Egypt’s Ramy Ashour maintains his lead at the top of the March Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings, but second-placed Englishman Nick Matthew has reduced the gap in the new list published by the Professional Squash Association.
The world’s top two players met for the second time this year in last month’s final of the North American Open – but this time Matthew emerged triumphant in the second PSA Super Series 2010 event of the year in Richmond, Virginia, as the Yorkshireman ended a four-match winning streak by Ashour.
While Egyptian Amr Shabana, who lost to Ashour in a five-game semi-final in the USA, holds onto third place, in-form Englishman James Willstrop rises two places to take over fourth place after a semi-final berth in Richmond and a title triumph in the year’s opening PSA Super Series event at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York.
Veteran Frenchman Thierry Lincou also has cause for celebration after moving back into the world’s top eight, leapfrogging David Palmer after beating his Australian rival en-route to winning the Bluenose Classic in Canada last month to notch up his 22nd PSA World Tour title.
Rising English star Daryl Selby moves up three places to No12 to move ahead of compatriot Alister Walker – boosted by an unexpected runners-up berth in the Bluenose Classic.
And Australian Cameron Pilley is rewarded with a career-high world No14 ranking after reaching last month’s Swedish Open semi-finals unseeded.
A surprise runner-up finish in the Motor City Open in Detroit in February has seen Mohd Azlan Iskandar move up to 18 – now ahead of fellow Malaysian Ong Beng Hee for the second time this year.
March top 20 (inc. points average):
1  Ramy Ashour EGY 1155
2  Nick Matthew ENG 1061
3  Amr Shabana EGY 915
4  James Willstrop ENG 718
5  Karim Darwish EGY 682
6  Gregory Gaultier FRA 633
7  Peter Barker ENG 537
8  Thierry Lincou FRA 505
9  David Palmer AUS 463
10  Adrian Grant ENG 391
11  Wael El Hindi EGY 348
12  Daryl Selby ENG 335
13  Alister Walker ENG 319
14  Cameron Pilley AUS 303
15  Laurens Jan Anjema NED 302
16  Mohamed El Shorbagy EGY 286
17  Stewart Boswell AUS 279
18  Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS 270
19  Ong Beng Hee MAS 249
20  Aamir Atlas Khan PAK 248