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G.O.A.T #17: Abdelfattah AbouTaleb & Sue King

Over the last month, we have given squash fans the chance to decide the greatest players in squash history as we looked over the achievements and legacies of some of the most recognisable names ever to take to a squash court.

The votes are now in and we will be announcing the results in descending order to when we reveal the official men’s and women’s GOAT.

20th PlaceDon Butcher & Sheila Macintosh
19th PlaceRoshan Khan & Sue Cogswell
18th PlaceAzam Khan & Anna Craven-Smith

In 17th place…

Abdelfattah AbouTaleb
Nationality: Egyptian
British Open Titles: 3
British Open Finals: 5

Abdelfattah AbouTaleb, better known as “A.A. AbouTaleb”, or simply “AbouTaleb”, was a squash player from Egypt and during the 1960s, he claimed the British Open title three times.

AbouTaleb started out by sweeping the courts at Cairo’s National Sporting Club, where his brother was the tennis professional. At first, he had to make do with discarded broken rackets and burst balls when he started playing the sport.

The Egyptian reached the final of the British Open for the first time in 1963, when he lost to Pakistan’s Mo Khan in a five set final 9-4, 5-9, 3-9, 10-8, 9-6. The British Open was considered to be the effective world championship of the sport at the time.

AbouTaleb then went on to win the British Open for the next three consecutive years. In 1964, he beat Mike Oddy of Scotland in the final 9-3, 9-7, 9-0. AbouTaleb’s win that year marked the end of 13 years of Pakistani domination of the British Open men’s title.

The following year, AbouTaleb beat his fellow Egyptian player Ibrahim Amin in the final 9-0, 0-9, 9-1, 9-6. His third and final British Open title came in 1966, when he defeated Pakistan’s Aftab Jawaid in the final 9-6, 5-9, 9-3, 9-1.

Sue King
Nationality: Australian
British Open Title Wins: 1
British Open Final Defeats: 1

Sue King enjoyed a distinguished career that saw her claim a British Open title and captain her country at the first Women’s World Teams Championships.

King was involved with the sport from an early age – her father built the Moorfield Squash Centre in Sydney – but she initially stayed away from actually playing the sport and instead swept the courts for pocket money.

A challenge from a patron during Christmas drinks at the club led to King picking up a racket for the first time at the age of 13 and from that moment she embarked on a run to the upper echelons of the sport.

King won her first major title at the age of 18 as she won both the New South Wales and Australian Junior Opens and she added the Australian Amateur Championship to her collection in 1975 and 1976 to become the first woman to win both the national junior and senior tournaments.

King was beaten by McKay in the British Open final in the latter of those two years but came back in 1978 as she overcame fellow Aussie Vicki Cardwell to capture the iconic title following McKay’s retirement from the sport.

King captained Australia at the first Women’s World Teams Championships in 1979 in a team featuring Barabara Wall, Rhonda Thorne, Vicki Cardwell and Anne Smith and played at the top level for another two years before turning her hand to coaching and administration.

She has had a lengthy involvement with US Squash – hosting many tours from the US to Australia and vice-versa – while she was awarded the Order of Australia in 1999 for services to squash and the Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

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