Willstrop at the top – Matthew gets closer!

Nick Matthew celebrating his 3rd British Open title to close the gap to his leading compatriot James Willstrop in the world rankings (photo: Jordan Mansfield)

Historic title success in last month's Allam British Open has seen Nick Matthew (pic) reduce the gap behind James Willstrop in the new June Dunlop PSA Men's World Rankings – but fellow Englishman Willstrop holds onto the top spot.

Matthew beat Egyptian rival Ramy Ashour in straight games in the final of the 4th PSA World Series event of the year at the prestigious O2 Arena in London to become the 1st Englishman in the 82-year history of the British Open to win a 3rd title.

But the dramatic events in the final stages of the 1st staging of the world-famous event since 2009 did nothing to change the top 5 of the latest world rankings – Willstrop moving into his 5th month at No1, followed by Matthew at 2; British Open quarter-finalist Greg Gaultier in 3rd place; Ashour at No4 and fellow Egyptian Karim Darwish at 5.

But England’s Peter Barker, the Londoner who fully capitalised on ‘hometown advantage’ at the O2 by beating Frenchman Gaultier for only the second time over the past 7 years, rises to a career-high-equalling 6th place.

Thierry Lincou, the 36-year-old Frenchman who won the Bluenose Classic in Canada in April unseeded, returns to the top 10 after slipping to a 10-and-a-half-year career low 13 earlier in the year.

And England’s Tom Richards also equals his career-best ranking of 15 after making the British Open last 16 for the first time.

After coming close to producing the biggest shock of the 2012 British Open by leading 2/0 and 8-6 against Ramy Ashour, Spaniard Borja Golan celebrates the biggest rise in the top 20 by jumping two places to No18.

June 2012 top 20 (inc. points average):
1 [1] James Willstrop ENG 1,685
2 [2] Nick Matthew ENG 1,503
3 [3] Gregory Gaultier FRA 1,296
4 [4] Ramy Ashour EGY 1,123
5 [5] Karim Darwish EGY 961
6 [7] Peter Barker ENG 683
7 [6] Amr Shabana EGY 650
8 [8] Mohamed El Shorbagy EGY 615
9 [9] Laurens Jan Anjema NED 537
10 [11] Thierry Lincou FRA 454
11 [10] Daryl Selby ENG 432
12 [12] Omar Mosaad EGY 419
13 [13] Alister Walker BOT 373
14 [14] Hisham Mohd Ashour EGY 367
15 [16] Tom Richards ENG 365
16 [15] Mohd Azlan Iskandar MAS 354
17 [17] Adrian Grant ENG 346
18 [20] Borja Golan ESP 329
19 [18] Cameron Pilley AUS 328
20 [19] Simon Rosner GER 316