Nicol David Sets Sights On Dame Devoy’s World Ranking Record
By HOWARD HARDING
While Nicol David celebrates her 59th as world number one this month – thus leaving only one player in history who has topped the Women’s World Squash Rankings for a longer period – three players mark their highest ever top 20 positions in the latest March list published by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA).
This month David overtakes Australian legend Michelle Martin‘s achievement of 58 months as world number one, between 1993 and 1999.
The record-equalling five times world champion from Malaysia now only has Susan Devoy‘s record in her sights: The distinguished New Zealander, now Dame Devoy, boasts 105 months in pole position between April 1984 and February 1993.
While Nicol David heads the latest list, England’s Jenny Duncalf completes a full year in second place – with a significant lead over third-placed Rachael Grinham, the former world No1 from Australia who moves up two positions.
And Laura Massaro, the Englishwoman who became the first player for more than five years to beat the world’s top two players in the same tournament, moves up two places to No8. The 27-year-old from Preston defeated Duncalf and David – ending the Malaysian’s 14 month unbeaten run – in the USA last month to win her biggest career title at the WISPACleveland Classic.
But Hong Kong’s Annie Au maintains her relentless charge up the rankings, celebrating a career-high No11 this month after reaching the Cleveland semi-finals as a qualifier.
And the top 20 welcomes two new faces for the first time – and heralds representation from a record 11 nations!
Amanda Sobhy, the 18-year-old from New York who became world junior champion last year, thus becoming the first US player to win a world singles title, leaps three places to 18 – boosted by a surprise quarter-final berth in Cleveland.
And England’s Sarah Kippax also makes her top 20 debut, at 19, after also reaching the Cleveland last eight, as a qualifier.
March top 20 (inc. points average):
|4||||Omneya Abdel Kawy||EGY||1114|
|12||||Raneem El Weleily||EGY||669|
|13||||Low Wee Wern||MAS||558|
For the complete WISPA ranking list, see www.wispa.net