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Amr
Shabana reaches #12 in the World

July 1 2003 by Ron Beck © 2003
match sequence © 2003 Debra Tessier

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Egypt’s
Amr Shabana leaps eight places to a career-high No 12 in the new July
Dunlop PSA Men’s World Rankings announced today (01 July) by the Professional
Squash Association (PSA). With Shabana’s meteoric rise, Egypt now boasts
two players in the top 12, with Karim Darwish at number 8.

Despite
surprises galore in June’s Seville Spanish Open, the top ten listing remains
unchanged – with Australia’s David Palmer, Scotland’s John White, Canada’s
Jonathon Power and France’s Thierry Lincou occupying positions 2-5 behind
Nicol, respectively. Remarkably, like the July women’s world rankings,
the top five places are also held by five different nationalities!

Jonathon
Power, however, who has seen his ranking fall to #4 is holding onto a
thin advantage over Lincou, attributable to his withdrawal from the Spanish
Open. His status for the upcoming English Open is at present uncertain.

Nicol celebrated his 18th successive PSA Tour semi-final
since August 2001 when he reached the last four of the Spanish Open. His
bid to progress through to the final, however, and win the PSA Tour’s
prestigious title for the first time, collapsed when he was surprisingly
beaten by Egypt’s former world junior champion Karim Darwish – who remains
at No8.

But it was Darwish’s unseeded compatriot Amr Shabana who
ultimately lifted the Spanish title. The 23-year-old from Cairo is rewarded
by a best-ever No12 ranking – and is now just four places below his final
victim.

"My next aim is to reach the top five in the world,"
Shabana told journalists after his stunning Seville success.

England’s reigning World Junior Champion James Willstrop
becomes the only other player to record a career-best ranking in the new
top forty list. The 19-year-old from Yorkshire became one of two qualifiers
to reach the quarter-finals in Seville – where he took the opening game
but eventually went down in four to Karim Darwish.

1 [1] Peter Nicol ENG
2 [2] David Palmer AUS
3 [3] John White SCO
4 [4] Jonathon Power CAN
5 [5] Thierry Lincou FRA
6 [6] Stewart Boswell AUS
7 [7] Anthony Ricketts AUS
8 [8] Karim Darwish EGY
9 [9] Ong Beng Hee MAS
10 [10] Lee Beachill ENG
11 [11] Joseph Kneipp AUS
12 [20] Amr Shabana EGY
13 [12=] Martin Heath SCO
14 [14=] Mark Chaloner ENG
15 [12=] Simon Parke ENG
16 [14=] Alex Gough WAL
17 [16] Gregory Gaultier FRA
18 [17] Mansoor Zaman PAK
19 [19] Graham Ryding CAN
20 [18] Nick Taylor ENG


Other Players from the Americas
in the top 100 (June 1 2003):

32 (27) Shahier Razik CAN
44 (45) Viktor Berg CAN
82 (83) Eric Galvez MEX
84 (87) Ian Power CAN
90 (88) Matthew Giuffre CAN

and the top American:
107 (107) Preston Quick USA

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