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>Rankings section > WISPA Dec 1, 2005
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Vanessa Atkinson
Becomes World Number One

London, Dec 1, 2005 by Howard harding
© 2005, photos © Debra Tessier and SquashTalk © 2004


  
SQUASH
TALK
  WOMEN’S NEWS


Vanessa
Atkinson (l) overtakes Rachael Grinham in the Dec 1
WISPA rankings on the strength of wins at Qatar and Monaco.. © 2005
Fritz Borchert

 

Vicky Botwright Reachs #5

After 11 months in second place behind Australia’s Rachael
Grinham
, Dutch star Vanessa Atkinson has
finally overtaken her long-time rival to become world number one
for the first time in her career in the new December Women’s
World Squash Rankings
, announced today (30 November) by
the Women’s International
Squash
Players’ Association
(WISPA)
.

Vanessa
Vanessa
Atkinson won the Qatar Classic last week.. © 2005
Fritz Borchert

Whilst the 29-year-old from The
Hague becomes the eleventh woman to head
the world list since the inaugural WISPA rankings
in 1983, Atkinson is the first ever world number one from the Netherlands.

Atkinson, born in England and raised in the Netherlands,
has enjoyed a sensational two years on the
WISPA World
Tour
since winning the Kuala
Lumpur Open
in February last year.  The eight-times
Dutch national champion went on to pick up eight Tour titles in 2004 – being
successful in all the finals she reached and rounding off the year
by clinching the World Open title in Malaysia. 

In addition to adding the European
Individual title to her collection this year, Atkinson has also
made it through to six further WISPA finals – claiming
four more trophies, including last week in Doha the richest of them
all, the Qatar Classic.

If Atkinson retains her World Open crown
in Hong Kong this
week, she will join squash greats Susan Devoy, Michelle
Martin
and Sarah Fitz-Gerald as the only
players who have successfully defended the sport’s most prized title.

Rachael Grinham slips to No2 in
the new list, while Malaysia’s Nicol
David
remains at three, and Rachael’s younger sister Natalie
Grinham
stays at four.

Vanessa
Vanessa
Atkinson in New York.. © 2005 Debra Tessier.

A notable breakthrough in women’s squash is achieved
by Vicky Botwright, who rises to a career-high No5
to become England’s
highest-ranked player for the first time.  The 28-year-old from Manchester,
who only netted her first WISPA title
last year, has reached four Tour finals in 2005 – most notably
upsetting the first and third seeds in last week’s Qatar Classic
to celebrate her maiden appearance in a
WISPA Grand
Prix
final.

Two further English
players boast best-ever rankings in December:  Londoner Alison
Waters
– a
quarter-finalist in the British Open as a qualifier,
and a surprise semi-finalist in this month’s Monte Carlo
Classic
in Monaco – rises
to No12, while Lancashire’s Laura-Jane
Lengthorn
, also a qualifier who reached the last eight of
the British Open, leaps two places to 16.

With three WISPA Tour
titles to her name since August, including the Atlanta Masters in
the USA this
month, Egypt’s Engy
Kheirallah
makes her top twenty debut at 20.

     1      [2]        Vanessa
Atkinson              NED
     2     [1]        Rachael
Grinham               AUS
     3     [3]        Nicol
David                       MAS
     4     [4]        Natalie
Grinham                AUS
     5     [7]        Vicky
Botwright                ENG
     6     [6]        Linda
Elriani                     ENG
     7     [5]        Natalie
Grainger               USA
     8     [9]        Jenny
Duncalf                  ENG
     9     [8]        Tania
Bailey                     ENG
     10    [10]      Omneya
Abdel Kawy         EGY
     11    [11]       Madeline
Perry                 IRL
     12    [13]      Alison
Waters                   ENG
     13    [12]      Shelley
Kitchen                 NZL
     14    [14]      Annelize
Naude                NED
     15    [15]      Isabelle
Stoehr                FRA
     16    [18]      Laura-Jane
Lengthorn       ENG
     17    [17]      Rebecca
Chiu                    HKG
     18    [16]      Fiona
Geaves                    ENG
     19    [19]      Pamela
Nimmo                   SCO
     20   [24]      Engy
Kheirallah                 EGY

OTHER AMERICAS
PLAYERS IN TOP 100 AS OF DECEMBER 1 2005:

21 [20] Latasha
Khan USA
32 [30] Samantha Teran MEX
30 [31] Runa Reta CAN
40 [38] Melaine Jans Burke CAN
42 [40] Alana Miller CAN
47 [42] Katie Patrick CAN
50 [53] Nicolette Fernandes GUY
56 [60] Tara Mullins CAN
58 [57] Meredith Quick USA
59 [61] Lily Lorentzen USA

71 [65] Shabana Khan USA

72 [67] Louisa Hall USA
83 [101] Caroline Russell CAN

93 [95] Britt Hebden USA
101 [92] Ashley Clackson CAN

[complete
rankings for Dec ’05]


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