As predicted by his victory in last week’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, Egypt’s Ramy Ashour has reclaimed the world number one ranking in the new September Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings, published by the Professional Squash Association.
The 22-year-old from Cairo first secured the top spot in January this year – but was replaced in June by England’s Nick Matthew, who arrived in Hong Kong with five successive PSA World Tour titles to his credit, including the previous two PSA Super Series events, the Sky Open and Australian Open.
But the 30-year-old top seed from Sheffield crashed out in the quarter-finals in Hong Kong, beaten for the first time in nine meetings by his England team-mate Peter Barker.
Matthew’s pole position would have been safe had Ashour not won the Super Series title. But, playing the best squash of his career, the Egyptian reached the climax, then battled to a stunning 10-12, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 win over France’sGregory Gaultier – also a former world number one – in a 90-minute final.
“That was a quality match – I’ll watch it over and over again to see what I did right, what I did wrong, and learn from it,” said a jubilant Ashour at the post-match presentations.
“Now I’m world number one it’s great, but we’ve still got lots of big tournaments coming up and my aim is to keep playing well and keep winning.”
Indeed Ashour and Matthew are seeded to face each other in September’s final of the ROWE British Grand Prix, the sixthPSA Super Series event of the year in England – an event which could result in further changes to the world ranking hierarchy.
Positions immediately below the top two remain unchanged, with Egyptians Amr Shabana and Karim Darwish holding onto third and fourth places, respectively, and England’s James Willstrop staying at six.
But his first semi-final berth in a PSA Super Series championship this year lifts Peter Barker to seventh place, while France’sThierry Lincou slips to No8.
And there is further Egyptian success with the world top ten debut of teenager Mohamed El Shorbagy. The 19-year-old from Alexandria, who is combining a squash career with studying for a degree at a University in the UK, made the last 16 in both the Australian Open and Hong Kong Open – and rises three places to a career-high No10.
September top 20 (inc. points average):
1  Ramy Ashour EGY 1,408
2  Nick Matthew ENG 1,361
3  Amr Shabana EGY 897
4  Karim Darwish EGY 890
5  Gregory Gaultier FRA 818
6  James Willstrop ENG 745
7  Peter Barker ENG 569
8  Thierry Lincou FRA 548
9  Daryl Selby ENG 403
10  Mohamed El Shorbagy EGY 393
11  Wael El Hindi EGY 388
12  David Palmer AUS 379
13  Laurens Jan Anjema NED 373
14  Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS 350
15  Adrian Grant ENG 344
16  Cameron Pilley AUS 337
17  Alister Walker ENG 328
18  Stewart Boswell AUS 279
19  Ong Beng Hee MAS 266
20  Tarek Momen EGY 252
Great final between Ramy and Greg…Ramy totally deserves the no.1 slot back. I’m sure we’ve not heard the last of Nick Mathew though!
Can’t wait to see what happens in the ROWE British Grand Prix.
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