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G.O.A.T #11: Peter Nicol & Vicki Cardwell

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
17th PlaceAbdelfattah AbouTaleb & Sue King
16th PlaceAhmed Barada & Joyce Cave
15th PlaceF.D. Amr Bey & Silvia Huntsman
14th PlaceMahmoud Karim & Nancy Cave
13th PlaceQamar Zaman & Janet Morgan
12th PlaceJonah Barrington & Rachael Grinham

In 11th place…

Peter Nicol
Nationality: English
Highest World Ranking: #1
World Open titles: 1
World Open finals: 3
British Open titles: 2
British Open finals: 5
Commonwealth Games Gold Medals: 4

Peter Nicol is one of the legends of this era of squash and during his illustrious career won one World Open title, two British Open titles and four Commonwealth Games Gold Medals.

Born in Scotland in 1973, Nicol is widely considered to be one of the most outstanding international squash players of his time.

He was well known for his excellent retrieving game, as well as being an extremely tough competitor to break down. His rivalry with Jonathon Power was amongst the most famous and extended in the history of squash.

After finishing runner-up at the World Open in 1997 and 1998, Nicol got his hands on the iconic title in 1999, beating Ahmed Barada of Egypt in the final. He continued to hold the title of ‘World Champion’ through to 2002 as the men’s World Open was not held in 2000 or 2001 due to difficulties in securing sponsorship for the event.

Amongst his many titles, Nicol was ranked World No.1 for a total of 60 months during his career, including in 1998 becoming the first player from the UK to hold the World No.1 spot and a continuous 24-month stint in 2002-2003.

Other career highlights included winning three consecutive Super Series Finals titles (1999-2001), two PSA Masters titles (2000 & 2004), three Tournament of Champions titles (2001 & 2003-04), and two British National Championship titles (1996 & 2003).

Nicol also enjoyed considerable success at the Commonwealth Games, where squash became a medal sport in 1998. In that same year, representing Scotland, he won a men’s singles Gold Medal – beating Jonathon Power in the final – and a men’s doubles Bronze Medal.

At the 2002 Commonwealth Games, representing England, Nicol won a men’s singles Silver Medal – losing in the final to Power – and a men’s doubles Gold Medal – partnering Lee Beachill. At the next games in 2006, again representing England, Nicol won another men’s singles Gold Medal – beating Australia’s David Palmer in the final – and another men’s doubles Gold Medal – partnering Beachill again.

In 2006, Nicol announced he would be retiring following the World Open, his last match was played against France’s Thierry Lincou in the quarter-finals.

Nicol turned his focus to promoting the game, providing sponsorship, support and coaching through his company ‘Peter Nicol Squash’ and promoting events worldwide through Eventis Sporting Marketing Ltd.

Following a move to the United States, he set up the Nicol Champions Academy in New York and co-founded SquashSkills, an online coaching resource aimed at delivering squash coaching from many of the world’s top players.

Vicki Cardwell
Nationality: Australian
Highest World Ranking: #1
World Open titles: 1
World Open finals: 2
British Open titles: 4
British Open finals: 5

Vicki Cardwell is a former World No.1 squash player from Australia and was one of the leading players on the international squash circuit from the late 1970s through to the mid-1990s.

She was a dominant force on the world and Australian squash scene and became the World Open Women’s Champion in 1983.

The Australian also claimed the British Open crown on four occasions – in 1980, 81, 82, 83. In 1980 she defeated Sue Cogswell, 1981 Margaret Zachariah and in 1982 and 1983 she defeated Lisa Opie. She also finished runner-up at the tournament in 1878 to Sue Newman.

Alongside her outstanding accolades, Cardwell held the coveted World No.1 ranking for 12 months from March 1983.

During that same period Cardwell was a member of the Australian team at the World Women’s Team’s Championships in 1981, 87 and 89.

Her Australian record is outstanding, winning the Australian Amateur Women’s Championship in 1978 and then going on to clinch the Australian Women’s Open Championship in 1979, 80, 82, 83, 84, 88 and 89.

Her squash career did not end there as she also holds many Masters titles – winning the World Masters Championships in 1987 (45), 1990 (45), 1993 (50), and 1995 (50).

Her outstanding career has been recognised by her induction into the Australian Sport Hall of Fame and the Squash Australia Hall of Fame.

The Australian government has also acknowledged her contribution and services to Australian sport by awarding her the British Empire Medal.

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