LJ Celebrates Birthday In World Top Ten

Laurens Jan Anjema has good reason to celebrate his 28th birthday today: The Dutchman has leapt two places to a career-high No9 in the new December Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings published today by the Professional Squash Association.

The new rankings come on the eve of the Saudi PSA World Open, the richest event in history which gets underway in Saudi Arabia – where it is being held for the first time – tomorrow (2 December).

Egypt’s Ramy Ashour is top of the list, marking his fourth successive month as world number one after strengthening his position following title success in last month’s PSA Super Series Kuwait Open.

The 23-year-old from Cairo is ahead of second-placed Englishman Nick Matthew and third-placed compatriot Karim Darwish.

But it is five PSA World Tour final appearances this year, including title successes in three, which have contributed toLaurens Jan Anjema‘s top ten debut. In October, the third-seeded Dutchman reached the final of the US Open against expectation – and last month notched up his 25th Tour final appearance on home soil at the Dutch Open in Rotterdam.

France’s Gregory Gaultier moves up to four in the new list to mark his highest placing since January. The 27-year-old from Aix-en-Provence reached the semi-finals in last month’s Kuwait Open and Qatar Classic.

Egypt’s 19-year-old Mohamed El Shorbagy – the youngest player in the world top 40 – returns to a best-ever tenth place.

December top 20 (inc. points average):

1 [1] Ramy Ashour EGY 1,555
2 [2] Nick Matthew ENG 1,224
3 [3] Karim Darwish EGY 983
4 [6] Gregory Gaultier FRA 718
5 [4] James Willstrop ENG 715
6 [5] Amr Shabana EGY 685
7 [7] Thierry Lincou FRA 570
8 [8] Peter Barker ENG 513
9 [11] Laurens Jan Anjema NED 406
10 [12] Mohamed El Shorbagy EGY 406
11 [9] David Palmer AUS 399
12 [10] Wael El Hindi EGY 369
13 [13] Daryl Selby ENG 368
14 [16] Adrian Grant ENG 362
15 [14] Cameron Pilley AUS 353
16 [15] Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS 344
17 [17] Omar Mosaad EGY 332
18 [18] Ong Beng Hee MAS 278
19 [19] Stewart Boswell AUS 267
20 [20] Alister Walker ENG 262