m not too disappointed,”

Barker kicks off his 2011 Tour this weekend in New York at JP Morgan Tournament of Champions event.

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