‘Nothing can stop anyone achieving their dream if they work hard for it’
By SEAN REUTHE
Egyptian World Champion Mohamed ElShorbagy has overtaken Frenchman Gregory Gaultier at the summit of the PSA Men’s World Rankings today (March 1) to claim the World No.1 spot for the first time in 12 months.
The Bristol-based 27-year-old first rose to World No.1 in November 2014 and spent 15 consecutive months atop the rankings between January 2016 – March 2017 before a loss of form and motivation saw him concede top spot to 35-year-old Gaultier.
However, ElShorbagy has returned to his best this season and, speaking after last night’s win over younger brother Marwan in the final of the Windy City Open, the Egyptian put his improvement down to hard work.
“It’s been an incredible season,” said ElShorbagy, who has now lifted six PSA World Tour titles this season.
“After last season, I worked really hard, set new goals that I wanted to achieve, and it just shows that nothing can stop anyone achieving their dream if they work hard for it.”
Gaultier, who missed out on defending his Windy City Open and Swedish Open titles this month due to injury, drops down to World No.2, while Ali Farag, Marwan ElShorbagy and Karim Abdel Gawad complete the top five.
A semi-final finish in Chicago is enough to see Tarek Momen swap places with Tournament of Champions winner Simon Rösner to go up to a joint-career high No.6 ranking, with Rösner dropping down to No.7.
Three-time World Champion Nick Matthew and Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar stay at No.8 and No.9, respectively, while Ramy Ashour returns to the top 10 for the first time since August 2017.
Ashour’s rise comes courtesy of a three-place drop for Peruvian Diego Elias, who moves down to No.13, while New Zealand’s Paul Coll also benefits from the 20-year-old’s drop, with the Kiwi moving up to No.11.
With Fares Dessouky one place behind, this gives Egypt eight players in the top 12 in the world.
Former World No.1 James Willstrop is also a riser, moving up a place to No.15 and he is followed by Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rodriguez in No.16 as the 32-year-old South American ends a year-long hiatus from the top 20.
Switzerland’s Nicolas Mueller also enjoys a strong move up the rankings, rising six places to No.18 to mark the first time since December 2014 that he has featured in the world’s top 20.
Australian duo Ryan Cuskelly and Cameron Pilley close out the top 20.
PSA Men’s World Rankings Top 20 – March 2018:
1 Mohamed ElShorbagy (Egypt)
2 Gregory Gaultier (France)
3 Ali Farag (Egypt)
4 Marwan ElShorbagy (Egypt)
5 Karim Abdel Gawad (Egypt)
6 Tarek Momen (Egypt)
7 Simon Rosner (Germany)
8 Nick Matthew (England)
9 Mohamed Abouelgar (Egypt)
10 Ramy Ashour (Egypt)
11 Paul Coll (New Zealand)
12 Fares Dessouky (Egypt)
13 Diego Elias (Peru)
14 Saurav Ghosal (India)
15 James Willstrop (England)
16 Miguel Rodriguez (Colombia)
17 Daryl Selby (England)
18 Nicolas Mueller (Switzerland)
19 Ryan Cuskelly (Australia)
20 Cameron Pilley (Australia)
Pictures by PSA and PATRICK LAUSON