Tributes have been pouring in on social media following yesterday's announcement that women's World No.1 Raneem El Welily has retired from professional squash.
El Welily is regarded as one of the most talented players ever to pick up a squash racket, while she was a trailblazer for Egyptian women, becoming the first female Arab in any sport to hold the World No.1 ranking after ending Nicol David's nine-year reign atop the World Rankings in 2015.
The 31-year-old spent 23 months at World No.1 – including the last 19 months – and captured many of the sport's biggest titles, such as the 2017 PSA Women's World Championship, in an 18-year career.
El Welily's presence on the PSA World Tour will be sorely missed and a number of her fellow players took to social media to react to the news.
It’s Tour, Set and Match!— Raneem El Welily (@RaneemElWelily) June 25, 2020
Dearest Squash Family, Fans and Friends,
For the past year or two I must have written these words in my head over a thousand times.
Full quote on fb:https://t.co/T7UeelPas3 pic.twitter.com/L0aH0s4CYF
RaneemElWelily</a> has announced her retirement from professional squash<br><br>2017 World Champion<br>24 PSA World Tour titles<br>First Arab female in any sport to become World No.1<br>23 months at World No.1<br><br>Wishing you all the best for the future, Raneem <a href="https://t.co/OmRVqR22mF">pic.twitter.com/OmRVqR22mF</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) June 25, 2020
So much respect for this amazing player wish you all the best https://t.co/okLReceS0I— Coline Aumard (@ColineAumard) June 25, 2020
Such sad news this morning! So much respect for Raneem a true champion! Enjoy retirement! https://t.co/S0Z0jHqLgp— Hollie Naughton (@HollieNaughton) June 25, 2020
Wow! This is truly a shock. World no. 1 & at the top of her game. Wish you all the best
RaneemElWelily</a> for your fantastic career <a href="https://t.co/O6aWcCHo7d">https://t.co/O6aWcCHo7d</a></p>— Nick Matthew OBE (nickmatthew) June 25, 2020
Absolute legend. Women’s squash owes you a lot
RaneemElWelily</a> <a href="https://t.co/RIQRoT4e7k">https://t.co/RIQRoT4e7k</a></p>— bernix (BernatJaume) June 25, 2020
What an unbelievable role model, player& person! One of the most skilled& exciting players to watch but also an absolute gem of a human being.Congrats
RaneemElWelily</a> on an amazing career! All the best in the future!I’m so glad I got at least 1 win over you during your career <a href="https://t.co/KaSE8Xy6m0">https://t.co/KaSE8Xy6m0</a></p>— Amanda Sobhy (itssobhytime) June 25, 2020
World No.1— World Squash (@WorldSquash) June 25, 2020
RaneemElWelily</a> has announced that she has retired from professional <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/squash?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#squash</a><br><br>4x World Team Championships winner<br>2017 <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">PSAWorldTour Women's World Champion
First Arab female in any sport to reach World No.1
Thanks for all the memories, Raneem pic.twitter.com/USgfiUyH7J
One of my favorite players of all time…— Gilly Lane (@GLSquash) June 25, 2020
RaneemElWelily</a> you represent everything that is great about our game. You are a true champion in every sense of the word and an even better person off court. Good luck in your next chapter. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/legend?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#legend</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">PSAWorldTour
What an amazing career
RaneemElWelily</a>! So good to watch the way you played and a great person off the court as well! Going to be missed on tour but wish you all the best in the next chapter <a href="https://t.co/v2iOlFuMab">https://t.co/v2iOlFuMab</a></p>— Tesni Evans (tesnievans) June 25, 2020
One of the best players I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. One of the best human beings I’ve ever had the privilege to know! Squash is losing a colossal figure today. A very very sad day for our game :(
RaneemElWelily</a> will be missed. Make no mistake! <a href="https://t.co/BnBrq6LG9I">https://t.co/BnBrq6LG9I</a></p>— Saurav Ghosal (SauravGhosal) June 25, 2020
Sad to see one of my favourite ever squash players retiring. An unbelievable player, fantastic ambassador for our sport and an incredible role model. Wishing you all the best for the future
RaneemElWelily</a> <a href="https://t.co/08psax887D">https://t.co/08psax887D</a></p>— Daryl Selby (DarylSelby) June 25, 2020
Selfishly I’m so gutted about
RaneemElWelily</a> retiring. For me she is THE best thing about women’s squash & I can’t believe we won’t see her play again. Her talent, warmth, humour & intelligence led her to be the most respected player on tour & you’ll always be my fave ☺️ <a href="https://t.co/fermx7MDEJ">pic.twitter.com/fermx7MDEJ</a></p>— Jenny Duncalf (JennyDuncalf) June 25, 2020
Such an amazing and humble person off and on court! A role model to me, and so many out there. Such a smooth and skillful player on court. You’ll be missed on tour! Wishing you all the best in your next chapter https://t.co/5xcDEzynIQ— Sivasangari (@sangari_99) June 25, 2020
“Serial winner of the Spirit of Squash award” says it all for me. Not many players win all the titles and still have the utmost respect from literally all of their peers. A legend in every aspect of the word. What an honour to have seen the entire journey
RaneemElWelily</a></p>— Rachael Grinham (Rachaelgrinham) June 25, 2020
So sad. You will be truly missed. Such a role model!!!!!— Hania El Hammamy (@HaniaaElHammamy) June 25, 2020
Good luck in your next Chapter with your family. https://t.co/TXwxEaRCOh
What a sad day for the sport and for me personally. I’ve known Raneem since I was 10 years old and she was always the most genuine person and it was a pleasure to watch your progress during your career. One of the… https://t.co/0bj6oQSmxS— Mohamed ElShorbagy (@MoElshorbagy) June 25, 2020
Sad to see you go Raneem. My favourite player to watch. I could spend hours watching you play, that backhand !. You have been such an inspiration to so many . Happy retirement. We will miss you x https://t.co/VDRO1KHDtQ— Alison Waters (@Aliwat1) June 25, 2020
Enjoy your new chapter
RaneemElWelily</a>. Your kindness, respect and humbleness will be greatly missed on tour. It was always a pleasure to walk on court with you, even though I knew I was likely to be on the receiving end of a swift lesson! Legend of squash, amazing human being <a href="https://t.co/KYB4IuFU2p">https://t.co/KYB4IuFU2p</a></p>— Sarah-Jane Perry (SJPerry15) June 25, 2020
RaneemElWelily</a> on a marvellous career. And did it all in style with the utmost respect of your peers. Off court even more of a legend. Respect. <a href="https://t.co/kR2WZsiF1R">https://t.co/kR2WZsiF1R</a></p>— Cameron Pilley (campilley) June 26, 2020
Yesterday’s surprise news highlighted just how important it is to appreciate and make the most of each moment! Who knew Blackball would be the last time we’d see— Lee Drew (@Lee_M_Drew) June 26, 2020
RaneemElWelily</a> on the <a href="https://twitter.com/PSAWorldTour?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">PSAWorldTour Thank you for elevating the game to heights it’s never seen before!