Malaysia's squash star Nicol David to retire

KUALA LUMPUR • Eight-time world squash champion Nicol David has announced she will retire at the end of the 2018-2019 season, bringing down the curtain on an illustrious career.

The 35-year-old Malaysian is the most successful woman squash player and spent an unprecedented nine years as world No. 1 between 2006 and 2015.

"After more than 20 years of playing squash for Malaysia, competing on the professional tour and achieving the utmost best... I can proudly say that I am ready and happy to announce my retirement at the end of this seasonal tour," she said in a statement.

"My mind and body have battled it out to stay at the very top of my game for such a long time that I feel that I only have this last big push left for the final season, to give it all I have before I enter the next phase of my life."

David has also won five British Open titles, two Commonwealth Games gold medals, five Asian Games gold medals and three World Games gold medals.

Her reign atop the PSA (Professional Squash Association) world rankings came to an end in September 2015, but she continued to break records, achieving the longest unbroken run inside the world's top five at 143 months.

Her final tournament will either be the British Open in Hull in May or the following month's World Tour Finals if she qualifies.

David, who won her first Asian Games gold in 1998 at the age of 15, also said that she will continue to work closely with the PSA to raise the awareness of squash globally, in an apparent reference to efforts to have the sport included at the Olympics.

David, seeded 13th, will on Saturday begin her quest for a ninth crown in her final World Championship in Chicago.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Malaysia's squash star David to retire'. Print Edition | Subscribe