Three first round exits in as many competitions have not affected Botswana squash player Alister Walker’s quest to enter the top 20 of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Rankings. Walker is ranked the 23rd best squash player in the latest PSA rankings (for September 2015).
He is also the 10th best African player in the September edition of the rankings. He had previously occupied positions 27, 26 and 25 respectively in preceding months. He is a lot closer to entering the top 20 after improving from his previous rankings.
In seven tournaments this year, Walker has recorded five first round exits, one second round progression and reached the quarterfinal of the Northern Ontario Championship. Interviews with the player earlier this year documented his fitness struggles as a hindrance to his progress and performances. Walker has been plugged by a knee injury this year and has been short of full fitness in most competitions he has participated in.
A 3-1 (three games to one, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7) defeat to New Zealand’s Campbell Grayson last week confirmed his exit from the first round of the Charlottesville Open. The result could be classified as a shock given both players’ rankings; Walker is 26 places ahead of Grayson who is ranked as the 49th best player in the world.
Prior to their clash, Walker had beaten Grayson at World Championship level. The Botswana star was also the defending champion of the competition after claiming it last year as he defeated French player Lucas Serme in the final.