Nicol David In Third Year As World Number One
2 Jan 2008
Nicol David begins her third year as world number one, according to the January Women's World Rankings, published by the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA).
The 24-year-old Malaysian first topped the list in January 2006 - and now moves into her 18th successive month as No1. David enjoyed the best year of her career in 2007, winning eight WISPA World Tour titles from ten final appearances, despite the World Open eluding her grasp.
Recognised within the sport as the WISPA Player of the Year last month for the third year in a row, Nicol David achieved perhaps her most notable accolade at the end of 2007 when voted Asian Sportswoman of the Year in the inaugural awards launched by the Asian Sports Press Union.
Natalie Grinham finished the year on a high - avenging her defeat by Rachael in October's Madrid World Open final to beat her older sibling in the climax of the Monte Carlo Classic in Monaco in December.
It was the 29-year-old Queenslander's first WISPA Tour title success since capturing the $50,000 Seoul Open crown in South Korea in April: "After winning in Seoul, I hurt my foot, and then later on my wrist," said Grinham junior after her Classic triumph. "I am still having treatment for that and getting a little pain. But though I am not quite 100%, I am well on the way."
Natalie Grainger holds onto fourth position in the New Year list as she celebrates the beginning of her tenth year in the world top ten. The 30-year-old made her top ten debut in January 1999 as a South African, converting to English allegiance later in the year. But this year, Washington DC-based Grainger cemented her status as a US citizen by winning the US National title, the Pan American Games gold medal, as well as five WISPA World Tour titles on her new 'home' soil.
English players occupy the next three positions - with Lincolnshire's Tania Bailey at No5; Manchester's Vicky Botwright at No6; and Yorkshire's Jenny Duncalf at No7. Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy rises one place to No8. There is English movement just outside the top ten where Laura Lengthorn-Massaro overtakes fellow countrywoman Alison Waters to move into 11th place.
Dutch interest in the world top 20 is doubled by the return of Annelize Naude. The 31-year-old from Amsterdam rises two places to 19.
1  Nicol David MAS
2  Natalie Grinham AUS
3  Rachael Grinham AUS
4  Natalie Grainger USA
5  Tania Bailey ENG
6  Vicky Botwright ENG
7  Jenny Duncalf ENG
8  Omneya Abdel Kawy EGY
9  Vanessa Atkinson NED
10  Shelley Kitchen NZL
11  Laura Lengthorn-Massaro ENG
12  Alison Waters ENG
13  Madeline Perry IRL
14  Rebecca Chiu HKG
15  Kasey Brown AUS
16  Engy Kheirallah EGY
17  Isabelle Stoehr FRA
18  Jaclyn Hawkes NZL
19  Annelize Naude NED
20  Dominique Lloyd-Walter ENG