Fifth Egyptian to reach the PSA summit
By SEAN REUTHE
World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad has overtaken Frenchman Gregory Gaultier to become just the fifth Egyptian player ever to top the PSA Men’s World Rankings, released today (May 1).
Gawad began the season ranked at No.8 but his stunning form over the past eight months has seen him claim five PSA World Tour titles, including major titles at the PSA Men’s World Championship, J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and Qatar Classic.
The 25-year-old from Giza claimed top spot by reaching the final of last month’s El Gouna International Squash Open and, despite losing the title-decider to Gaultier, follows in the footsteps of compatriots Amr Shabana, Karim Darwish, Ramy Ashour and Mohamed ElShorbagy, who have all topped the World Rankings over the past 11 years.
“It means a lot to me, I’ve always had two dreams in my squash career, to be World No.1 and to win the World Championship, so to achieve both dreams in the same season is a dream come true,” said Gawad.
“To be the fifth male Egyptian to reach World No.1 and to follow in the footsteps of the best Egyptian players of all time is a great pleasure. They are all legends of squash and a great image, not only for the sport but also for Egypt.
“I still have lots of goals and will work hard on them. I really want to win more World Championships, win the British Open – one of the most prestigious tournaments in squash – win the World Series Finals and to stay at World No.1 for as long as possible.”
Gaultier slips down to No.2, ahead of ElShorbagy and England’s Nick Matthew, while the younger ElShorbagy brother, Marwan, completes the top five.
Former World No.1 James Willstrop and three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour both move up a spot to No.6 and No.7, respectively, with Ali Farag dropping two places to No.8.
Fares Dessouky retains his No.9 ranking and his compatriot, Tarek Momen, moves up one place to No.10, switching places with Germany’s Simon Rösner.
Daryl Selby, Paul Coll, Ryan Cuskelly and Borja Golan remain in the world’s top 15, with Mohamed Abouelghar enjoying a three-place rise to a career-high No.16 ranking.
The 20-year-old Diego Elias is also on the rise and advances from No.22 to No.19 to move into the top 20 for the first time in his career, becoming the highest ranked South American on the Tour and also the first Peruvian ever to reach the top 20.
Elsewhere, South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger falls two places to close out the top 20, while Mexico’s Cesar Salazar drops out.
PSA Men’s World Rankings Top 20, May 2017.
Picture and graphic courtesy of PSA