1 March 2012
Victory in last month’s PSA World Series Davenport North American Open has not only seen England’s James Willstrop reclaim the world number one ranking – but open up a 250 point lead over his nearest rival in the new MarchDunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings, published today by the Professional Squash Association.
Following a sensational three PSA World Series title run at the end of last year, the 28-year-old from Leeds became world number one for the first time in January.
But defeat to Nick Matthew in the final of the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York later in the month led to his English rival taking back the title in February.
But Willstrop’s latest success in Virginia, coupled with a shock semi-final exit by his fellow Yorkshireman, sees the new North American Open champion take pole position in the rankings while Matthew slips to third place – his lowest ranking since December 2009!
It is Frenchman Gregory Gaultier who rises to the No2 position. The 29-year-old from Aix-en-Provence is enjoying his best form on the PSA World Tour since topping the rankings for a single month in November 2009.
Gaultier notched up the 20th Tour title win of his career at last month’s Case Swedish Open – then made it through to the NAO semi-finals in Richmond before losing to Willstrop.
Willstrop and Matthew are seeded to meet each other in the final of the forthcoming Canary Wharf Classic in London, from March 19-23.
A trio of Egyptians occupy the next three places in the March rankings – Karim Darwish at four; Ramy Ashour, runner-up in Virginia on his Tour return after injury, at five; and Amr Shabana in sixth place.
It is lower down the top 20 list that Germany’s Simon Rosner becomes the only player to celebrate a career-high ranking.
The 24-year-old from Paderborn is enjoying a sparkling Tour run – and hit the headlines in Virginia where he progressed through to the last eight unseeded to mark his first appearance in the quarter-finals of a PSA World Series event.
Rosner moves up two places to No18.
March 2012 top 20 (inc. points average):
|8||||Mohamed El Shorbagy||EGY||622|
|9||||Laurens Jan Anjema||NED||468|
|10||||Mohd Azlan Iskandar||MAS||404|
|14||||Hisham Mohd Ashour||EGY||350|
For full list – see www.psaworldtour.com