Malaysian PM to honour Nicol David – fans going mad!

Nicol David, the Malaysian who has topped the women’s world squash rankings unopposed since 2006, has been congratulated by the country’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for her outstanding achievements on creating history by winning a record 6th world title last month in the Netherlands.

Nicol David followed her World Open success in Rotterdam by claiming her 57th WISPA World Tour title at the Hong Kong Open. The country’s most successful squash player of all-time was greeted by hundreds of fans on arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport – all eager to see her world championship gold medal.

Golan marks quarter century success In London!

Spain’s Borja Golan marked his 25th PSA World Tour title success after surviving a marathon five-game final at the Coronation London Open. The No3 seed from Santiago beat 2nd-seeded South African Stephen Coppinger 8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-3 in 73 minutes to become 2rd in the list of current Tour players with the most titles – behind Egypt’s four-time world champion Amr Shabana (27), but ahead of England’s world number one Nick Matthew (21) and Egypt’s Ramy Ashour (22)!

Massaro moves into Top 3 in December Rankings!

Nicol David is on her 63rd consecutive month as world No1. The Malaysian left New Zealander Susan Devoy (58 month) far behind her in the all-over statistics. The world No2 position remains unchanged, as England’s Jenny Duncalf (pic ri) established herself. Laura Massaro (pic le) has moved into the world’s top 3 for the 1st time. The Englishwoman started the year ranked at No10. Low Wee Wern records her highest ranking at No11.

December 2011 top 10 (inc. points average): 1 [1] Nicol David MAS 3,279; 2 [2] Jenny Duncalf ENG 1,934; 3 [4] Laura Massaro ENG 1,411; 4 [3] Madeline Perry IRL 1,409; 5 [6] Kasey Brown AUS 1,111; 6 [5] Rachael Grinham AUS 1,078; 7 [8] Raneem El Weleily EGY 1,022; 8 [7] Annie Au HKG 948; 9 [10] Natalie Grinham NED 920; 10 [9] Camille Serme FRA 877.

There were further career highs in the top 100:
Kanzy El Dafrawy up to no.29 after reaching the World Open last 16. That makes 6 Egyptians in the top 30. Gaby Huber makes her top 30 debut at no.30. She started the year outside the top 50.
Yathreb Adel up to no.32. The youngest player in the top 100 pushed Massaro in the World Open 1st round.

Melody Francis captured her 5th title of the year at the Mackay Open and moves to no.36, Siyoli Waters at no.38, Misaki Kobayashi up to no.39, Sina Wall up to no.41, Samantha Cornett up to no.44, Lauren Selby up to no.47, Olga Ertlova up to no.48, Ahn Eun Chan up to no.53, Lisa Aitken up to 55, Coline Aumard up to no.56, Amanda Landers-Murphy to 57, Salma Hany up to no.59, Tesni Evans up to no.65, Liu Tsz-Ling up to 68, Tamika Saxby up to 73, Kristen Lange up to no.82, Megan Craig up to no.84, Christine Nunn up to no.86 and Vanessa Pickard up to no.90.

Two Englishman at the top of the new World Rankings!

England boasts the top 2 squash players in the world for the 1st time since 2004 with the rise of James Willstrop (pic ri) to 2nd place in the December World Rankings. Fellow Nick Matthew (pic le) completes his first full year as No1. In the 1st PSA world rankings since December 2005 not to feature an Egyptian in the top 3, France’s Gregory Gaultier leaps 2 places to No3. Egypt, however, takes the next 3 places in the ranking.

December 2011 top 10 (inc. points average): 1 [1] Nick Matthew ENG 1,716; 2 [3] James Willstrop ENG 1,392; 3 [5] Gregory Gaultier FRA 1,050; 4 [2] Ramy Ashour EGY 1,028; 5 [6] Karim Darwish EGY 980; 6 [4] Amr Shabana EGY 789; 7 [7] Peter Barker ENG 644; 8 [8] Mohamed El Shorbagy EGY 642; 9 [9] David Palmer AUS 514; 10 [13] Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS 465.

And the winner is: James Willstrop!

Englishman James Willstrop (pic ri) claimed his 2nd consecutive World Series title as he beat Egyptian Karim Darwish (pic le) 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-2 in the final of the Kuwait Cup, his 5th World Series crown overall.

After last week’s Hong Kong victory Willstrop was able to win a World Series tournament back to back for the 1st time in his career. During the last 15 years, only Nick Matthew, Ramy Ashour and Amr Shabana have been able to win World Series titles back to back.

It’s Willstrop and Darwish again!

The two Hong Kong Open finalists, Englishman James Willstrop (pic front) and Egyptian Karim Darwish have been able to set up the same situation in the Kuwait Cup final, as Willstrop beat Frenchman Greg Gaultier (pic back) in straight games 11-9, 11-6, 11-3. As the English World No3 played one of his best matches ever, Gaultier never did much wrong in this semi-final.

Willstrop’s final opponent has been selected in the all-Egyptian encounter between World No6 Karim Darwish and two times Junior World Champion and World No8 Mohamed El Shorbagy. While Darwish managed to play the big points more successful, he overcame his younger compatriot in 4 games (11-4, 11-9, 5-11, 15-13) to set up his chance of a revenge of the Hong Kong defeat.

Matthew injured, Gaultier and Willstrop won!

World No1 Nick Matthew conceded his quarter-final match against Egyptian Karim Darwish as a consequence of an adductor injury that he has got since the World Open. Darwish now meets his compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy in the semis, who beat Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7.

The 2nd semi-final will see the Hongkong finalists James Willstrop and Greg Gaultier (pic ri), as the Englishman beat his compatriot Peter Barker 11-9, 11-7, 11-7 and Gaultier came back from 1 game down to beat Australian Stewart Boswell (pic le) 8-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-5.

Top two seeds meet in Kuwait quarters!

The random draw method for the quarter-finals of the Kuwait PSA Cup has been made the 1st time in professional squash and it saw the top 2 seeds Nick Matthew (pic le) and Karim Darwish (pic ri) drawn to play each. The draw took place during the gala dinner held at Kuwait Towers, with Sheikha Fadya Al Sabah pulling the 1st numbered ball out of the bowl.

It was Stewart Boswell, and the Aussie drew his own opponent, Gregory Gaultier. Next out was an all-English match between Peter Barker and James Willstrop, and when Darwish was next out of the hat there was a one-in-3 chance that the top 2 seeds playing each other. Darwish duly pulled out ball No1, and the ‘dream quarter-final’ was set. That left Mohamed El Shorbagy and Laurens Jan Anjema.

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