7:40 am
14 Apr 2024

Egyptian Trio Make World Top Six For First Time

1 Oct 2008

While Egypt's Amr Shabana continues to head the Dunlop PSA Men's World Squash Rankings, it is his home nation that steals the headlines in the new October list published by the Professional Squash Association - with three Egyptians in the top six for the first time.

Shabana, the 29-year-old from Cairo who extends his unbroken reign as world number one to 31 months, is joined in the top six by fourth-placed Ramy Ashour, the now 21-year-old from Cairo, and Karim Darwish - the 27-year-old from Cairo who celebrates his highest ranking for more than four years by rising to No6.

Marriage to fellow Egyptian international Engy Kheirallah last December seems to have revitalised Darwish's career: The former world junior champion won the Oregon Open in Canada in February as the No2 seed, then went on to exceed his seeding in the British Open, reaching the semi-finals. Seeded four, Darwish marked his 20th PSA Tour final appearance in August in the climax of the Petrosport International Championship on home soil.

The trio will be next be in action later this month in England in the Hi-Tec World Open in Manchester - where defending champion Shabana will be hoping to become only the fourth player in history to win the sport's most prized title for a fourth time.

Shabana heads an unchanged top five, with Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in second place, ahead of England's James Willstrop at three; and Australia's British Open champion David Palmer at five.

Up to 11th place in the October list is Peter Barker, the Englishman who denied David Palmer a victory in his 50th Tour final appearance at the Merritt Properties Open in Baltimore. Barker clinched his second upset over the Australian in two weeks to secure the 12th Tour title of his career.

Spaniard Borja Golan, who achieved successive 'best ever' wins over Thierry Lincou and James Willstrop en-route to the final of the Internationaux de France - the first major squash championship to be held in Paris since 1995 - makes a welcome return to the world top 20.

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