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Greatest Squash Player: Nick Matthew & Sarah Fitz-Gerald Voted Number 6

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
9th PlaceMohamed ElShorbagy and Liz Irving
8th PlaceGeoff Hunt and Michelle Martin
7th PlaceGregory Gaultier and Laura Massaro

In 6th place…

Nick Matthew

Nationality: English
Highest World Ranking: #1
World Championship titles: 3
British Open titles: 3
PSA World Tour titles: 35

England’s Nick Matthew has achieved everything there is to achieve in squash with the Yorkshireman racking up an impressive 35 PSA World Tour titles during his glittering career.

Matthew is widely regarded as one of the greatest squash players of all time, having achieved all of the sport’s major honours multiple times and has been ranked World No.1.

Nicknamed ‘The Wolf’ for his ferocious will to win and merciless reputation on court, Matthew is also regarded for his athleticism, strength and fitness.

The Englishman first came to the squash world’s attention as an outstanding junior player. He was the 1999 British Junior Open Under-19 champion, a semi-finalist at the 1998 World Junior Championships and a member of the England team which won the 1998 World Junior team title.

In 2006, Matthew became the first English player to win the British Open men’s title since 1939. In the final against France’s Thierry Lincou he came from 0-4 down in the fifth game to win 11-8, 5-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6. But it was 2009 which saw Matthew top the men’s World Rankings as he became World No.1.

2010 continued Matthew’s spell of dominance as he claimed the Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi when he defeated compatriot James Willstrop.

He then won the iconic World Championship title at the end of the year held in Saudi Arabia, defeating Willstrop once more, to become the first Englishman in the event’s 35-year history to win the tournament.

He followed that up by winning the event the year after, this time beating France’s Gregory Gaultier in the final to add to his list of accolades and in October 2013, he released his autobiography Sweating Blood: My Life in Squash to positive critical acclaim.

Matthew won the World Championship for the third time in November of that year, defeating Gaultier once more. 2014 also saw more Commonwealth Games success for Matthew despite a knee injury which overshadowed his preparations. The Yorkshireman carried the baton through his native Sheffield before the game and was then chose to be flag bearer at the opening ceremony in Glasgow by his fellow athletes.

In 2015, Matthew lifted the Windy City Open title to earn the distinction of becoming the oldest ever winner of a PSA World Series event at the age of 34.

A superb season was capped by an honour from the Queen who awarded Matthew an OBE in her birthday honours list for his services to squash.

At the start of the 2017/18 season Matthew announced that he would retire from professional squash at the end of the season at the age of 37.

Sarah Fitz-Gerald

Nationality: Australian
World Championship Title Wins: 5
World Championship Final Defeats: 1
British Open Title Wins: 2
British Open Final Defeats: 3

Australia was the dominant force in women’s squash between the early 90s-2000s and there were few players greater than Sarah Fitz-Gerald, who won numerous titles and claimed Commonwealth Games gold in Manchester in the latter stages of her career.

Fitz-Gerald’s vast potential was evident from an early age as she reached her first World Junior Championship final in 1985 and, despite ending up as a losing finalist, she avenged that defeat two years later, beating England’s Donna Vardy to claim junior squash’s biggest title.

That year she also represented Australia in the Women’s World Team Championships and, while they ended up on the losing side in the final, Fitz-Gerald would eventually win the tournament on no less than seven occasions, with her first title win coming in 1992.

1996 proved to be her breakthrough year as she translated the success she had enjoyed as a junior onto the professional circuit. Victory over Cassie Jackman in Malaysia saw her win the first of five World Championship trophies, while she also reached her maiden British Open final, losing to compatriot Michelle Martin.

Fitz-Gerald and Martin would meet in the finals of both the World Championships and British Open in 1997 and 1998, with Fitz-Gerald prevailing in the former both times, while Martin continued to have the better of her fellow Australian in the the latter.

Fitz-Gerald finally got her hands on the British Open crown in 2001 – beating former Australia teammate Carol Owens – while she retained her title the following year.

Two more World Championship titles for Melbourne-born Fitz-Gerald followed in 2001 and 2002; the latter of those seeing her shake off the stresses of a flight cancellation and lost luggage in Qatar to lift the sport’s biggest prize for a fifth time.

Manchester was the scene for another of her greatest triumphs – a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the green and gold kit of Australia – before she retired from professional squash a year later.

Fitz-Gerald was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2004, and she also served as Chairwoman and President of the Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) from 1991-2002.

2010 saw Fitz-Gerald inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, while she also provided commentary for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which were held on the Gold Coast in Australia in April.

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