London,Dec 1, 2001 by Howard Harding
© 2001, photos © Fritz Borchert and SquashTalk © 2001
Cassie Campion Rises to World No 4.
|#1 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (right)
against her often-time foe, # 4, Cassie Campion (left)
A year after undergoing surgery on her
back, England’s Cassie Campion has jumped back into the world top four in
the new December Women’s World Rankings, announced today (30th November) by
the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA).
Australia’s four-times world champion
Sarah Fitz-Gerald tops the list, ahead of New Zealanders Leilani Joyce at
No2 and Carol Owens, the former Australian, at No3. “2001 has been a great
year for me with the highlight winning the World Championship in my home Melbourne,”
said #1 Fitz-Gerald, who was recently named SquashTalk’s November ’01
Player of the Month.
Cassie Campion, from Norfolk, who will
be 29 later this month, hit the headlines in October 1999 when she won the
World Open title in the USA – two months later becoming the first world No1
of the new millennium.
Five months after the operation on her
back, Cassie returned to the WISPA World Tour with a vengeance, comfortably
winning the Milo Open in Malaysia in April. Since then she has reached the
quarter-finals of the British Open and World Open, was runner-up in the San
Francisco Challenge and Heliopolis and Las Vegas Opens, then last week clinched
the Monte Carlo Classic title in Monaco without dropping a game.
“Winning the Monte Carlo Classic was a
great boost for me and I’m thrilled to reach a World ranking of four and end
a difficult year in such a positive way,” Campion said.
Rebecca Macree is another English player
celebrating a ranking high this month. More than six years after reaching
a then career-high No11 in September 1995, the profoundly deaf 30-year-old
from Walthamstow in London makes her maiden appearance in the top ten at No10.
Three other players marking career-best rankings are Australia’s Natalie Grinham
who rises to 12; New Zealand’s Shelley Kitchen at 16; and Malaysia’s 18-year-old
double world junior champion Nicol David at 18.
1  Sarah Fitz-Gerald AUS
2  Leilani Joyce NZL
3  Carol Owens NZL
4  Cassie Campion ENG
5  Fiona Geaves ENG
6  Linda Charman-Smith ENG
7  Stephanie Brind ENG
8  Rachael Grinham AUS
9  Suzanne Horner ENG
10  Rebecca Macree ENG
11  Vanessa Atkinson NED
12  Natalie Grinham AUS
13  Tania Bailey ENG
14  Natalie Pohrer ENG
15  Vicky Botwright ENG
16  Shelley Kitchen NZL
17  Pamela Nimmo SCO
18  Nicol David MAS
19  Jenny Tranfield ENG
20  Ellen Petersen DEN
… and North Americans in the top 70:
29  Latasha Khan USA
34  Shabana Khan USA
37  Margo Green CAN
50  Marnie Baizley CAN
69  Louise Lefebvre CAN