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White – Achieves World #1 Milestone

March 1, 2003 by Howard Harding ©
match sequence © 2003 Debra Tessier




Native Australian John White, who plays under the Scottish Flag, has finally
achieved the world #1 ranking after hanging around the top elechelon of
PSA squash for the past five years.

John White takes over #1 spot as Peter
Nicol slides to #3, photo © 2004 Debra Tessier

White, an exciting
offensive star, reaches number one in the world after last month sitting
at #2 and a few days ago achieving the TOC finals.

White, quiet
and controlled in his court demeanor, brings an exciting attacking style
of squash on court in his every appearance. His matches are never boring.
Some days, as in the TOC finals, his wonderful shotmaking deserts him,
and the tin appears a magnet. But, as in the TOC finals, it’s still breathtaking,
exciting squash, as White forces virtually every opponent to adjust to
his creative tactics on court.

White was confirmed
Monday as the world’s number one squash player for the first time in his
career according to the new March Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings,
announced today (02 March) by the Professional Squash Association (PSA).

France’s Thierry
Lincou, who made his world No1 debut in January, slips to No2 while England’s
Peter Nicol, the former world No1 who beat White in last week’s Bear Stearns
Tournament of Champions final in New York, drops back to third place.
Meanwhile, Jonathon Power, who is making a strong comeback effort after
breaking his left hand in December, was not able to move up from seventh,
despite finishing strongly in the three events he has played since returning
to the tour.

White, born and raised in Queensland, Australia, became
a Scottish national in 1998 – but made his breakthrough when he moved
to Nottingham in England in 2000. The following year, seeded 16, he stormed
through the Flanders Open field in Antwerp – beating favourite Peter Nicol
for the first time – to pick up his first PSA Super Series title.

Since the beginning of 2003, the 30-year-old has reached
five PSA Tour finals, collecting trophies in the PSA Masters in Qatar
in May and the English Open in Sheffield last August. After becoming the
British national champion for the first time last month, the game’s hardest
hitter went on to reach his 21st PSA final at Grand Central Terminal last
week to clinch his new world number one status.

"Becoming number one in the world is one of the major
goals of anyone’s career, so I am delighted to have achieved this,"
said White.

Egypt’s Karim Darwish also has cause to celebrate this
month. The 22-year former world junior champion from Cairo moves up to
a career-high No5 – leapfrogging compatriot and world champion Amr Shabana
– after winning three PSA titles already this year.

The rapid rise of England’s Nick Matthew continues this
month with the 23-year-old from Sheffield in Yorkshire making his top
ten debut at 10. After making the final of January’s Swedish Open against
the seedings, Matthew went on to reach the quarter-finals of last month’s
Tournament of Champions in New York.

The unexpected victory by England’s Adrian Grant in February’s
Chief of Army Staff International in Pakistan propels the 23-year-old
Londoner into the top twenty for the first time at 17.

1 [3] John White SCO
2 [1] Thierry Lincou FRA
3 [2] Peter Nicol ENG
4 [4] Lee Beachill ENG
5 [8] Karim Darwish EGY
6 [5] Amr Shabana EGY
7 [7] Jonathon Power CAN
8 [6] David Palmer AUS
9 [9] Anthony Ricketts AUS
10 [12] Nick Matthew ENG
11 [10] Joseph Kneipp AUS
12 [11] Gregory Gaultier FRA
13 [13] James Willstrop ENG
14 [14] Ong Beng Hee MAS
15 [15] Omar Elborolossy EGY
16 [16] Graham Ryding CAN
17 [21] Adrian Grant ENG
18 [17] Mohammed Abbas EGY
19 [19] Paul Price AUS
20 [18] Mansoor Zaman PAK


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

27 (25) Shahier Razik CAN
50 (50) Viktor Berg CAN
79 (103) Rafael Alarcon BRA
87 (89) Shawn DeLierre CAN
90 (81) Eric Galvez MEX
94 (97) Matthew Giuffre CAN

and the top American:
108 (111) Beau River USA

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