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England’s Peter Nicol Reclaims Top Position — John White displaces Jonathon
Power at 4.

match sequence © 2001 Debra Tessier


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Cardiff Wales, Dec 28 2001 by Howard
Harding © 2001

Nicol Reclaims World No1 Ranking

England’s Nicol Reclaims World No1
Ranking England’s world squash champion Peter Nicol will begin the new
year as world No1 in the new January Dunlop PSA Men’s World Rankings,
announced today (28th December) by the Professional Squash Association
(PSA), after reclaiming the position for the fourth time since first heading
the list in February 1998.

It was in 2001 that the 28-year-old
Aberdeen-born player shocked the sporting world by switching allegiance
from Scotland to England, his country of residence for more than ten years.
After a shaky start as an Englishman, Nicol went on to enjoy one of his
most successful years on the PSA Tour, winning seven titles including
the Tournament of Champions, Irish Open, Super Series Finals, Scottish
Open, Al-Ahram International, Qatar Classic and finally the YMG Capital
Classic in Canada at the end of November.

NICOL TO REPRESENT ENGLAND IN MANCHESTER

Unbeaten since August, Nicol will become the first squash player to defend
a Commonwealth Games singles gold medal when he represents his new country
in Manchester in July.

While Australia’s British Open champion
David Palmer slips to No2 after four months in pole position, Australian-born
Scot John White – who took over as Scotland’s No1 on Nicol’s defection
– jumps to a career-high No3 in the 2002 list. Meanwhile Canada’s Jonathon
Power, a former world champion and world No1, falls to fourth place –
his lowest ranking since November 1998.

POWER’s PATHWAY
With Power falling to fourth, and fellow Canadian Graham Ryding hanging-on
in the top 20 by a hair and the highest-ranking American,
David McNeely a lowly 96, North American interest in the pro game seems
at short-term risk. The US Open and Tourney of Champions, both in the
USA, are both events that Jonathon Power has excelled at. These two "near
home court" events will be pivotal in Power’s fortunes in 2002 as
well as crucial in establishing the 2002 pecking order

Two players celebrate career-best
rankings in the January 2002 top twenty: Finland’s 22-year-old Olli Tuominen
moves up to 17 after reaching the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open earlier
this month, while Australia’s Anthony Ricketts, also 22, from Brisbane,
rises to 18 after beating Tuominen en-route to winning the Kuala Lumpur
title. The 16th position held by England’s Del Harris marks a major milestone
for the 32-year-old from Colchester in Essex – who begins his 19th year
as a world-ranked player! Harris made his debut in the PSA list (at 83)
as a 15-year-old in November 1984 – more than three years before anybody
else in the current top twenty – and went on to reach a career-high world
No5 in March 1996.

1 [2] Peter Nicol ENG
2 [1] David Palmer AUS
3 [4] John White SCO
4 [3] Jonathon Power CAN
5 [5] Thierry Lincou FRA
6 [6] Stewart Boswell AUS
7 [7] Ong Beng Hee MAS
8 [10] David Evans WAL
9 [9] Paul Price AUS
10 [8] Mark Chaloner ENG
11 [11] Chris Walker ENG
12 [12] Lee Beachill ENG
13 [13] Alex Gough WAL
14 [14] Martin Heath SCO
15 [15] Paul Johnson ENG
16 [16] Del Harris ENG
17 [18] Olli Tuominen FIN
18 [19] Anthony Ricketts AUS
19 [17] Kareem Darwish EGY
20 [20] Graham Ryding CAN

Other North American Players in
the top 150:

41 Shahier Razik CAN
63 Viktor Berg CAN
82 Ian Power CAN
96 David McNeely USA
119 Shawn DeLierre CAN
121 Beau River USA
122 Segun Maku USA
130 Doug Parent CAN
138 Damian Walker USA
143 Jason Jewell USA

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