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16 Jul 2024

Peter Nicol Bows Out On A Century And A Half!

3 Oct 2006

Amr Shabana makes his mark on the new October Dunlop PSA Men's World Squash Rankings as world number one for the seventh month.

But more than a year before the Egyptian made his debut in the list at 262, Britain's Peter Nicol made his entry in the world top ten.

And today, the 33-year-old from London who retired from the PSA Tour last month, makes his final appearance in the rankings at No6 - marking his 150th successive month in the world's top ten!

"I get a strange feeling when I think of this achievement - this incredible twelve-and-a-half-year journey in squash - but it's one of which I am immensely proud," said Nicol, who rounded off his professional career in September when he reach the quarter-finals of the Al-Ahram World Open in the spectacular setting by the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt - the scene of his World Open triumph in 1999.

With 49 PSA Tour titles to his name and 60 months at the top of the world rankings, Peter Nicol is one of the most successful squash players of all-time. In March this year, he fought through a world-class field to win the singles gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, later also clinching gold in the Men's Doubles to claim his fourth Games gold medal since 1998.

"One of the vivid memories of my 14 years as CEO of the World Squash Federation came on 13 November 1993," recalls Ted Wallbutton, now the Professional Squash Association's Marketing Executive. "I was in Doha for the Qatar International and, for the first time, saw Peter Nicol play. His huge talent was obvious and it was no surprise to me that he was in the top 10 just six months later.

"In those 150 months since then that Peter has graced the PSA top 10, he has shown flawless sportsmanship, great charm and effortless wit. His amazing record is unique in Squash and outstanding in any sport - and he has added immeasurably to the reputation of Squash and the PSA."

Victory in the World Open sees David Palmer close the gap behind Shabana in the October list. The second-placed Australian was knocked out of last month's semi-finals of the Dunlop British Open by Thierry Lincou, but stretches his lead above the third-placed Frenchman who ended as runner up in Nottingham.

Anthony Ricketts, the Super Series Finals champion who was a surprise first round casualty in the British Open, rises to four in the new list, overtaking England's James Willstrop.

The biggest top 20 rise is achieved by Egypt's Ramy Ashour, the record two-times world junior champion who reached the World Open quarter-finals unseeded, then made it into the semi-finals of the St Louis Open. The 19-year-old from Cairo leaps eight places into the top 20 at No13.

The domestic rivalry between Malaysians Ong Beng Hee and Mohd Azlan Iskandar takes an unusual step in the October list, where both are neck-and-neck at No16. Beng Hee fought through to the last eight of the British Open as a qualifier.

1 [1] Amr Shabana EGY
2 [2] David Palmer AUS
3 [3] Thierry Lincou FRA
4 [5] Anthony Ricketts AUS
5 [4] James Willstrop ENG
6 [6] Peter Nicol ENG
7 [7] Gregory Gaultier FRA
8 [8] Nick Matthew ENG
9 [9] Lee Beachill ENG
10 [11] John White SCO
11 [10] Karim Darwish EGY
12 [13] Stewart Boswell AUS
13 [21] Ramy Ashour EGY
14 [16] Wael El Hindi EGY
15 [17] Adrian Grant ENG
16= [14] Ong Beng Hee MAS
16= [12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS
18 [15] Olli Tuominen FIN
19 [18] Mohammed Abbas EGY
20 [19] Alex Gough WAL