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Greatest Squash Player: Amr Shabana and Susan Devoy Voted Number 3

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.

We are now down to the top three, with the winners of the fan’s vote being announced on Friday.

In case you have missed them, the results so far are below.

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
6th PlaceNick Matthew and Sarah Fitz-Gerald
5th PlaceJonathon Power and Raneem El Welily
4th PlaceJansher Khan and Nour El Sherbini

In 3rd place…

Amr Shabana

Nationality: Egyptian
Highest World Ranking: #1
World Championship titles: 4
British Open finals: 1
PSA World Tour titles: 33

Egypt’s Amr Shabana is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, having won the majority of the top accolades the sport has to offer and also reaching the coveted World No.1 spot.

Nicknamed ‘The Maestro’, Shabana was crowned World Champion on four occasions in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009.

The talented left-hander from Cairo first showed promise when he was the runner-up in the British Under-14 Open in January 1993. Four years later he reached the final of the British Under-19 Open.

Shabana also represented the winning Egyptian team in the 1999 Men’s World Team Squash Championships held in Cairo and the 2009 Men’s World Team Squash Championships held in Denmark – when they won gold.

One of Shabana’s finest moments came in 2003 when he crowned a remarkable year in when, as ninth seed, he forced his way through a star-studded field in the World Open in Pakistan. He dispatched title-holder David Palmer, the third seed, in five games in the third round. He then went on to take out Palmer’s Australian’s teammate Anthony Ricketts in the last eight.

After defeating Karim Darwish in a four-game semi-final, Shabana clinched the historic title by beating Thierry Lincou in the final 15-14, 9-15, 15-11, 15-7 to become Egypt’s first winner of the sport’s premier title.

After a disappointing following year, in which his only final appearance was in the British Open where he lost to David Palmer. Shabana stormed back to the top of his game in 2005. Over a short career he acquired a new coach and a new manager and the effect was plain to see as he clinched title after title.

The World Open in Hong Kong confirmed his renaissance as he brushed aside Lee Beachill and Peter Nicol before powering past Palmer in the final to become the first player since the heyday of the Khans to win the World Open title for the second time.

The next year continued to see the titles flow for Shabana as he wrote his name into the squash annals to become the first Egyptian player to reach the World No.1 ranking in April 2006.

In 2007, Shabana was crowned World Champion for the third time in five years at the World Open in Bermuda and later in January 2009, Shabana’s 33-month reign as World No.1 was ended by his countryman Karim Darwish. However, later that year he defeated compatriot and defending World Champion Ramy Ashour to become World Champion for the fourth time in his esteemed career.

Susan Devoy

Nationality: New Zealand
World Championship Title Wins: 4
World Championship Final Defeats: 1
British Open Title Wins: 8
British Open Final Defeats: 0

Legendary New Zealander Susan Devoy may have only spent 11 years as a professional squash player, but a glittering array of major titles and a series of record-breaking triumphs have left a lasting legacy on the sport.

Born in Rotorua to a family who were actively involved in the squash community, Devoy quickly progressed through the ranks, winning her first national event at the Under-13 championships in 1977 and she turned professional in 1981.

Three years later, Devoy was celebrating her maiden British Open triumph, the first of seven successive triumphs at the sport’s longest-running tournament, while she remained undefeated at the New Zealand Open throughout 1984-1990 and added an eighth British Open trophy in 1992, a total bettered by only Heather McKay and Janet Morgan.

Devoy made history in 1985 when she beat England’s Lisa Opie to become the youngest women’s World Champion ever (a record that has now been surpassed by Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini), with that win coming a year after she had already became the sport’s youngest ever female World No.1.

Devoy added three further World Championship titles to her collection in 1987, 1990 and 1992 and, but for the fact that the tournament was held on a biennial basis back then, would surely have had more World Championship crowns to her name.

She shocked the squash world when announcing her retirement immediately after her fourth World Championship triumph, at which point she was the Australian, British, French, Hong Kong, Irish, New Zealand, Scottish and Swedish champion, as well as World Champion.

In addition to her incredible squash career, Devoy is also heavily active in charity work and was the patron of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising $500,000 for that charity after walking the entire length of New Zealand over a period of seven weeks.

Six years after her retirement, Devoy became a Dane Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit while she has combined her charity work with a career in motivational speaking.

Most recently, Devoy held a position as Race Relations Commissioner for the New Zealand government.

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