Former World No.19 Nicolette Fernandes has announced her retirement from professional squash after a 14-year career that saw her lift two Tour titles.
Fernandes, 34, was born in Toronto, Canada but went on to represent Guyana on the international stage, winning a Gold medal at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games.
Further success was to come for Fernandes in 2010 when she became Guyana’s first female to win both the men’s and women’s National Championships, a feat for which she was named Guyana’s Sportswomen of the Year.
Fernandes’ achievements on the Tour saw her win 149 of her 277 matches, with title triumphs at the Greek Open and Internacional Sporta Open in 2009 and 2012, respectively, while she reached a career-high World Ranking of No.19 in October 2013.
“I just want a little bit of a break from squash, I’ve been doing it for 15 years as my profession,” said Fernandes to the Guyana Chronicle.
“I’m just taking a break from squash in general. I felt like it was the right time. I was at peace with where I was with my life and all I had accomplished and it just felt like the right time.
“Squash has been my profession for the last 15 years, so if I continue to play squash now it’s for the sheer love of it, which I do have. I don’t think I will be representing Guyana at the Caribbean Seniors.
“The ultimate goal was always to be World No.1 and be a champion. I didn’t achieve those but man did I try. Nobody could fault my effort.
“Because of that I have peace because I put everything into it. Most of the time it was just me going around the world playing, there were a few of my countrymen going around, but mostly it was just me.
“I did something that, as a child, I always wanted to do. Sometimes you just dream of something as a child and when it comes through you just try to take it all in, and for these 15 years that’s what I did, just tried to take it all in and I loved everything about it.
“Everyday training, competing, and travelling. I loved everything about it. I did miss my family, but that’s natural.”