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Shabana Succeeds
Power as World #1

April 4 , 2006 by Ron Beck ©
2006
photo © 2006 Debra Tessier

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[top Americas players]

J Power
Amr
Shabana – the first Egyptian to hold the PSA world #1 ranking.
(photo © 2006
Debra Tessier.)

 

Shabana Is New
World Number One

Egypt’s Amr
Shabana
becomes the first world number one from
Egypt in the new
April Dunlop
PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings
,
published today (Monday) by the Professional
Squash Association. 

Achieving
what had eluded the mercurial Ahmed Barada in 1999 and
2000, the
26-year-old World Open champion from Cairo become
the tenth player to top the world list since the inaugural
rankings were produced more than 20 years ago.

The
exciting, demonstrative, colorful and creative Shabana breathes
some exciting new life at the top of the PSA rankings table.
Coming at a time when the squash world is still recoiling from
the loss of it’s most recognizable personality, Jonathon Power
of Canada, who retired last month after regaining the top position
for March, Shabana is a good candidate for bringing the tour
new personality, if he can maintain the consistency and dedication
to competition that he has show for the past 18 months.

Shabana rocked the squash world in December
2003 when he won the World Open for the first
time in Pakistan – where
he was the ninth seed!  After a dismal 2004, in which
he only reached one PSA Tour final, the stylish
left-hander came back with a vengeance in 2005 when he picked
up four titles from six final appearances – and finished
the year in stunning style by becoming world champion for the
second time in Hong Kong.

He
has collected a further two PSA Trophies this year – winning
the Canadian Classic in
Toronto in January and the Tournament of Champions last
month at Grand Central Terminal in New York, to bring his career
title total to 11.

The
new ranking list is the first since Canada’s Jonathon
Power
announced his surprise retirement shortly
after topping the list in March.

While
Australia’s David
Palmer
retains second place, James Willstrop emphasizes
his position as the highest-ranked Englishman by moving up
to three, ahead of fourth-placed Frenchman Thierry
Lincou.

Australia’s Anthony Ricketts and
England’s
Peter Nicol move
up to five and six, respectively, while Englishman Nick
Matthew
– runner-up at last month’s Tournament
of Champions – rises three places to seven, his highest
ranking for more than a year.

Malaysia’s
two players in the world top 20 are also on the rise:  Ong Beng Hee moves
up to No14 to celebrate his best ranking for almost two years,
while Mohd Azlan Iskandar rises a single place
to No12 to mark a career-best ranking.



     1      [3]        Amr
Shabana               EGY

     2     [2]        David
Palmer                AUS

     3     [5]        James
Willstrop           ENG

     4     [4]        Thierry
Lincou             FRA

     5     [6]        Anthony
Ricketts          AUS

     6     [7]        Peter
Nicol                  ENG

     7     [10]      Nick
Matthew              ENG

     8     [8]        Lee
Beachill                 ENG

     9     [9]        John
White                  SCO

     10    [11]       Gregory
Gaultier          FRA

     11    [12]      Karim
Darwish              EGY

     12    [13]      Mohd
Azlan Iskandar   MAS

     13    [14]      Olli
Tuominen               FIN

     14    [15]      Ong
Beng Hee              MAS

     15    [16]      Adrian
Grant                ENG

     16    [17]      Stewart
Boswell           AUS

     17    [22]      Mohammed
Abbas         EGY

     18    [19]      Graham
Ryding             CAN

     19    [20]      Alex
Gough                  WAL

     20   [21]      Wael
El Hindi              EGY



.

Other Players from the Americas
in the top 100 (Jan 1 2006):

24 (25) Shahier Razik CAN
40 (42) Matthew Giuffre CAN
50 (49) Eric Galvez MEX
62 (67) Rafael Alarcon BRA
64 (66) Shawn DeLierre CAN

71 (74) Nick Kyme BER

89 (97) Christoper Gordon USA
93 (94) Sabir Butt CAN
96 (95) David Phillips CAN

97 (92) Ian Power CAN

and the other top Americans:

104 (96) Julian Illingworth USA
115 (108) Beau River USA
119 (102) Kumail Mehmood USA
122 (131) Dylan Patterson USA
132 (180) Robert McFadzean USA
179 (200) Ryan Donegan USA

other notables:

22 (19) Wael El Hindi EGY
27 (23) Laurens Jan Anjema NL
28 (28) Cameron Pilley (AUS)
29 (27) Joey Barrington ENG
31 (29) Joe Kneipp AUS



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