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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Nine years at the top for Nicol David

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Nicol David and Raneem El Welily, who is closing in at the top
Nicol David and Raneem El Welily, who is closing in at the top

After eight world titles and 111 months at No.1, Nicol David is still hungry for more success
By NATHAN CLARKE

Malaysian Nicol David has maintained her hold on the Women’s World No.1 ranking for a remarkable 108th consecutive month, and 111th month altogether, after topping the July 2015 Women’s World Rankings – meaning the Penang-born star celebrates an incredible nine years uninterrupted as the number one player in women’s squash.

David’s unprecedented streak began in 2006 and since then she has dominated the women’s game, collecting a plethora of high-profile tournament titles including eight World Championships in what has been a trophy-laden decade.

“It certainly feels special and I can’t believe that I have been World No.1 for nine years – the time has flown by,” said David, 31.

“Sometimes I get so caught up on working on getting better and improving myself that it’s only when I take a bit of time off to reflect that I come to terms with it – I think I might only fully comprehend the magnitude of everything when I step out of the game, but that’s not going to be happening any time soon.

“Squash still has a lot to offer that keeps me going. The experience that I get when I win an event, after all the hard work and dedication to training pays off, is such a thrill that nothing can replace it.

“That keeps me motivated and my goals now are to stay on top of my game throughout the new season and to do my best at each tournament and to enjoy every moment that I am competing on these spectacular glass courts around the world.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting year with everyone pushing the competition on but I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

However, despite holding on to her No.1 position for yet another month Egyptian shot-making sensation Raneem El Welily has narrowed the gap between herself and David to within touching distance following her impressive romp to the title at the Alexandria International Open, Women’s International 100 event in June.

El Welily saw off compatriot and best friend Omneya Abdel Kawy, who climbs two places to World No.7 in the July list, 3-0 in the final of the tournament to win her third major title of 2015 – adding to the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and Guggenheim Partners Windy City Open title she won in January and March, respectively.

DSC_Sobhy.3417c2-1024x682El Welily’s latest title-winning performance sees her narrow the gap to less than 50 points as she looks to end the Malaysian’s reign as the top rated squash player in the world.

Elsewhere American starlet Amanda Sohby (right), who recently celebrated graduating from Harvard University with a degree in social anthropology, returns to the top ten to occupy the World No.10 position courtesy of her last 16 finish at the Alexandria Open.

The other movers inside the top 20 are Nouran Gohar, Jenny Duncalf and Dipika Pallikal, who all move up one position.

New Zealander Elanor Epke celebrates the biggest jump through the Women’s Rankings this month, climbing an impressive 89 places to a career-high World No.141 after unexpectedly reaching the semi-final of the Squashways Canterbury International Open – knocking out two top seeded players in the process.

PSA Women’s Rankings (July 2015)

 

RANK NAME NATION POINTS UP/DOWN
1 Nicol David MAS 3,241.176 =
2 Raneen El Welily EGY 3,198.824 =
3 Camille Serme FRA 1,668.528 =
4 Laura Massaro ENG 1,537.353 =
5 Nour El Tayeb EGY 1,403.500 =
6 Alison Waters ENG 1,371.667 =
7 Omneya Abdel Kawy EGY 1,159.842 ↑2
8 Nour El Sherbini EGY 1,125.625 ↓1
9 Low Wee Wern MAS 935.000 ↓1
10 Amanda Sobhy USA 796.875 ↑1
11 Annie Au HKG 741.316 ↓1
12 Sarah-Jane Perry ENG 642.765 =
13 Emma Beddoes ENG 623.824 =
14 Rachael Grinham AUS 613.625 =
15 Nouran Gohar EGY 571.237 ↑1
16 Jenny Duncalf ENG 562.381 ↑1
17 Delia Arnold MAS 556.053 ↓2
18 Dipika Pallikal IND 539.000 ↑1
19 Habiba Mohamed EGY 521.813 ↓1
20 Emily Whitlock ENG 452.600 =

 

Picture by MARIAN KRAUS

 

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