Former World No.1 Karim Darwish has announced his retirement from professional squash. The 33-year-old Egyptian from Cairo first joined the PSA in March 1999 and enjoyed a meteoric rise through the standings, taking just two years to break into the World’s Top 20. He reached the top ten for the 1st time in 2003, where he would remain for a combined 118-months, with the crowning moment of his career coming in January 2009 when, after winning the PSA World Series Saudi International in December, upsetting Amr Shabana, Nick Matthew and Gregory Gaultier en-route to the title, he topped the world rankings for the first time. He held on to the World No.1 ranking for 11-months during 2009, a year which also saw him crowned PSA Player of the Year.
Darwish reached 42 tournament finals and won 23 PSA Word Tour titles and compete in 500 world tour matches. “After a successful 16 year career and achieving most of my goals, starting with winning the World Junior Championship to reaching the top of the World Rankings, I decided to call it a day. Finally I’d like to thank my team mates from Egypt – I have enjoyed the success we shared together – and to all other squash players on the PSA World Tour”, said Darwish.
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “On behalf of the PSA and everyone involved with the professional game I would like to congratulate Karim on a fantastic career and wish him all the best for the future.”
Darwish also represented Egypt in seven successive Word Team Championships since 2001, winning the title twice including in 2011 when he upset the odds to defeat James Willstrop in the deciding match to take the title away from top seeds England.
“I’m now the Sports Director at Wadi Degla Club (one of the biggest sporting clubs in the world), who are hosting the Women’s World Championship next December and my new goal is to help squash reach the place it deserves,” he added.
Darwish will compete for his last tournament at the World Championships in Qatar.