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GREATEST SQUASH PLAYER: Mohamed ElShorbagy & Liz Irving voted number 9

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
11th PlacePeter Nicol & Vicki Cardwell
10th PlaceHashim Khan & Margot Lumb

In 9th place…

Mohamed ElShorbagy

Nationality: Egyptian
World Championship Wins: 1
World Championship Finals: 3
British Open Wins: 2
British Open Finals: 3
PSA Tour Titles: 33

A determined competitor with a fierce will to win, Bristol-based Egyptian Mohamed ElShorbagy has lifted every major title the sport has to offer and has been almost ever-present at the summit of the World Rankings over the past four years.

One of only four men to have won two World Junior Championship titles, ElShorbagy was a precocious talent as a junior but it was a move to the prestigious Millfield School in Somerset at the age of 15 which set him on the path to true greatness as he came into contact with the legendary Jonah Barrington.

Barrington, a six-time British Open champion, helped mould the young ElShorbagy into one of the most dangerous players squash has ever seen and he quickly followed up a handful of junior titles (five British Junior Open wins to go with his World Junior Championship trophies) with success on the senior circuit in 2010, becoming the first player to win his maiden PSA title at a five star event.

The titles continued to rack up for the man known as the ‘Beast of Alexandria’ and he lit up the world stage when, seeded eighth, he beat the likes of Karim Darwish and top seed James Willstrop in Qatar en route to a maiden World Championship final at the age of just 21.

He fought back from 2-1 down to go 8-7 up in the fifth against compatriot Ramy Ashour, only to lose the next four points to suffer an agonising defeat and it was one that would be repeated when the pair met at the same stage of the sport’s biggest tournament two years later.

A year on from his first Worlds final defeat, ElShorbagy banished those demons to capture a maiden World Series title in Qatar, while a period of stunning form over the next 12 months saw him reach World No.1 for the first time in November 2014 after winning the U.S. Open.

ElShorbagy has held that spot for 34 of the past 46 months – making him the highest ranked Egyptian of all time, replacing Amr Shabana this month – with only a drop in form and motivation in the 2016/17 season seeing him surrender the position for any great period of time.

However, under the watchful eye of former World Champion David Palmer, the hard-hitting Egyptian returned to form last season and lifted the only major title missing from his glittering trophy cabinet – the World Championship title – in December, seeing off younger brother Marwan in an emotional final.

Three months later, ElShorbagy reclaimed his No.1 ranking and, after winning eight titles last season, including three World Series titles, the 27-year-old looks like he could go to scale even greater heights in the future.

Liz Irving

Nationality: Australian
Highest World Ranking: #2
World Open finals: 1
British Open finals: 3

Australia's Liz Irving is a World Open and three-time British Open runner-up and reached a career-high World Ranking of No.2 in 1988.

Irving grew up in a squash household with her mother also being a top squash player and a former World No.2, during the late 60s and early 70s. Internationally, she was No.2 to the legendary Heather McKay and a former British Open finalist in 1971.

Irving, meanwhile, was runner-up to her fellow Australian player Michelle Martin at the World Open in 1993. She was also a three-time finalist at the British Open, losing the final to New Zealand’s Susan Devoy in 1988, and to Martin in 1994 and 1995.

The Australian also won the mixed doubles titles at the inaugural World Doubles Squash Championships in 1997.

Her greatest success came in four consecutive World Team Championships when she was part of the winning Australian team during the 1992 Women’s World Team Squash Championships held in Vancouver, the 1994 Women’s World Team Squash Championships held in Saint Peter Port, Guernsey, the 1996 Women’s World Team Squash Championships held in Malaysia and the 1998 Women’s World Team Squash Championships held in Germany.

Since retiring as a player, Irving has settled in Amsterdam, where she has gone on to have a highly successful coaching career – having an impact on the likes of former World No.1 and World Champion Vanessa Atkinson and also a long-standing impact on eight-time World Champion and Malaysian icon Nicol David's career.

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