Willstrop still top, but Thierry’s back in Top Ten
England’s James Willstrop has extended his lead at the top of the new April Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings after reaching the final of the Canary Wharf Classic last month in London.
The 28-year-old from Leeds is celebrating his third month in pole position after first topping the rankings in January.
Despite successfully defending the London event title, fellow countryman Nick Matthew still remains in third place in the list, just behind Frenchman Gregory Gaultier.
A trio of Egyptians occupy the next three places – Karim Darwish, a semi-finalist in last month’s KL Open, at four; Ramy Ashour at five; and Amr Shabana in sixth place.
But a sensational, and unexpected, title triumph in the Bluenose Classic in Canada, has seen Frenchman Thierry Lincou bounce back into the top at ten after a four-month absence – on his 36th birthday!
It was in April 2000 that Lincou first debuted in the world top ten – a status he went on to maintain for ten unbroken years, during which decade he became world number one and world champion.
Unseeded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Lincou defeated event favourite Amr Shabana before overcoming fourth seed Daryl Selby in a marathon final to notch up the 23rd PSA Tour title of his career.
Twin title success in March for Omar Mosaad has led to the Egyptian recording a career-high world No12 ranking. After winning the inaugural HKFC Meco Invitational in Hong Kong, the 24-year-old from Cairo beat England’s Adrian Grant in a five-game KL Open final to win his eighth Tour title.
And England’s Tom Richards also marks a career-best ranking this month – leaping five places to No15. In the best win of his career, the 25-year-old from Surrey brushed aside both the top seed and second seed in Canada en-route to becoming the NBF Open champion in Montreal.
16 year old Sherbini breaks into Top 16
Last week Sherbini caught the attention of the squash world by coming through qualifying to reach the semi finals of the CIMB Nicol David KL Open, beating Joelle King, Jenny Duncalf and Rachael Grinham in the process.
This great run has seen Sherbini climb to no.16 in the rankings and will guarantee her a top 16 seeding in May’s British Open. The top players will breathe a sigh of relief knowing they have avoided such a danger in the opening round.
Sherbini’s conqueror in KL was Hong Kong’s Annie Au. Au also had a great week, beating Natalie Grinham, Laura Massaro and Sherbini on her way to her first World Series final. Au returns to no.7 in the rankings, equalling her highest position to date.
World no.1 Nicol David pleased the sponsors and fans by winning her 8th KL Open and 60th WSA title. David opens up her lead at the top of the ranking in her 69th month as no.1.
Elsewhere in the top 20, Massaro jumps back ahead of Madeline Perry at no.3 while Raneem El Weleily closes the gap on both of them at no.5.
Indian star Dipika Pallikal reached the quarter finals in KL after her recording her biggest win over Kasey Brown and returns to no.14 to equal her career high ranking.
Outside the top 20, Omneya Abdel Kawy slips down to no.21, the first time the Egyptian has been outside the top in 10 years. Kawy has been off the tour for some months but will be seen in this month’s Irish Open.
Emily Whitlock in undefeated on the WSA tour in 2012. She won her first title at the Finnish Open in February and has followed this up in March with back to back titles at the NSC Series no.3 and Swiss Open. The wins bring her the 18 year old her highest ranking of no.31.
One place behind Whitlock at no.32 is Alison Waters who returned to the tour in March after a long injury lay-off. Waters marked her comeback in style, claiming back to back titles at the Atwater Cup and Granite Open, as she looks to return to the very top of the women’s game. Waters will again be a nightmare draw for the seeds as she qualifies for the Irish Open this month and has been given the Wildcard for the British Open.
There were also career high rankings in the top 50 for: Japanese no.1 Misaki Kobayashi at no.34. Kobayashi won the Hashim Khan Champs in Denver and reached the National Capitol Open final, Canada’s no.1 Samantha Cornett who won the Montreal Open to reach no.37, England’s Lauren Selby reached her 6th WSA final at the Wimbledon Cup to move to no.43 and Coline Aumard reached her first final at the Swiss Open to move up to no.48.