KARIM DARWISH HEADS RACE TO ATCO SUPER SERIES FINALS – THE QUEEN’S CLUB 2009

But, with only two events in the elite PSA Tour category remaining this year, the race is on for players to make the top eight in order to qualify for the ATCO Super Series Finals - The Queen's Club 2009 in London.
 
The penultimate Super Series event of the year, the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Open, gets underway this week - with Egypt's world number one Amr Shabana seeded to win the Platinum title for the third successive time.
 
Darwish is enjoying the best form of his career. After finishing as runner-up to compatriot Ramy Ashour in the final of the Hi-Tec World Open in England last month, the 27-year-old from Cairo overtook Ashour in the latest Super Series rankings after winning the Platinum Super Series title in Doha for the first time.
 
Ashour is in second place in the new list. The 21-year-old from Cairo is the only winner of two Super Series events in 2008 after securing the first title, the Bear Stearns Tournament of Champions in New York, then the Hi-Tec World Open crown for the first time in Manchester.
 
Shabana completes an all-Egyptian top three. The 2008 Super Series Finals runner-up claimed his only Super Series trophy this year at the Kuwait Open.
 
England's James Willstrop drops to fourth place in the latest rankings. The 25-year-old from Leeds won the Davenport Professional Championship in the USA in March and was runner-up in the Dunlop British Open in Liverpool in May.
 
David Palmer, the Australian who won his fourth British Open title this year, is in fifth place - and will be looking to qualify for the Super Series Finals for the seventh time since 2001.
 
Defending Super Series Finals champion Gregory Gaultier is in sixth position. The 25-year-old world number three from France, runner-up in the Davenport Pro Championship in Virginia, has reached the final of the Super Series Finals in the two years (2007 & 2008) in which he has qualified.
 
The top eight players in the list after the final Super Series event of the year will qualify for next year's ATCO Super Series Finals - the flagship PSA event which produces the annual Super Series Finals champion.
 
The 2008 Super Series events to date include the Bear Stearns Tournament of Champions in New York; Davenport Professional Championship in Virginia, USA; Kuwait Open; Dunlop British Open in Liverpool; Petrosport International Championship in Cairo; Hi-Tec World Open in Manchester, England; and Qatar Classic in Doha.
 
PSA Super Series Rankings (after the first seven events of 2008):
 
             (Prev)                                                    Points
1(4)        Karim Darwish (EGY)                              6931.25
2(1)        Ramy Ashour (EGY)                                6725.00
3(3)        Amr Shabana (EGY)                                5868.75
4(1)        James Willstrop (ENG)                            4206.25
5(7)        David Palmer (AUS)                                 3918.75
6(6)        Gregory Gaultier (FRA)                            3643.75
7(5)        Wael El Hindi (EGY)                                3512.50
8(8)        Thierry Lincou (FRA)                                2781.25
9(11)      Peter Barker (ENG)                                 2068.75
10(12)    Adrian Grant (ENG)                                 1981.25
11(9)      Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)                     1806.25
12(10)    Olli Tuominen (FIN)                                  1650.00
13(-)       Nick Matthew (ENG)                                1512.50
14(-)       Laurens Jan Anjema (NED)                      1500.00
15(12)    Ong Beng Hee (MAS)                              1375.00
16(15)    Tarek Momen (EGY)                                1362.50
 
Tickets for the ATCO Super Series Finals - The Queen's Club 2009 can be booked online at www.isportgroup.com/ticketing, by telephone on 0844 870 0000, or for further information email: info@iSPORTgroup.com.
 
Issued by iSPORTgroup.com

After winning his first PSA Super Series squash title at the Qatar Classic in Doha last month, Egypt's Karim Darwish heads the 2008 PSA Super Series Rankings for the first time.