Malaysian squash ace Nicol David will start the New Year on a low after slipping further down the world rankings.
The eight-time world champion failed to reach a final in 10 tournaments last season and it resulted in her dropping a rung to No. 7 in the January rankings list released yesterday, reported The Star online.
It is the 33-year-old Penangite’s lowest ranking since November 2004.
The Egyptian women continue to dominate the rankings with world champion Nour El Sherbini occupying the No. 1 spot for the ninth straight month.
Nouran Gohar, 19, climbed up a rung to a career-high No. 2 while the 28-year-old Raneem El Welily completed the top three spots for Egypt.
Nicol, who reached the Wadi Degla Open semi-finals in Egypt in her final tournament of last season, will now attempt to get her season back on track when she competes in the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in New York from Jan 12-19.
She is seeded sixth and takes on English veteran Jenny Duncalf in the first round.
Meanwhile, national No. 2 Delia Arnold remains at No. 17 while Low Wee Wern, still out of action following a knee surgery, dropped from No. 25 to No. 33.
The good news is that several Malaysian youngsters are making good progress.
Seventeen-year-old S. Sivasangari climbed three spots to a career-high No. 48.
Teh Min Jie, who bagged the Malaysian Tour Squash Circuit No. 7 last month, climbed 15 spots to No. 62 while Rachel Arnold moved up four spots to No. 59.
Rounding up the top 100 are Aika Azman (No. 80), Nazihah Hanis (No. 96), Ooi Kah Yan (No. 98) and Andrea Lee (No. 100).
In the men’s rankings, both Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (No. 30) and Ivan Yuen (No. 46) dropped a rung.
World junior champion Ng Eain Yow remains the national No. 3 at No. 100.