Egypt’s reigning world No. 1, Raneem El Welily, announced her immediate retirement from professional squash Thursday, June 25, while also revealing the celebratory news that she and her husband, world No. 4 Tarek Momen, are expecting their first child.
El Welily has been a trailblazer for Egyptian and women’s squash since turning professional in 2002. In September 2015, El Welily became the first Egyptian woman to become world No. 1 in any sport.
At thirty-one years old, El Welily becomes just the third squash player to retire while ranked world No. 1, following Susan Devoy and Jonathan Power.
Widely celebrated for her good sportsmanship and demeanor in addition to her world-class ability, El Welily received the PSA Spirit of Squash Award for the past four years.
El Welily has won nearly every major title the sport has to offer, including the 2017 PSA World Championship title in Manchester, England, and a total of twenty-four professional titles. El Welily has won all three PSA Platinum titles held in the United States, including the 2018 U.S. Open, 2015 Tournament of Champions and a three-year Windy City Open reign from 2015-2017.
Read El Welily’s first of three statements on instagram below.
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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. Squash has been my life for the past 25 years, but the time has come for me to say goodbye. What a ride it has been. When this journey started, I never thought that it would take me this far. I have been so fortunate to have witnessed many generations play the game, to have been inspired by so many legends, and to have been a part of such a great era. I don’t know what the future holds for me career-wise, but I do know, that starting a family with Tarek is a priority for us. And whatever challenges life may throw our way, I hope that I will be ready to face them. I may be saying goodbye to the competition, BUT I’m not saying goodbye to all the memories (good and bad), all the bonds and friendships I have built, all the good times I’ve had with my peers, and many other wonderful things that will forever live with me. This is not a sad goodbye, for today I say goodbye with two smiling hearts 🙂 Much love Raneem #Wadidegla #cib #harrowsports #Duraclinics أعزائى أسرة الإسكواش،، فى الكام سنة اللي فاتوا ممكن أكون كتبت الكلمات دى فى دماغى يمكن ألف مرة. الاسكواش كان حياتى طوال ٢٥ سنة ودلوقتى جاء الوقت اللى أبدأ فيه صفحة جديدة. كانت رحلة جميلة وعمرى ما تخيلت إنها تاخدنى بعيد كده. كنت محظوظة جداً إنى على مر السنين عاصرت أجيال كتير، منهم أساطير فى مصر والعالم، إتعلمت منهم حاجات كتيرة أوى، وسعيدة إنى شاركت فى فترة من أجمل فترات اللعبة. مش مخططة لأى حاجة فى الفترة الجاية، لكن الظاهر إنى حركز شوية مع أسرتى الصغيرة، وأتمنى إنى أكون قادرة على مواجهة تحديات الحياة القادمة. ممكن أكون بودع منافسات الاسكواش، بس أكيد مش بودع ذكرياته، وصداقاته، وعلاقاته، وأيامه الحلوة، بما فيها النهارده. شكرا رنيم