Natalie Grainger (pic), the recently married former world number one who retired from the WISPA World Tour in December, is standing down as President of WISPA (Women’s International Squash Players’ Association) with immediate effect. “WISPA has been part of my life for so long, fifteen years as a touring player, thirteen as a board member and eight years as WISPA President,” said the US-based 33-year-old in her resignation letter to the Association’s members. Grainger takes an opportunity working on a project for Chelsea Piers New York. Vice-President Jaclyn Hawkes will be acting President during the interim period.
Madeline Perry (pic ri) leaps 3 places to a career-high No3 in the latest Women’s World Rankings to become the highest-ranked Irish woman of all-time in the April list published by the WISPA. The list is headed by Nicol David (pic, le), the Malaysian who marks her 60th month as world No1, with England’s Jenny Duncalf celebrating her 13th successive month in 2nd place. US teenager Amanda Sobhy moves up a single place to a best-ever No17. The 17-year-old left-hander from New York, the highest-ranked North American woman who became world junior champion last year. Top-10 (inc. points average): 1. Nicol David (MAS, 3235); 2. Jenny Duncalf (ENG, 1572); 3. Madeline Perry (IRL, 1196); 4. Rachael Grinham (AUS, 1126); 5. Alison Waters (ENG, 1086); 6. Kasey Brown (AUS, 992); 7. Laura Massaro (ENG, 978); 8. Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY, 956); 9. Camille Serme (FRA, 773); 10. Vanessa Atkinson (NED, 762).
The Canary Wharf Classic title success in London last month has extended Englishman Nick Matthew’s (pic, le) lead at the top of the Dunlop PSA Men’s World Squash Rankings, according to the April list published today by the PSA. In an unchanged top ten, Matthew leads Egyptian rival Ramy Ashour, with fellow Egyptian Karim Darwish – winner of last month’s KL Open – in 3rd place, and England’s James Willstrop at No4. The first riser in the new list is David Palmer (pic ri), the illustrious Australian who is a two-time World Open and four-time British Open champion. Hisham Ashour, the 28-year-old Egyptian who beat Palmer to lift the National Bank Financial Group Open title in Canada, rises to a career-high No14. Top-10 (inc. points average): 1. Nick Matthew (ENG, 1,568); 2. Ramy Ashour (EGY, 1,296); 3. Karim Darwish (EGY, 989); 4. James Willstrop (ENG, 897); 5. Amr Shabana (EGY, 832); 6. Greg Gaultier (FRA, 782); 7. Peter Barker (ENG, 618); 8. Thierry Lincou (FRA, 557); 9. Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY, 527); 10. Azlan Iskandar (MAS, 439).
In the final qualifying round of the WSF World Cup in Chennai, Malaysia produced the event’s first upset by beating 4th seeds France to earn a surprise place in the semi-finals in India. 5th seeds Malaysia fell behind when Muhd Asyraf Azan went down 11-4, 11-13, 11-3, 11-0 to top-ranked Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet. But it took world No1 Nicol David just 20 minutes to restore order for the underdogs with her 11-2, 11-3, 11-2 dismissal of Coline Aumard, the French No2 who is ranked 68 places lower in the world. But the star of the Malaysian team was Kamran Khan (pic), the 21-year-old from Kuala Lumpur who was making his senior international debut in the event. Ranked ten places behind French opponent Gregoire Marche, Khan recovered from a heavy defeat in the 4th game to beat the former European Junior champion 5-11, 11-9, 11-3, 2-11, 11-4 in a 71-minute marathon. Semi-finals: 1600:  Egypt v  Australia;  England v  Malaysia.
While Nicol David (pic) celebrates her 59th as world number one this month – thus leaving only one player in history who has topped the Women’s World Squash Rankings for a longer period: Michelle Martin. This month David overtakes Australian legend Martin’s achievement of 58 months as world number one, between 1993 and 1999. The record-equalling five times world champion from Malaysia now only has Susan Devoy’s record in her sights: The distinguished New Zealander, now Dame Devoy, boasts 105 months in pole position between April 1984 and February 1993. While David heads the latest list, England’s Jenny Duncalf completes a full year in 2nd place – with a significant lead over third-placed Rachael Grinham, the former world No1 from Australia who moves up 2 positions. Top-ten positions: 1. Nicol David (MAS, 3332); 2. Jenny Duncalf (ENG, 1679); 3. Rachael Grinham (AUS, 1126); 4. Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY, 1114); 5. Alison Waters (ENG, 1086); 6. Madeline Perry (IRL, 1069); 7. Kasey Brown (AUS, 1038); 8. Laura Massaro (ENG, 1017); 9. Camille Serme (FRA, 816); 10. Vanessa Atkinson (NED, 758).
Victory in last week’s 2nd PSA World Series event of the year has extended Englishman Nick Matthew’s (pic, le) lead at the top of the Men’s World Rankings. The 30-year-old moves into his 3rd successive month as world number one, holding off the challenge of world No2 Ramy Ashour (pic ri). In an unchanged top six, Egypt’s Karim Darwish retains his third position ahead of England’s James Willstrop at four, with Egyptian Amr Shabana in fifth place, and Frenchman Gregory Gaultier at six. Top-ten rankings: 1. Nick Matthew (ENG, 1,568); 2. Ramy Ashour (EGY, 1,384); 3. Karim Darwish (EGY, 959); 4. James Willstrop (ENG, 897); 5. Amr Shabana (EGY, 832); 6. Gregory Gaultier (FRA, 790); 7. Peter Barker (ENG, 595); 8. Thierry Lincou (FRA, 557); 9. Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY, 500); 10. Azlan Iskandar (MAS, 439).
Nicol David (pic) and Nick Matthew (pic) were honoured as Players of the Year at the annual World Squash Awards which attracted more than 150 leading figures from the squash world in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central in New York. The 6th year of the prestigious awards event was the first to be staged outside of the UK. Nick Matthew had an outstanding year, winning the World Open, two Commonwealth Gold medals, and finishing the year as world No1. If the men’s award was clear cut then there can never have been any doubt that Nicol David, the Malaysian would collect the WISPA Player of the Year award for the 6th year in a row! All awards winners: Nick Matthew – PSA 2010 Player of the Year; Nicol David – WISPA 2010 Player of the Year; Mohamed El Shorbagy – PSA 2010 Young Player of the Year; Nour El Tayeb – WISPA 2010 Young Player of the Year Kasey Brown – WISPA 2010 Most Improved Player of the Year; Greg Park – ISDA 2010 Rookie of the Year; Damien Mudge – ISDA 2010 Team of the Year; Frank Stella – Services To Squash Award; Mark Talbott – Lifetime Achievement Award.
Malaysian Nicol David, Australian Kasey Brown and Dutch Vanessa Atkinson have been nominated for the WISPA player of the Year at the 2010 World Squash Awards this week. The male nominees for the PSA Player of the Year award are Egypt’s Ramy Ashour and Englishmen Nick Matthew and James Willstrop – winners of eight 2010 PSA Super Series titles between them. The 6th annual World Squash Awards will take place today for the first time in the stunning Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal, New York.