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Gaultier Moves up to #3. Canada Missing from Top 20.

Dec 28, 2006 by Howard Harding ©
photo © 2006 Debra Tessier


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J Power
Gaultier – continues his surge. (photo © 2006
Debra Tessier.)

After reaching his third successive PSA Tour final in this month’s Saudi International, Gregory Gaultier has risen to a career-high world No3 in the new January Dunlop PSA Men’s World Rankings, issued today by the Professional Squash Association – leaping ahead of compatriot Thierry Lincou to become the highest-ranked Frenchman for the first time.

Gaultier has enjoyed a remarkable year – which began with a No12 ranking. After two non-PSA Tour successes – in the French Nationals (featuring his first win over Lincou, in the final) and the European Individual Championships (where he won the ‘closed’ title for the third year in a row) – the 25-year-old from Aix-en-Provence went on to reach six PSA finals against the seedings, and lifted the titles in the Hungarian Open and US Open.

Egypt’s Amr Shabana caps his best year on the PSA Tour by heading the New Year list – moving into his tenth consecutive month as the world’s No1 squash player. The 27-year-old from Cairo beat Gaultier in the final of the Super Series Platinum event in Saudi Arabia to clinch his fifth PSA crown of 2006 – an achievement which led to his receiving the PSA Male Player of the Year award at the World Squash Awards in London last week.

Australia’s World Open champion David Palmer is at No2 for the 11th successive month, while England’s British Open champion Nick Matthew retains his fifth position behind Gaultier and Lincou.

Ramy Ashour consolidates his status as the most improved player of the year by reaching a best-ever No6 position. The only teenager in the top 30, Ashour began the year at 38 in the Dunlop PSA list – since when he has become the first player ever to win the World Junior Championship title for a second time, and on the PSA Tour made it to three finals. In the Hong Kong Open in October, the 19-year-old from Cairo despatched Tour veterans John White, Thierry Lincou and David Palmer to reach his maiden Super Series final, before finally succumbing to compatriot Amr Shabana.

Ashour’s success was recognised in the World Squash Awards when he received the PSA Young Male Player of the Year Award.

Experienced Mohammed Abbas is another Egyptian celebrating a career-best ranking in the new list. The 26-year-old from Cairo has risen four places to 13 after crowning a highly successful year (which began outside the top 20) by making it to the Saudi quarter-finals as the 15th seed.

Australia’s Stewart Boswell moves closer to the top ten to take up the No11 position in the new list – the 28-year-old from Canberra’s highest position for more than three years.

Spanish squash has much to celebrate in the New Year as Borja Golan makes his debut in the top 20 to affirm his status as the country’s best ever player. The 23-year-old from Santiago DC has amassed 14 titles from 15 PSA Tour final appearances – including 2006 successes in the Thessaloniki Open in Greece, the Irish Open in Dublin, the CAS International in Pakistan and the Wolverhampton Open in England.

1 [1] Amr Shabana EGY
2 [2] David Palmer AUS
3 [4] Gregory Gaultier FRA
4 [3] Thierry Lincou FRA
5 [5] Nick Matthew ENG
6 [7] Ramy Ashour EGY
7 [8] James Willstrop ENG
8 [11] John White SCO
9 [9] Karim Darwish EGY
10 [6] Anthony Ricketts AUS
11 [12] Stewart Boswell AUS
12 [10] Lee Beachill ENG
13 [17] Mohammed Abbas EGY
14 [14] Adrian Grant ENG
15 [15] Wael El Hindi EGY
16 [18] Ong Beng Hee MAS
17 [16] Olli Tuominen FIN
18 [13] Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS
19 [19] Peter Barker ENG
20 [21] Borja Golan ESP


Other Players from the Americas
in the top 100 (Jan 1 2007):

23 (20) Graham Ryding CAN
27 (27) Shahier Razik CAN
34 (40) Eric Galvez MEX
36 (42) Rafael Alarcon BRA

40 (44) Matthew Giuffre CAN
44 (46) Shawn DeLierre CAN
52 (57) Miguel Angel Rodriguez COL
59 (62) Bernardo Samper COL
67 (72) Christoper Gordon USA

71 (71) Nick Kyme BER
73 (96) Julian Illingworth USA
76 (87) David Phillips CAN
86 (76) Jorge Ferreira MEX

97 (103) Ian PowerCAN


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