Egypt’s three-time World Champion Ramy Ashour has announced his immediate retirement from professional squash.
Known on tour as ‘The Artist’, Cairo-born Ashour, 31, is regarded as one of the most talented squash players ever and spent 21 months at World No.1 between 2010-2013.
He won PSA World Championship titles in 2008, 2012 and 2014. The last of those saw Ashour return after a six-month injury absence to claim the sport’s biggest title in stunning style, beating long-term rival Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final – a match which has gone down in history as gone of the greatest squash matches of all time.
Ashour also became the first Egyptian for 47 years to win the sport’s oldest tournament – the British Open – in 2013, which came in the midst of a 49-match unbeaten run as he won nine successive PSA Tour titles.
Since making his PSA debut in 2004, Ashour has lifted 40 PSA Tour titles, reaching 59 finals, while he won 358 of his 435 matches on the PSA Tour. Ashour’s final tournament win came at the Grasshopper Cup in March 2018 as he tore through the draw without dropping a game, again beating ElShorbagy in the final.
Ashour was also voted as the second greatest male player of all time behind Pakistan’s Jahangir Khan in the summer of 2018, with thousands of squash fans taking part in a poll conducted by the PSA.
Despite his undoubted skills with a racket, Ashour has been ravaged by injury over the past decade and has suffered a range of hamstring and knee issues. The latter has kept him out of action since last May, with his final ever PSA appearance coming at the 2018 British Open.
“I’m not the biggest fan of beginnings and endings,” said Ashour.
“During my 25 years on the squash court, I won a combined eight World Championships (including senior, junior and team), and I never loved anything more than I have loved the game of squash. Squash has given me so much but also took a lot from me physically and mentally.
‘”While I look towards the next stage of my journey, I have to thank the people who have been with me every step of the way. First of all, my parents and my brother, who have always been there, have always been my biggest supporters and motivators, and who shared with me my best and worst times.
“I also want to thank my close friends, who have stood by me. Thank you to all my coaches, who helped me get to the next level. Thank you to all my sponsors, Prince rackets, Pharco Pharmaceuticals, CIB Bank and Salming Sports. Last but not least, I want to say that I am grateful for all of you [the fans], the people I don’t know personally, who have always believed in me, you guys are the biggest reason I was always pushing to win.”
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “Ramy has inspired countless of aspiring squash players around the world and is without a doubt one of the most talented players the game has ever seen.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ramy for his contributions to the PSA Tour over the past 15 years and everyone at the PSA wishes him well for the future.”