Nick Matthew Returns To World No1
2 February 2012
England’s battle for the world’s number one spot in squash has been won by Nick Matthew who reclaims the position back from James Willstrop.
Victory over his national rival at last month’s JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York after a sensational comeback from injury takes Matthew to No1 in the new February Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings, published today by the Professional Squash Association.
Matthew topped the rankings throughout 2011 – a year in which he reached seven Tour finals, winning three titles before becoming the first player for 15 years to successfully defend the World Open crown in November.
But an adductor injury sustained later in the month in Kuwait forced his withdrawal from key events which followed – and this led to the loss of his top world number ranking to England rival James Willstrop in January.
Frenchman Gregory Gaultier strengthens his grip on third place, behind Willstrop, while Egypt’s Karim Darwish moves up to four, ahead of fellow countryman Ramy Ashour.
But title success in the Comfort Inn Open in Canada and a quarter-final berth in New York has helped Egyptian Amr Shabana to move up to sixth place.
And there is further Egyptian success for Comfort Inn Open runner-up Hisham Mohamed Ashour, who jumps three places to a career-high No11 in the February list. After his success in Vancouver, the 29-year-old from Cairo went on to reach the final of last month’s Motor City Open in Detroit.
England’s Tom Richards also celebrates a best-ever ranking this month: The 25-year-old, who made the Tournament of Champions’ last 16 unseeded, rises to No19.
Outside the top 20, there are notable rankings successes achieved by Stephen Coppinger and Egyptian Marwan El Shorbagy. South African Coppinger made the Motor City Open semi-finals unseeded and jumps five places to a career-best 25 – while 18-year-old El Shorbagy, the youngest player in the top 50 who became the first qualifier in ten years to make the Tournament of Champions’ last eight, leaps eight places to a career-high 33.
February 2012 top 20 (inc. points average):
|8||||Mohamed El Shorbagy||EGY||622|
|9||||Laurens Jan Anjema||NED||470|
|10||||Mohd Azlan Iskandar||MAS||465|
|11||||Hisham Mohamed Ashour||EGY||390|
For full list – see www.psaworldtour.com