7:52 am
21 Jun 2024

Matthew Back In World Top Five

3 Mar 2009

Nick Matthew has reclaimed his status as the top-ranked Englishman in the Dunlop PSA Men's World Squash Rankings after leaping to a career-equalling-high fifth place in the new March list published today by the Professional Squash Association.

The 28-year-old from Sheffield has returned to sensational form after an eight-month layoff last year following shoulder surgery in January. While his ranking slipped to a five-year low of 12 at the beginning of this year, Matthew was already reproducing the form which first took him into the world top five in 2004.

In addition to winning the British National crown last month, Matthew made the final in the three PSA Tour events in which he has competed so far this year - including the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York where he was seeded 10, and last month's Davenport North American Open where he was the eighth seed.

The Yorkshireman celebrated the eighth Tour title of his career in January when he won the Case Swedish Open in Linkoping.

Egypt's Karim Darwish maintains his position as world number one in the new list - ahead of compatriots Amr Shabana at two and Ramy Ashour at No4 - with Frenchman Gregory Gaultier holding onto third place.

There is further English success lower in the list where Alister Walker moves up to a career-best 16th place. The Botswana-born 26-year-old from Leeds won the biggest title of his life last month in Canada at the Midtown Sanctuaire Open in Montreal.

Walker has joined fellow PSA Tour players Ramy Ashour, Frenchman Thierry Lincou and India's Saurav Ghosal - who also celebrates a best-ever ranking, of 34 - as Squash Olympic Ambassadors to drive the sport's bid for inclusion in the programme for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Pakistan left-hander Farhan Mehboob makes a welcome return to the top 20, thereby joining 18-year-old compatriot Aamir Atlas Khan in the elite group.

Egyptian teenager Mohamed El Shorbagy is also making mighty strides in the list. The 18-year-old world junior champion from Alexandria raced from just within the top 100 to inside the top 40 during last year - and this month leaps a further nine places to an impressive best-ever 22nd place.

1 [1] Karim Darwish EGY
2 [2] Amr Shabana EGY
3 [3] Gregory Gaultier FRA
4 [4] Ramy Ashour EGY
5 [9] Nick Matthew ENG
6 [6] David Palmer AUS
7 [5] James Willstrop ENG
8 [7] Thierry Lincou FRA
9 [8] Wael El Hindi EGY
10 [10] Peter Barker ENG
11 [11] Ong Beng Hee MAS
12 [12] Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS
13 [13] Adrian Grant ENG
14 [14] Borja Golan ESP
15 [15] Aamir Atlas Khan PAK
16 [18] Alister Walker ENG
17 [16] Laurens Jan Anjema NED
18 [17] Cameron Pilley AUS
19 [19] Stewart Boswell AUS
20 [21] Farhan Mehboob PAK