There have been plenty of changes on the SquashLevels Power Ratings following the CIB Black Ball Squash Open, with only three of the top eight in the women’s ratings remaining in the same position, and one of those did not participate in Cairo.
SquashLevels calculates a player’s current playing level after every match based on their levels going into the match and the result of that match. Their level will increase if they do better than expected or decrease if they do less well than expected giving a very dynamic measure for how well each player is playing ‘at the moment’ and what their playing level has been over time. For more information on how player levels are calculated, please see the SquashLevels FAQ.
The latest edition of the SquashLevels Power Ratings follows an enthralling event in Cairo, as the PSA Gold level CIB Black Ball Squash Open saw several shocks and an amazing comeback in the final.
Two players jumped up six spots on the Power Ratings, while two of the top eight, including the eventual tournament winner, also saw their level rise, and with it, their position in the charts.
One of two women to make a six-place move in the right direction is Egypt’s Farida Mohamed, who continues her rise up the SquashLevels Power Rankings.
The 18-year-old currently sits at her highest position in the PSA World Rankings, occupying the World No.35 spot, and she almost secured one of the biggest shocks of the tournament.
Mohamed held a two-game advantage over World No.2 Nouran Gohar, but unfortunately she was unable to maintain her lead, losing out in a tight fifth-game in the first round of the PSA Gold level tournament.
Despite losing, the Egyptian saw her level improve by 3.5% and she is now inside the top 25 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings for the first time in her fledgling career.
Former PSA World No.3 Alison Waters is the other female player to make a big move up the SquashLevels Power Ratings following her performances at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open.
She now occupies a place in the top ten on the Power Ratings, having seen her level improve by 5% following a run to the second round, where she almost caused a big upset.
After overcoming wildcard entrant Menna Nasser in straight games inside just 25 minutes in the first round, the Englishwoman took on World No.2 Nouran Gohar, and like Mohamed, she pushed the Egyptian all the way.
Waters won both the first and third games to hold a lead, and even had match balls in the deciding fifth game, before Gohar won it on a tie-break. Despite the defeat, her level still improved, and following her last 16 exit in Cairo, she now sits at #10.
The highest-placed of our big movers this week is the United States’ best export this decade, Amanda Sobhy, as she broke the Egyptian dominance in the top four. Prior to the tournament, those places were held by Nour El Sherbini, Nour El Tayeb, Nouran Gohar and Hania El Hammamy, but not any more.
Sobhy stared her Cairo campaign on the opening day, defeating compatriot Olivia Fiechter in straight games, before going on to defeat Egypt’s Nadine Shahin in just 21 minutes in the second round.
Her big win came in the last eight though, as she got the better of World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, knocking the ‘Warrior Princess’ out of the tournament, after coming from behind to win in a deciding fifth game.
Although she lost out to El Hammamy in the semi-finals, ‘Southpaw Sobhy’ saw her level rise by 8.2% and she now proudly sits as the #3 on the SquashLevels Power Ratings, behind only El Sherbini and El Tayeb, with the latter not in action for the foreseeable future after the news came just before the tournament that she was pregnant.
The last woman to get a shout-out this week is, of course, the winner. England’s Sarah-Jane Perry might have only made a small jump on the SquashLevels Power Rankings, but it was thanks to a massive comeback.
The Englishwoman started her campaign at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open with a tough victory over Emily Whitlock, before getting the better of India’s Joshna Chinappa to reach the last eight.
She then defeated Frenchwoman Camille Serme and had to fight past New Zealand’s Joelle King to reach the final, winning in the last game tie-break over the Kiwi. In the final, she found herself two games down against defending champion Hania El Hammamy, but fought back to win 3-2, capping a wonderful tournament for the Englishwoman.
That comeback victory in the final of the PSA Gold level event saw Perry’s level move past the 11,600 mark, with an improvement of nearly 7% across the week. She moves into the #7 spot, displacing King, and she also has the. Honour of being the last female title-winner of 2020.
Once again, the top eight players are the same, but there has been movement within that grouping. Sobhy and Perry have risen on the list due to their performances, while Gohar, Serme and King have seen themselves drop places.
Nour El Sherbini remains at the top, and by some margin, especially when you consider that the current #2, Nour El Tayeb, will not see her level change for some time due to her upcoming baby.
That makes Sobhy the nearest challenger to the four-time World Champion right now, and having beaten her in Cairo this week, who knows what might happen next.
You can take a look at the full ratings on the SquashLevels website.