9:55 am
27 Feb 2024

Amr Shabana Extends Reign As World Number One

4 Jan 2008

Egypt's Amr Shabana begins the New Year as world No1, extending his reign into a 22nd successive month at the top of the Dunlop PSA Men's World Rankings, according to the January list published by the Professional Squash Association.

The 28-year-old from Giza, near Cairo, recorded his best ever year in 2007 - winning six PSA Tour titles, all of which were Super Series events, culminating in the Endurance World Open in Bermuda, where he became the first player to win the sport's most prestigious trophy three times since the legendary Jansher Khan.

Left-hander Shabana first topped the rankings in April 2006 - and was honoured in December as the PSA Player of the Year for the second successive year.

Despite being out of action for the final two major events of last year (nursing a foot injury), fellow Egyptian Ramy Ashour remains at No2 in the world rankings.

A second successive runner-up berth in last month's World Open failed to lift Gregory Gaultier above third place in the New Year list. The Frenchman is ahead of Australia's David Palmer and England's Nick Matthew, at four and five, respectively.

James Willstrop, who beat compatriot Matthew in the final of last month's Mamut English Open, remains at No6 in an unchanged top eight listing.

Englishman Peter Barker, the 24-year-old left-hander from Essex who clinched victory for his country in December's final of the World Team Championships, marks his fourth 'personal best' ranking in six months with a rise to No12 in the January list.

Lower in the standings, Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema also registers a career-high world ranking at 19. The 25-year-old from The Hague picked up two Tour titles in the year in the USA, at the Oregon Open and Baltimore City Open.

And veteran campaigner Alex Gough marks a welcome return to the top twenty after almost a year out of it. The 37-year-old Welshman reached the Bermuda World Open quarter-finals unseeded - his best result in the event since 1998 - and is rewarded with a world No20 ranking.

Also of note in the New Year rankings is the growth of the geographical spread of the players: Ten nations are represented in the world top 20 (an increase on one from the January 2007 list) - while players in the PSA world top 50 hail from a total of 20 countries (three more than twelve months ago).

1 [1] Amr Shabana EGY
2 [2] Ramy Ashour EGY
3 [3] Gregory Gaultier FRA
4 [4] David Palmer AUS
5 [5] Nick Matthew ENG
6 [6] James Willstrop ENG
7 [7] Thierry Lincou FRA
8 [8] Karim Darwish EGY
9 [10] John White SCO
10 [9] Wael El Hindi EGY
11 [12] Lee Beachill ENG
12 [13] Peter Barker ENG
13 [15] Stewart Boswell AUS
14 [14] Mohammed Abbas EGY
15 [18] Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS
16 [16] Ong Beng Hee MAS
17 [17] Olli Tuominen FIN
18 [19] Adrian Grant ENG
19 [20] Laurens Jan Anjema NED
20 [25] Alex Gough WAL