Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Ali Farag bounces back to world number one

By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

Egypt’s Ali Farag has reclaimed the men’s World No.1 spot from rival Paul Coll of New Zealand – a day and a half after retiring from the final of the U.S. Open inside two minutes because of injury.

Farag returns to the top following the release of the PSA World Rankings today (October 17) which are now published weekly instead of monthly.

Farag, who was world No.1 for 11 months in 2021, has been engaged in a fascinating struggle at the game’s summit with Coll in 2022, with Coll displacing Farag as the world’s top ranked player between March and May, and again at the beginning of October.

After his run to the U.S. Open final, in which Farag was forced to retire hurt against Peru’s Diego Elias after just two rallies, the 30-year-old is now back on top.

Coll, who exited in the quarter-finals in Philadelphia, slips back to world No.2.

As a result of his U.S. Open victory, Elias moves to his best ever ranking of No.3, displacing 2021 U.S. Open champion Mostafa Asal, who falls to No.5 after his title defence ended with disqualification in the second round.

Completing the changes in the top five is England’s former world No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy, who has climbed one place to No.4 after reaching the U.S. Open semi-finals.

He was the man who beat Coll in a 90-minute battle in the U.S. Open the week after winning the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco, which followed his win over France’s Victor Crouin in the Qatar Classic final last month.

England’s Mohamed ElShorbagy in action against Egypt’s Mazen Hesham in San Francisco

Egypt’s Fares Dessouky has moved up one place to No.10, displacing Crouin. Meanwhile, France’s Baptiste Masotti has returned to the top 20.

In the PSA Women’s World Rankings, Salma Hany has returned to the top 10 after climbing three places, while the USA has four women inside the top 20 for the first time since November 2021 after Olivia Clyne moved up two places to No.20.

Egypt’s Nouran Gohar continues to dominate at the top of the rankings, with the 25-year-old maintaining a healthy cushion at the summit after winning her third successive U.S. Open title.

Her opponent in Saturday’s final, former world No.1 Nour El Sherbini, will take some consolation from her own rise in the rankings, with the reigning world champion leapfrogging Hania El Hammamy into second place in the rankings.

PSA World Rankings: Top 20, Monday October 17, 2022.


Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour 


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