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 was also a major force on the WSF scene too, and was a member of Egypt’s WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship winning side on four occasions: 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2018.
Overall, El Welily 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 at the top of the game 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!
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.
— Raneem El Welily (@RaneemElWelily) June 25, 2020
4x World Team Championships winner 🇪🇬
2017 @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
— World Squash (@WorldSquash) June 25, 2020
— Tarek Momen (@TkMomen) June 25, 2020
World No.1 @RaneemElWelily has announced her retirement from professional squash
2017 World Champion 🏆
24 PSA World Tour titles 🏆
First Arab female in any sport to become World No.1 🔝
23 months at World No.1 👏
Wishing you all the best for the future, Raneem 🙏 pic.twitter.com/OmRVqR22mF
— 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
— Nick Matthew OBE (@nickmatthew) June 25, 2020
— 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 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😂🙌🏽 https://t.co/KaSE8Xy6m0
— Amanda Sobhy (@itssobhytime) June 25, 2020
— Nele Gilis (@NeleGilis) June 25, 2020
One of my favorite players of all time…@RaneemElWelily 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. #legend @PSAWorldTour
— Gilly Lane (@GLSquash) June 25, 2020
What an amazing career @RaneemElWelily! 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 👏🏻🙌🏻 https://t.co/v2iOlFuMab
— 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 will be missed. Make no mistake! https://t.co/BnBrq6LG9I
— 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 🙌🏼🙌🏼 https://t.co/08psax887D
— Daryl Selby (@DarylSelby) June 25, 2020
Selfishly I’m so gutted about @RaneemElWelily 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 ☺️ pic.twitter.com/fermx7MDEJ
— 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 😘
— Rachael Grinham (@Rachaelgrinham) June 25, 2020
So sad😢. You will be truly missed. Such a role model!!!!!
Good luck in your next Chapter with your family👨👩👧❤️. https://t.co/TXwxEaRCOh
— Hania El Hammamy (@HaniaaElHammamy) June 25, 2020
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. 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 ❤️ https://t.co/KYB4IuFU2p
— Sarah-Jane Perry (@SJPerry15) June 25, 2020
— 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 @RaneemElWelily on the @PSAWorldTour Thank you for elevating the game to heights it’s never seen before!
— Lee Drew (@Lee_M_Drew) June 26, 2020