As the top-ranked squash player from the continent of North America, and having been ranked as Mexico’s No.1 player for the last eight years, Cesar Salazar admits that he wants to continue to provide an example for young players all over the world.
The 32-year-old first joined the PSA World Tour back in May 2006, and took his country’s No.1 spot from his twin brother Arturo in early 2012, before becoming the first Mexican to ever break into the top 30 in the World Rankings.
Salazar is proud of those statistics, but also feels he has a responsibility to young players all over the world that he keeps fighting and showing his best on court.
“As a Mexican, for me it is important to be near the top 20. I was the first Mexican to be within the top 30 and then the top 20,” he explained.
“It makes me feel proud and that I have a lot of responsibility. I want to continue being an example for young players from my country, Latin America and all over the world.
“I want to continue being a support for all of them and of course I want to return to the top 20. I also keep giving everything to be a top ten player. Beyond a number, I want to be remembered as a player who always gave everything on the court.”
Despite having been unchallenged as the Mexican No.1 for eight years now, Salazar also admitted that to stay there, a lot of graft and hard work has had to go in to his training and his play.
Salazar (left) in action against Karim Abdel Gawad at the World Championships in Qatar
He also believes that it will get harder to stay as his nation’s top-ranked player, as there are plenty of younger players, including 20-year-old Leonel Cardenas and 22-year-old Jesus Camacho with both sitting well inside the top 100.
“I have been the No.1 in Mexico for eight years. It sounds very easy but behind that number there is a lot of work and sacrifice,” Salazar admitted.
“As I mentioned before, for me there is huge pride and I feel a lot of responsibility to see that many young players take me as an example.
“I want to help them be better every day and see my career as a motivation. I know in Mexico there is a lot of talent and in a few years we will certainly have more than one player in the top 30 or top 20 of the World Rankings.”
Salazar’s 2019-2020 campaign saw him reach the quarter-finals of three consecutive events in the second half of the truncated season.
He reached the last four at the PSA Bronze level Pittsburgh Open, before doing so at two PSA Silver level tournaments, the Motor City Open and the Troilus Canada Cup.
However, the Mexican admitted that he was not fully fit throughout the entirety of the campaign, and that being able to perform well at the end was something he was pleased with.
“Without a doubt they were good results but not what I would have liked to get. I always try to think about the top and without a doubt I think I could have done better,” he admitted.
“Throughout the season I have had many injuries that have not allowed me to play as I would like to do, so I think the fact I had results like this in my last events was perhaps the most redeemable part of my season.”