Squash: Egypt's Karim Abdel-Gawad becomes world No.1 for first time ever

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 May 2017

Egypt's Abdel-Gawad succeeds France's Gaultier as World number one, El-Sherbini remains on top

Karim Abdel Gawad
World Champion Karim Abdel Gawad (Photo: psaworldtour.com)

Egypt's squash star Karim Abdel-Gawad has become world number one for the first time ever as he topped May's PSA World Rankings. He joins women's world champion Nour El-Sherbini, who remained in poll position for the second successive month.

Despite his loss to Gregory Gaultier in the Gouna Squash Open final earlier on April, Abdel-Gawad has knocked the Frenchman into second place in the World Rankings, becoming the fifth Egyptian player ever to take first place. Gaultier was the hero of April's rankings after pushing out Egypt's long-time world number one Mohamed ElShorbagy who remained world number three this month.

Abdel-Gawad followed in the steps of countrymen Amr Shabana, Karim Darwish, Ramy Ashour and Mohamed Elshorbagy, who have all topped the World Rankings over the past 11 years.

The 25-year old Abdel-Gawad began the season ranked at No.8, but he delivered a series of outstanding performances over the past eight months to win five PSA World Tour titles, including major titles at the PSA Men’s World Championship, the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions and the Qatar Classic.

“It means a lot to me, I’ve always had two dreams in my squash career: to be world No.1 and to win the World Championship. So to achieve both dreams in the same season is a dream come true,” Abdel-Gawad was quoted as saying by psaworldtour.com after the rankings announcement.

“To be the fifth male Egyptian to reach world No.1 and to follow in the footsteps of the best Egyptian players of all time is a great pleasure. They are all legends of squash and a great image, not only for the sport but also for Egypt.

“I still have lots of goals and will work hard on them. I really want to win more World Championships, win the British Open – one of the most prestigious tournaments in squash – win the World Series Finals and to stay at World No.1 for as long as possible.”

Egypt dominated the top ten in May's list, with Marawan Elshorbagy moved up one spot to number four, while three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour moved up a spot to No.7. Ali Farag dropped two places to No.8, Fares Dessouky retained his No.9 ranking, and finally his compatriot, Tarek Momen, moved up one place to No.10.

In the Women's rankings, world champion Nour El-Sherbini, remained on the driving seat, especially after retaining the World Championship title, beating Egyptian compatriot Raneem El-Welily in the Gouna Squash Open final on 14 April.

El-Welily moved forward two places to sit at World No.2 in this month's rankings, while compatriot Nouran Gohar remained in fifth place.

PSA Men’s World Rankings Top 10 – May 2017

Karim Abdel-Gawad (Egypt)

Gregory Gaultier (France)

Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egypt)

Marwan Elshorbagy (Egypt)

Nick Matthew (England)

James Willstrop (England)

Simon Rosner (Germany)

Ramy Ashour (Egypt)

Ali Farag (Egypt)

Fares Dessouky (Egypt)

PSA Women’s World Rankings Top 10 – May 2017

Nour El-Sherbini (Egypt)

Laura Massaro (England)

Camille Serme (France)

Raneem El-Welily (Egypt)

Nouran Gohar (Egypt)

Nicol David (Malaysia)

Amanda Sobhy (USA)

Sarah-Jane Perry (England)

Alison Waters (England)

Joelle King (New Zealand)

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