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Matthew and Gaultier share top spot

Lee Hortonhttps://squashmad.com
Former Sun, Mirror, People and Sunday Express sports executive. Knows a bit about newspapers and the art of talking a good game. Brighter than some but a way to go to match others.

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ENTENTE CORDIALE: England and France share top spot
ENTENTE CORDIALE: England and France share top spot in the February PSA world rankings

Entente cordiale as England and France share PSA top spot
By LEE HORTON – Squash Mad Chief Reporter

Gregory Gaultier has joined Nick Matthew at the top of the PSA rankings, the first time the number one spot has been shared by two players with an identical points tally.

Matthew, who beat Gaultier in Manchester in November to win his third world title, topped the rankings in January.

An extraordinary series of performances by Amr Shabana on his way to victory in the Tournament of Champions, beating England’s Matthew and James Willstrop on the way to the final, looked certain to cause major upheaval as Ramy Ashour was once again absent through injury.

Gaultier, who powered through the other half of the draw in New York, needed to beat Shabana (pictured above) to claim the number one position outright, but he found the veteran Egyptian in immaculate form and his straight-games victory meant that the Frenchman finished the week on the same number of points (1297.500) as Matthew.

On the day when France scraped a late win over England in the Six Nations rugby, and the day after English Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed French President Francois Hollande to a defence summit meeting in Oxfordshire, Gaultier said: “Being number one is a massive thing for any player and it was a big goal for me to become number one again after five years.”

He previously held top spot in November 2009 but admitted that he struggled to cope with the stress of being out in front. Since then he has revealed that becoming a father for the first time has changed his outlook on life and made him a lot calmer on court.

He added: “For now I’m going to enjoy it, but I need to keep improving as well. Even when you are on the top of your game you have to keep learning and keep improving things because if you don’t move forward the other guys catch up.”

Gaultier’s opponent in the New York semi-final, 23-year-old Egyptian Mohamed Elshorbagy, has moved above compatriot Ashour to take the world number three spot, becoming the highest ranked Egyptian player for the first time in his career.

WATCH OUT! Mo has promised his second Rolex to coach Jonah Barrington
WATCH OUT! Mohamed Elshorbagy promised his second Rolex to coach Jonah Barrington

Elshorbagy followed his impressive run at Grand central Station by beating Peter Barker in the final of the Motor City Open, having overcome an exhausted Shabana in the semi-final.

“Of course it means a lot to be ranked as the number one player in Egypt but that is only a stepping stone towards my goals,” said Elshorbagy.

“People don’t remember who the number one in their country is, but they remember the world champions, British Open champions and world number ones, so those are the goals for me.

“Players like Amr Shabana, because he has achieved so much more than any other player in Egypt has ever achieved, are the players who get remembered and I want to emulate that.”

PSA World Rankings (February 2014)

RankNameCountryAveragePlayed
1 [1]Nick MatthewEngland1297.50010
1 [2]Gregory GaultierFrance1297.50011
3 [4]Mohamed ElshorbagyEgypt1009.50012
4 [3]Ramy AshourEgypt986.0008
5 [5]James WillstropEngland845.50010
6 [7]Borja GolanSpain668.50013
7 [8]Peter BarkerEngland610.50013
8 [6]Karim DarwishEgypt607.50012
9 [9]Amr ShabanaEgypt561.5009
10 [10]Daryl SelbyEngland476.50013
11 [13]Simon RosnerGermany449.50013
12 [11]Tarek MomenEgypt418.63614
13 [12]Omar MosaadEgypt385.00013
14 [14]Miguel Angel RodriguezColombia363.50013
15 [18]Cameron PilleyAustralia353.50013
16 [17]Laurens Jan AnjemaNetherlands317.27315
17 [16]Karim Abdel GawadEgypt307.50013
18 [15]Saurav GhosalIndia297.00012
19 [19]Alister WalkerBotswana290.50013
20 [21]Adrian GrantEngland253.18214
21 [25]Mathieu CastagnetFrance245.50012
22 [26]Chris SimpsonEngland241.81814
23 [20]Stephen CoppingerSouth Africa237.27314
24 [28]Olli TuominenFinland235.50013
25 [24]Marwan ElshorbagyEgypt231.50012
26 [23]Tom RichardsEngland218.63614
27 [22]Ong Beng HeeMalaysia218.00013
28 [27]Nicolas MuellerSwitzerland214.54514
29 [29]Adrian WallerEngland202.00012
30 [31]Omar Abdel MeguidEgypt193.00013
31 [30]Gregoire MarcheFrance188.00013
32 [32]Max LeeHong Kong179.50013
33 [35]Mohd Nafiizwan AdnanMalaysia177.72714
34 [37]Joe LeeEngland173.00012
35 [36]Henrik MustonenFinland171.50013
36 [39]Mazen Hesham Ga SabryEgypt169.50013
37 [33]Ryan CuskellyAustralia166.50011
38 [37]Alan ClyneScotland165.90914
39 [34]Abdullah Al MuzayenKuwait159.00011
40 [41]Leo AuHong Kong147.50013
41 [40]Campbell GraysonNew Zealand146.50013
42 [43]Cesar SalazarMexico144.50013
43 [46]Mohd Ali Anwar RedaEgypt144.00013
44 [42]Jonathan KempEngland142.00010
45 [53]Nasir IqbalPakistan134.50013
46 [45]Karim Ali FathiEgypt131.81814
47 [44]Julian IllingworthUSA127.27314
48 [48]Christopher GordonUSA126.50012
49 [52]Omar Abdel AzizEgypt125.00014
50 [49]Martin KnightNew Zealand115.83316

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Championship and Motor City Open

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