Sky Success Extends Karim Darwish’s World Ranking Lead
Boosted by last month’s success in the biggest PSA World Tour event of the year so far, Egypt’s Karim Darwish has extended his lead at the top of the new October Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings, published today by the Professional Squash Association.
Darwish’s appearance in the climax of the Super Series Platinum Sky Open in his home town of Cairo marked his second Tour final appearance since becoming world number one in January – but gave the 28-year-old his first title triumph when he beat French rival Gregory Gaultier in a thrilling five-game marathon.
Gaultier strengthens his grip on second place in the list – ahead of Egyptians Amr Shabana and Ramy Ashour, who remain at three and four, respectively.
Victory in last month’s internationalSPORTgroup British Open in Manchester tightens Englishman Nick Matthew’s hold on fifth place in the list, while Australia’s David Palmer is in sixth place.
Ankle surgery in April led James Willstrop to drop out of the top ten in the middle of the year. But a sensational comeback run by the Englishman, including semi-final berths in the CIMB Malaysian Open and Sky Open and his second successive appearance in the final of the British Open, has pushed Willstrop up to seven in the new list.
But two more Egyptians are also celebrating notable rises – Wael El Hindi leaping seven places to No13 after reaching the Sky Open quarter-finals, against the odds; and 18-year-old Mohamed El Shorbagy, who continues his meteoric rise up the rankings to register a career-best No 14.
While Ong Beng Hee holds his top 20 position at 19, fellow Malaysian Mohd Azlan Iskandar returns to the elite group by jumping three places to 20.
Of further interest in the full PSA ranking list – which features more than 450 players from all over the world – is that players in the top 50 represent a record 20 nations.
October top 20 (inc. points average):
1  Karim Darwish EGY 1154
2  Gregory Gaultier FRA 929
3  Amr Shabana EGY 871
4  Ramy Ashour EGY 855
5  Nick Matthew ENG 778
6  David Palmer AUS 586
7  James Willstrop ENG 513
8  Thierry Lincou FRA 483
9  Peter Barker ENG 416
10  Adrian Grant ENG 381
11  Borja Golan ESP 352
12  Alister Walker ENG 344
13  Wael El Hindi EGY 290
14  Mohamed El Shorbagy EGY 278
15  Laurens Jan Anjema NED 273
16  Stewart Boswell AUS 253
17  Cameron Pilley AUS 248
18  Aamir Atlas Khan PAK 247
19  Ong Beng Hee MAS 238
20  Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS 233
David Extends Ranking Lead – & Natalie Grinham Back At Two
Nicol David, who last month became world champion for the fourth time, extends her lead at the top of the October Women’s World Rankings, the latest list published today (Thursday) by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA).
The 26-year-old Malaysian recovered from the shock of surrendering her British Open title midway through September to clinch the Forexx Women’s World Open trophy in glorious style in Amsterdam on Sunday.
The win gave Nicol David her 40th WISPA World Tour title – and leaves the Malaysian superstar just one world title short of the record five achieved in 2002 by Australian legend Sarah Fitz-Gerald.
Natalie Grinham, the 31-year-old who won a record three Commonwealth Games gold medals for Australia in 2006 and is now a Dutch national, is richly rewarded for a fine comeback from injury and illness with a return to No2 in the new list.
The younger Grinham sister followed her success in lifting the New Zealand Classic title in August by reaching her third successive WISPA Tour final at Amsterdam’s Frans Otten Stadion last week. Natalie took the opening game in the World Open final, but her impressive run finally came to an end at the hands of the mighty Malaysian.
Natalie Grainger, the former world number one from the USA who is currently recovering from a foot injury, slips to No3, while Australia’s Rachael Grinham – beaten by sister Natalie in the World Open semi-finals – holds onto fourth place, ahead of English pair Alison Waters and Jenny Duncalf.
But Madeline Perry, the Irish number one who suffered a career-threatening head injury two years ago, is rewarded for her surprise appearance in the final of the internationalSPORTgroup British Open in Manchester with a rise to No7 – her best ranking since a career-best No6 in April 2006.
The 32-year-old from Banbridge, near Belfast, made her British Open breakthrough by beating Nicol David – her first win over the Malaysian in 15 career meetings – in the quarter-finals, and went to make the last eight of the World Open in the Netherlands capital.
Dutch star Vanessa Atkinson also records a rise in the October list, moving up to 12 after a last 16 finish in her home country – and England’s Tania Bailey also makes a return to the world top 20 at 19.
Outside the top 20, Australian Donna Urquhart celebrates a career-high 26 ranking after becoming the only qualifier to reach the British Open quarter-finals – then making her maiden appearance in the World Open after qualifying.
October top 20 (inc. points average):
1  Nicol David MAS 3537
2  Natalie Grinham NED 1816
3  Natalie Grainger USA 1720
4  Rachael Grinham AUS 1425
5  Alison Waters ENG 1291
6  Jenny Duncalf ENG 1175
7  Madeline Perry IRL 995
8  Omneya Abdel Kawy EGY 931
9  Laura Massaro ENG 838
10  Shelley Kitchen NZL 652
11  Kasey Brown AUS 544
12  Vanessa Atkinson NED 524
13  Isabelle Stoehr FRA 519
14  Jaclyn Hawkes NZL 487
15  Annie Au HKG 482
16  Samantha Teran MEX 476
17  Rebecca Chiu HKG 469
18  Camille Serme FRA 419
19  Tania Bailey ENG 419
20  Raneem El Weleily EGY 387