5:32 pm
23 Feb 2019

Nicol David Begins Second Year As World Number One

29 Dec 2006

Malaysia's Nicol David, who became the first Asian woman to top the world squash rankings in January 2006, begins her second year at No1 in the new January 2007 Women's World Squash Rankings, published today by the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA).

The 23-year-old from Penang, winner of eight titles in 2006 - including her second World Open and British Open crowns, her second Asian Games gold medal and her fifth Asian Championship title - rounded off her glittering year by winning the WISPA Female Player of the Year award at the World Squash Awards in London.

David's great Australian rival Rachael Grinham holds onto second place in the New Year list, ahead of third-placed Vanessa Atkinson, from the Netherlands, and her younger sister Natalie Grinham, at No4.

The remainder of the top ten list is virtually unchanged, with Tania Bailey heading the English contingent at No5 and Ireland's Madeline Perry in sixth place. Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy leapfrogs England's Jenny Duncalf to take over the No9 slot.

Almost before the ink on the new list is dry, all of the top ten - barring Nicol David - will compete for the first WISPA Gold title of 2007 at The Marsh Apawamis Open in New York, USA, next week. Vanessa Atkinson, victor over David in last year's final, is expected to come up against Rachael Grinham in the 2007 final on Monday (8th January).

A notable breakthrough in the first WISPA rankings of 2007 is achieved by Welsh champion Tegwen Malik - who leaps five places to return to the top 20 at 19 for the first time since September 2000. Plagued by a mystery virus, the former world No16 from Swansea dropped to 132 before slowly making her way back to the game's elite.

Just outside the top 20, England's Lauren Briggs records her best-ever ranking at 21 - while New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes (24); Malaysia's Tricia Chuah (25); and England's Sarah Kippax (30) also mark career-best rankings.

Of special note is Nicolette Fernandes, the 23-year-old from Guyana who is single-handedly demonstrating Guyanese squash skills at elite level around the world. Recently crowned the Central America & Caribbean Games champion, Fernandes has followed her success of winning the WISPA Most Improved Player of the Year award at the World Squash Awards before Christmas by reaching a career-high world No28 ranking in the new list.

1 [1] Nicol David MAS
2 [2] Rachael Grinham AUS
3 [3] Vanessa Atkinson NED
4 [4] Natalie Grinham AUS
5 [5] Tania Bailey ENG
6 [6] Madeline Perry IRL
7 [7] Natalie Grainger USA
8 [8] Vicky Botwright ENG
9 [10] Omneya Abdel Kawy EGY
10 [9] Jenny Duncalf ENG
11 [11] Alison Waters ENG
12 [12] Laura-Jane Lengthorn ENG
13 [13] Engy Kheirallah EGY
14 [14] Shelley Kitchen NZL
15 [15] Rebecca Chiu HKG
16 [16] Annelize Naude NED
17 [17] Kasey Brown AUS
18 [18] Sharon Wee MAS
19 [24] Tegwen Malik WAL
20 [20] Isabelle Stoehr FRA