Ramy Ashour Confirmed As
New World Number One
expected, Egypt's 22-year-old Ramy Ashour heads the
new January 2010 Dunlop PSA Men's World Squash Rankings for
the first time – becoming the youngest player to top the
list since legendary Pakistanis Jahangir Khan and
Jansher Khan in the eighties.
Ashour becomes the 15th men's world number one since the
rankings were first introduced in the mid-seventies – and
the third Egyptian in the past 14 months.
After becoming the youngest ever Men's World Junior (U19)
Champion in August 2004 at the age of 16, Ashour went on to
become the first to win it a second time two years later in
The teenager's impact on the senior circuit was no less
dramatic: He lifted the trophy in the first PSA World Tour
event he participated in – the Athens Open in Greece – and
clinched the World Open title last year in only his third
appearance in the sport's most prestigious event.
His exemplary 2009 campaign included appearances in six Tour
finals, with title successes in four - including the final
two Super Series events of the year last month at the Punj
Lloyd PSA Masters in India and the Saudi International in
It was Nick Matthew who the Cairo King had to
overcome in both the December finals – Ashour surviving the
longest battle of his career in a dramatic 110-minute climax
in Saudi – and the Englishman also celebrates a career-high
world number two ranking next month.
The 29-year-old from Sheffield has enjoyed a remarkable
return to form since spending most of last year on the
sidelines after undergoing shoulder surgery. In addition to
winning the British National title and the World Games gold
medal this year, Matthew notched up eight Tour final
appearances – in all but one case against expectations –
securing his first Qatar Classic crown and his second
British Open trophy. The Yorkshireman's new ranking is all
the more stunning considering that he was ranked outside the
top ten at the beginning of 2009!
Three former world number ones occupy the positions behind
Ashour and Matthew – Egyptians Amr Shabana and
Karim Darwish at three and five, respectively, and
Frenchman Gregory Gaultier at No4.
But Englishman Peter Barker has much to celebrate in
the New Year in a career-best sixth place. The left-hander
from London clinched the 13th Tour title of his career at
the Santiago Open in Spain in November – but, more
pertinently, achieved unexpected semi-final berths in the
end-of-the-year Qatar Classic and PSA Masters.
England team-mate Adrian Grant, also from London,
rises two places to No10 to begin a New Year in the top ten
for the first time after celebrating his first Super Series
semi-final appearance – at his 48th attempt – in the Saudi
Pakistan will now be represented in the top 20 in the New
Year following teenager Aamir Atlas Khan's four-place
leap to No19. The 19-year-old from Peshawar celebrated
surprise quarter-final finishes in both the Qatar Classic
and Saudi International.
Nicol David Begins Fifth Year As World
Nicol David begins her fifth year – and her 42nd
consecutive month – as world number one, according to the
January 2010 Women's World Squash Rankings.
The 26-year-old from Penang first took over the top spot in
January 2006 – then began her current uninterrupted world
number one run in August 2006. Despite suffering four shock
defeats in 2009, David secured seven WISPA World Tour titles
in the year, as well as her second World Games gold medal.
In September, in her training base of Amsterdam, David
retained her World Open title – not only notching up
the 40th Tour title of her career, but also becoming only
the third player in history to win the sport's premier title
World Open runner-up Natalie Grinham, from the
Netherlands, squeezes past Jenny Duncalf to reclaim
second place in the list, while the English player slips to
three, ahead of fourth-placed Rachael Grinham, of
Australia, and USA's Natalie Grainger at five.
Australia's Kasey Brown moves up a single place to
celebrate her debut in the world top 10 – while France's
20-year-old Camille Serme continues her relentless
rise up the rankings to mark a career-high No12 position.
Also celebrating a best-ever ranking in the New Year is
Samantha Teran, the 28-year-old from Mexico City who
consolidates her status as the most successful Mexican woman
ever by reaching No14.