Amr Shabana Completes Second Year As World Number One

29 Feb 08

Egypt's world champion Amr Shabana rounds off his second complete year as world number one, according to the March Dunlop PSA Men's World Rankings, published today by the Professional Squash Association.

The 28-year-old from Cairo first topped the list in April 2006 - taking over from Canada's Jonathon Power - since when he has won nine PSA Tour titles, including the 2007 World Open in Bermuda, and appeared in 12 finals.

After a wrist injury layoff at the end of last year, Shabana began his 2008 campaign by reaching the PACE Canadian Classic final in Toronto last month.

Still snapping at Shabana's heels is compatriot Ramy Ashour, the 20-year-old who beat his fellow countryman in the Toronto final - and now celebrates his tenth successive month in second place.

And while Frenchman Gregory Gaultier also holds onto third place, James Willstrop leaps two places to No4 to become the highest-ranked Englishman for the first time for well over a year. The 24-year-old Yorkshireman is enjoying a sparkling run of form - including winning two Tour titles (the Mamut English Open and Case Swedish Open) in three successive final appearances - as well as successfully retaining his British National crown last month.

But Willstrop's England team-mate Peter Barker also has much to celebrate - his long-awaited debut in the world top ten! With ten Tour titles to his credit, the 24-year-old Londoner reached his 14th final at the Swedish Open last month and is rewarded with a new world ranking of 10.

Also celebrating a breakthrough is Cameron Pilley, the tall Australian who makes his top 20 debut at 20. In an already successful 2008 campaign, the UK-based 25-year-old from New South Wales won the National Capital Open in the US state of Maryland last month, then went north of the border to reach the quarter-finals of the 5-star Canadian Classic as a non-seed.

1 [1] Amr Shabana EGY
2 [2] Ramy Ashour EGY
3 [3] Gregory Gaultier FRA
4 [6] James Willstrop ENG
5 [4] David Palmer AUS
6 [5] Nick Matthew ENG
7 [7] Thierry Lincou FRA
8 [8] Karim Darwish EGY
9 [9] Wael El Hindi EGY
10 [12] Peter Barker ENG
11 [10] Lee Beachill ENG
12 [11] John White SCO
13 [13] Mohammed Abbas EGY
14 [14] Stewart Boswell AUS
15 [15] Adrian Grant ENG
16 [17] Olli Tuominen FIN
17 [18] Ong Beng Hee MAS
18 [16] Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS
19 [19] Laurens Jan Anjema NED
20 [23] Cameron Pilley AUS