Bengaluru, February 19: Squash queen Nicol David has decided to hang up her racquet at the end of the current season.
The eight-time world champion from Malaysia, who was ranked Professional Squash Association (PSA) world number one for a total of 112 months, is considered the greatest women's player of all time with 81 singles titles.
Her most recent title win came at the Ciudad de Floridablanca in March 2017, when she beat America's Olivia Blatchford Clyne in the final.
"After more than 20 years playing squash for Malaysia, competing on the professional tour and achieving the utmost best from my career... I can proudly say that I am ready and happy to announce my retirement at the end of this seasonal tour," Nicol tweeted.
It’s OFFICIAL!— Nicol Ann David (@NicolDavid) February 18, 2019
I’m truly happy and excited to be sharing with everyone that I’m retiring in June.
I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me and all your love in the last 20 years and it’s time for new and exciting opportunities to come. #thedreamremains pic.twitter.com/w3bH5tC2eg
"This decision has been thought through for quite some time and I do know this is my last season.
"This is a moment that every athlete must go through, to explore fully on what more there is in store for them. I am now at this point in my life, ready to take on more beyond the pro tour," added Nicol, who has won the Asian Squash Championship a record nine times.
🗣 "Thank you to all my fans, my supporters and my followers for joining me on my journey throughout all these years... I would like to encourage all of you to keep on rooting for me. The dream remains.” pic.twitter.com/HsWIInE3G6— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) February 18, 2019
Nicol said she would be joining the PSA after her retirement to help raise awareness of the sport while also helping young girls "reach their full potential" through the Nicol David Foundation.
🗣 “This decision has been thought through for quite some time and I do know that this is my last season.— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) February 18, 2019
"My mind and body have battled it out to stay at the very top of my game for such a long time that I feel that I only have this last big push left for the final season." pic.twitter.com/uhMkUbofzH
The 35-year-old will be competing at the PSA World Championship for the final time when the tournament starts on February 23 in Chicago.
Nicol's last PSA tournament will either be the British Open, which takes place in Hull from May 20 to 26, or June's PSA World Tour Finals, which she will participate in if she qualifies.
(With PSA inputs)