Nigeria's Squash Queen, Olatunji In Stunning Comeback Win Over Home Player In Canada
Nigeria’s Queen of the court, Yemisi Olatunji

West African number one, Yemisi Olatunji‘s meteoric rise on the PSA rankings continues as she moved 19 places to 127 in the world according to the PSA Women’s Rankings for April released on Monday by the world’s squash governing body, the Professional Squash Association (PSA).

Concise News reports that Olatunji, who started the year at number 195 has enjoyed smooth sailing in the women’s standings in the past three months.

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All her PSA matches this year happened in March. She featured at the Slaight Music Granite Open in Toronto as well as the Queen City Open in Regina – Canada. There, she won two and lost two matches – beating a better-ranked player and a home player.

Another Nigerian player who rose is US-based Adewale Amao. Amao bettered his March rating by six places.

Meanwhile, Amao’s fellow in America, Babatunde Ajagbe dropped 25 places to 200. At the start of last month, Ajagbe competed at the Bermuda Open but was defeated in Round 1 by Leandro Romiglio of Argentina.

PSA World Rankings: Which Nigerian Player Is Rising & Who's Falling? PHOTO CREDIT: Top Media Nigeria
PSA World Rankings: Which Nigerian Player Is Rising & Who’s Falling? PHOTO CREDIT: Top Media Nigeria

The rest of the Nigerian flagbearers on the global rankings of the PSA dropped: Abdul Rahaman Yusuf to 315, Adegoke Onaopemipo to 420, Idowu Enimakure to 548 and Busayo Olatunji to 236.

International players round-up

On the international scene, New Zealand’s Paul Coll and India’s Saurav Ghosal reached career highs.

Coll, the highest ranked Kiwi male since Ross Norman in 1993, claimed his biggest title to date after defeating Egypt’s Tarek Momen in the final of the Canary Wharf Squash Classic last month. As a result, the 26-year-old has risen two places to climb to No.5.

Meanwhile, Ghosal becomes the first Indian player to reach the top ten of the men’s World Rankings after enjoying a stellar month which saw him reach the quarter-finals of the 2018-2019 PSA World Championships for the first time in his career and the quarter-finals of the Grasshopper Cup.

Egypt’s World Champion Ali Farag remains at the top of the rankings, with newly crowned Grasshopper Cup champion Mohamed ElShorbagy remaining at No.2 and Tarek Momen (No.3) also keeping his place to make it an all-Egyptian top three. Meanwhile, Germany’s Simon Rösner rises a place to No.4 to complete the top five.

Former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad and Colombia’s Miguel Rodriguez both drop places to No.6 and No.7 respectively, while Egypt’s Mohamed Abouelghar (No.8) and Peru’s Diego Elias are both non-movers as they take the other spots in the top 10.

Egypt’s Marwan ElShorbagy drops a place to No.11, while compatriot Omar Mosaad rises one place to No.12. France’s former World Champion Gregory Gaultier drops down two places to No.13 in the world with the former World No.1 still recovering from a knee injury sustained at last year’s U.S. Open.

Germany’s Raphael Kandra, Wales’ Joel Makin and England’s Declan James are all on the rise. Kandra moves up two places to reach a career-high of No.14, while Makin also claims his highest ranking to date, rising three places to No.15. James becomes the new England No.1 as he moves three places to reach No.17.

Egypt’s Zahed Salem (No.16), France’s Gregoire Marche (No.18), England’s James Willstrop (No.19) and Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly (No.20) all complete the top 20.

In the women’s world rankings, Nour El Sherbini’s title win at the 2018-2019 PSA World Championships in Chicago last month has cut the gap between her and the current World No.1 Raneem El Welily to under 200 points after the PSA Women’s World Rankings for April were released yesterday.

An impressive display inside the all-glass show court held in Chicago’s Union Station saw El Sherbini defeat fellow Egyptian El Tayeb in the title decider to claim her third World Championship crown.

El Welily keeps her place at the top of the World Rankings following her win at the inaugural women’s Black Ball Squash Open held in Cairo, Egypt – where she beat El Sherbini in the final – while compatriot El Tayeb remains at No.3 to complete an all-Egyptian top three for the second consecutive month.

France’s Camille Serme (No.4) and New Zealand’s Joelle King (No.5) complete an unchanged women’s top five.

England’s Sarah-Jane Perry, meanwhile, remains at No.6, while Egypt’s Nouran Gohar (No.7) and England’s Laura Massaro (No.8) swap places. Welshwoman Tesni Evans rises back to a joint career-high of No.9, with England’s Alison Waters completing the top 10.

United States’ No.1 Amanda Sobhy rises one place to No.12 following her win at the Texas Open yesterday, which saw the American claim her biggest PSA title to date. Her opponent in the final, England’s Victoria Lust, also rises a place to No.13, with Hong Kong’s Annie Au (No.11), Egypt’s Salma Hany (No.14) and India’s Joshna Chinappa (No.15) all occupying the other spots in the top 15.

Elsewhere, Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David rises two places to come back into the top 20 at No.19 with Egypt’s Hania El Hammamy (No.16), Hong Kong’s Joey Chan (No.17), Egypt’s Yathreb Adel (No.18) and America’s Olivia Blatchford Clyne (No.20) completing the top 20.