Irish ace celebrates rankings record
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad WSA Correspondent
While Malaysian Nicol David surges on to a 94th successive month as world number one in the May Women’s World Squash Rankings, it is Ireland’s Madeline Perry who steals the headlines in the latest list published by the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) by becoming the oldest player in history to retain a place in the women’s world top ten.
Perry, who in December won a record 14th Irish National Championship title, joined the WSA World Tour in July 1998. After securing a career-high world No3 ranking in April 2011, and reaching 27 WSA World Tour finals and winning 11, Perry celebrated her 37th birthday in February.
Born in Banbridge, near Belfast, Perry first appeared in the world top ten in February 2006 – and this month slips one place to No9.
“I think what I am proud of is that I’m still competing at such a high level and competing with the best in the world,” said Perry (pictured above in action against Raneem El Welily in January’s Tournament of Champions) on hearing the news of her unique achievement.
“I think I’m playing so well at an older age firstly because I trained very little as a kid, went to university, and only after that trained seriously as a professional!
“I also have been very particular about planning my training as a professional, not over-training and using physiotherapy regularly to keep my body in good shape,” added the WSA star who has been selected to make a remarkable fifth successive appearance for Northern Ireland in the quadrennial Commonwealth Games in August in Scotland.
England’s world champion Laura Massaro holds onto second place in the May rankings, ahead of Egypt’s third-placed Raneem El Welily and New Zealander Joelle King at No4.
France’s Camille Serme returns to a career-equalling-high No5, with England’s Alison Waters at No6.
Unseeded in the Penang World Championship in March, El Sherbini became the youngest finalist in the 35-year history of the event after upsetting Nicol David in a stunning semi-final shock – then last month came through the Champion Fiberglass Texas Open as a qualifier to win the WSA Gold 50 title against expectations.
Lower in the list, England’s Emma Beddoes makes her top 20 debut by celebrating a career-best No20 ranking after a rise of three places. The 28-year-old from Leeds made the Texas Open quarter-finals as a qualifier, then also reached last month’s Mayfair Open final in Canada.
After winning her second WSA Tour event as a 16-year-old at last month’s Cannon Kirk Homes Irish Open, Egypt’s Nouran Ahmed Gohar jumps four places to a career-best world No29 ranking.
Also celebrating a best-ever ranking is Samantha Cornett, the 23-year-old Canadian who notched up her 10th WSA Tour final appearance at last month’s Emerson WSA Racquet Club Pro Series in St Louis, USA – and rises three places to No28.
WSA Rankings May 2014
1  Nicol David MAS 3,346
2  Laura Massaro ENG 2,555
3  Raneem El Welily EGY 1,754
4  Joelle King NZL 1,176
5  Camille Serme FRA 1,082
6  Alison Waters ENG 1,036
7  Nour El Sherbini EGY 934
8  Low Wee Wern MAS 916
9  Madeline Perry IRL 804
10  Dipika Pallikal IND 775
11  Annie Au HKG 760
12  Jenny Duncalf ENG 722
13  Omneya Abdel Kawy EGY 637
14  Kasey Brown AUS 577
15  Rachael Grinham AUS 574
16  Amanda Sobhy USA 532
17  Sarah-Jane Perry ENG 516
18  Natalie Grinham NED 482
19  Nicolette Fernandes GUY 425
20  Emma Beddoes ENG 423
For the complete WSA ranking list, see www.wsaworldtour.com