Australia’s Stewart Boswell shocked followers of the Kuwait PSA Cup when he announced his decision to retire from the PSA World Tour after falling to Frenchman Gregory Gaultier in the quarter-finals of the PSA World Series event in Kuwait at the weekend.
In a hand-written note, the 33-year-old former world No4 wrote: “While it’s been a difficult decision, I feel I’ve reached the stage in my life both on and off court where it’s time I called it a day on my playing career. Squash has been my whole life since I was about nine years old, and I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to play professionally for as long as I have.
“I’d like to thank all the people who’ve coached and helped me along the way, as well as the AIS and Squash Australia for their constant backing. Most of all though, I want to thank my family, my mum, dad and sister back in Australia for the sacrifices they all made when I was younger to give me this opportunity.
“And finally, to my wife Vicky (Botwright) for her unwavering support and understanding of how much playing squash has meant to me.”
Boswell steps away from the sport after a run of recent good form in PSA World Series events, including a semi-final berth in the Qatar Classic and quarter-final finishes in the Hong Kong Open and PSA Cup - results which put him into 9th place in the current 2011 PSA World Series Standings.
Born in Canberra, Boswell reached 35 PSA Tour finals and won 20 tournaments in his career – including four Australian Opens and the Swedish Open and US Open. After a career-threatening back injury which kept him away from the Tour for two full years, he returned in April 2005 and began a remarkable run of seven successive Tour title wins – four as a qualifier – and catapulted from 299 to 20 in the world rankings in the year.
Furthermore, Boswell – currently ranked 16 in the world – played in five Australian world championship teams and went to three Commonwealth Games, winning three silver medals and one bronze.
“Rather unexpectedly, the PSA Tour has lost another stalwart of the game,” said PSA CEO Alex Gough. “We are all a little stunned as Stewart has fought so hard to get back to the top echelons of the game and has recently hit the best form of his career since reaching world number four in 2002.
“But professional sport is a hard taskmaster and Stewart has a young family to think about now and we wish him the very best in the next part of his life.”
Australian head coach Byron Davis said Boswell was an ornament to the sport: “Stewart’s been a wonderful player for many years and we are sad to see him go, although I can understand his decision.
“He has always represented Australia with pride and has been one of the most popular players ever to pull on a national shirt. He has also been a fine ambassador for Australian squash and the AIS squash program.
“The sport is losing one of the true gentlemen of the courts.”
Boswell’s decision follows the recent retirement announcement of his long-time Australian team-mate David Palmer.