As the British Open ends today, I wanted to remember last Tuesday, 21 May. It was a unique day in the annals of professional squash. Never before had three top players all retired on the same day.
Within hours of each other, Nicol David, Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro all lost their second round matches at the British Open, the final tournament in their careers.
In one fell swoop, a sizable chunk of the women’s tour upper echelon from the past two decades exited stage left. Statistically, this was a major milestone moment. Collectively, they won 115 PSA titles. They spent 116 months at world No.1 and a further sixty-eight months at world no.2. According to SquashInfo.com, they played a total of 2,534 matches: they won 1,880 and lost a mere 654—a winning percentage of 74%.
Harder to calculate the intangibles: sportsmanship, global appeal, leadership on the tour and serving as pioneering role models. Extraordinary women making extraordinary impact.
One thing is for certain. This month there are seven Egyptian women in the top twenty. With David, Duncalf and Massaro retiring, you’ll probably see three more Egyptians there within a few months.