Hong Kong’s World No.11 Annie Au has announced that she has retired from professional squash with immediate effect.
31-year-old Au is the most successful Hong Kong player of all time and became the first player from the nation to reach the top 10 of the World Rankings in May 2011.
Au reached a career-high ranking of World No.6 in May 2012 and, since turning professional in 2004, has won 17 PSA titles from 27 finals. Her most recent PSA title came on home soil at the HKFC PSA International Squash Open in September 2019, five months after her biggest title win at the Macau Open, PSA World Tour Bronze tournament.
Au has 384 matches under her belt on the PSA Tour, winning 244 of them, with her final match coming against United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy at the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family last month.
Au also achieved success on the international scene, winning a gold medal in the team event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, while she also won silver medals in both the individual and team events at the 2010 Asian Games, in addition to two bronze medals in 2014.
Au also helped Hong Kong to a bronze medal at both the 2016 and 2018 WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship.
“I’ve enjoyed playing on the tour for the last 10 years as an full-time athlete. and to retire from squash is a tough decision, but I think it is time for me to have a change of life since the career of an athlete will end one day,” Au said.
“Both the women’s tour and women’s squash definitely are growing compared to the time when I started. In terms of prize money, we can see a big increase. In some events it is even equal with the men’s.
“It is a very good sign and as a player, I can feel that more people are enjoying women’s squash and that rewards the effort that every player together puts in.
“I think the 2018/2019 season was the best for me. I met some of the targets that I had set for myself a long time ago. [She won] The first ever Asian Games gold medal for myself, I was quarter-finalist at the World Championship in Chicago and won my biggest PSA Tour title at the Macau Open.
“All of that was so meaningful to me. Last but not least, to have a career-high of World No.6 and to have made history for Hong Kong squash is my greatest achievement.
“It is still a question for me [about what lies next after squash] but I think after taking some rest and exploration, I will find the answer quickly and tell everyone. Wish me good luck!”