Today Nicol David surpassed one of the oldest and most hallowed marks in men’s and women’s professional squash. In the February 2015 women’s world rankings, the Malaysian thirty-one year-old is ranked world No. 1. This is the 106th month she has stood atop the rankings. With this month, David passed Susan Devoy’s record of 105 at world No. 1, set exactly twenty-two years ago.
David first reached world No.1 in January 2006 and since August of that year she has maintained a continuous hold on that position as the world’s best professional woman squash player. She passed Geoff Hunt’s record of fifty-nine months at world No.1 in April 2011 and the great Khans, Jahangir and Jansher, early last year. Now she has overtaken Devoy’s 105. (World rankings were started for men in 1975 and women in 1983.) Dame Susan Devoy, the New Zealand legend, won four World Opens and eight British Opens as she dominated squash in the first decade of the women’s pro tour.
For comparison the record for number of months ranked No.1 in tennis was set by Steffi Graf who got to ninety-four months. Tiger Woods holds the record for golf, at 138 months.
“Nicol’s accomplishment is nothing short of incredible,” said Kevin Klipstein, the CEO of US Squash. “Her will to win and her mental toughness have been the two most important factors separating her from the field. These qualities were on full display at her world championship win in December. Nicol is as gracious off the court as she is competitive on the court. The sport is fortunate to have such a great champion and ambassador, and this accomplishment will likely never be equaled.”
Statistically, David is one of the greatest squash players in history. According to squashinfo.com, she has just two numbers left to realistically shoot for on the pro tour. She is presently tied with Jansher Khan for the most world championship titles (eight) and she still trails Khan in the overall number of professional tournaments won: Khan notched ninety-nine titles, while David is presently at seventy-eight. Today she plays in the quarterfinals of the Cleveland Classic, hoping to clinch her seventy-ninth title on Tuesday. Regardless, with five British Open titles, Nicol will probably be unable to surpass Heather McKay’s all-time record of sixteen British Open victories.
Top Ten Highest Number of Months Ranked World No.1:
Nicol David 106 (first in January 2006, most recently in February 2015)
Susan Devoy 105 (April 1984-February 1993)
Jansher Khan 97 (November 1989-January 1998)
Jahangir Khan 94 (January 1982-April 1992)
Peter Nicol 60 (February 1998-September 2004)
Geoff Hunt 59 (February 1976-December 1980)
Michelle Martin 58 (March 1993-December 1999)
Sarah Fitz-Gerald 40 (November 1996-February 2003)
Amr Shabana 33 (April 2006-December 2008)
Qamar Zaman 25 (January 1975-December 1981)