Malaysian squash queen Datuk Nicol David has maintained her spot as the world number one women’s player for a remarkable 108 months based on the latest Women’s International Squash Player Association (WISPA) ranking for July, issued today.

The achievement saw the 31-year old Penangite celebrate a nine-year unbroken reign as the number one player since January 2006, with a string of high-profile titles including eight World Championships under her belt.

She was in the top spot from January until March 2006 before Vanessa Atkinson of the Netherlands took over for four months until July, before Nicol reclaimed the crown from August 2006 until now.

Nicol, who accumulated a total of 3,241 points based on the latest rankings, said she felt very honoured to be at the top for nine consecutive years.

“Sometimes I get so caught up on working on getting better and improving myself that it’s only when I take a bit of time off to reflect that I come to terms with it,” she was quoted saying on the squash website, www.squashinfo.com.

“I think that I might only fully comprehend the magnitude of everything when I step out of the game, but that’s not going to be happening any time soon,” Nicol said.

She noted that this would be an exciting year with every player pushing hard in the competitions, but she was looking forward to the challenge.

Her nemesis, Egyptian Raneem El Weleily has narrowed the gap by just 43 points, with 3,198 points, following her success in claiming the Alexandria International in her own backyard in June.

2015 British Open champion Camille Serme of France also maintained her position in the third spot with 1,668 points.

Nicol’s fellow Penangite, Low Wee Wern who missed most of the major tournaments including the Asian Individual Championship held last month due to an ankle injury, dropped one spot to ninth, with 935 points.

New Zealander Elanor Epke, who reached the semi-final of the Canterbury International, enjoyed the biggest jump this month after climbing up to an impressive 89th place from the 141st spot. – BERNAMA

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