CIB PSA Women’s World Championships – a bit of History

The biggest tournament in women’s squash will take place in front of the Pyramids in Giza later this month, when 64 of the world’s best players will compete at the CIB PSA Women’s World Championship.

The inaugural women’s World Championship took place in 1976, when Heather McKay lifted the first of her two titles, beating Marion Jackman on home soil in Brisbane, Australia.

Fellow Australians Rhona Thorne and Vicki Cardwell followed in McKay’s footsteps, before the legendary Susan Devoy became the first non-Australian player to get her hands on the coveted trophy in 1985, at which point the tournament was a biennial event.

Since then, the tournament has been staged all around the world, with the competition being held in countries such as the United States, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Hong Kong and Germany to name a few.

Martine Le Moignan was the first Englishwoman to capture the title, before Devoy took the next two titles in 1990 and 1992, with the tournament switching to an annual format from that point onwards.

Australia dominated the women’s event over the next decade, with Michelle Martin’s triumph in 1993 bringing about a period that saw the title shared between her (3 wins), Sarah Fitz-Gerald (5) and Carol Owens (1) in nine of the ten tournaments held between 1993-2002.

England’s Cassie Campion was the only player to put a dent in the Australian dominance of the 90s, with her 1999 triumph over Martin seeing her become the first female English World Champion in 10 years.

Over the next few years, the legendary Malaysian Nicol David made her mark on the tournament, claiming her maiden World Championship title in Hong Kong in 2005 courtesy of a win over Australian Rachael Grinham, before retaining her title the following year with a win over Grinham’s younger sister, Natalie.

The Grinham sisters met in the final in 2007, with Rachel being the victor, but David responded with an incredible five wins in a row in Manchester, Amsterdam, Shaem El Sheikh, Rotterdam and the Cayman Islands in an unprecedented spell of dominance.

That run eventually came to an end in the 2013 edition, which saw England’s Laura Massaro claim her first Worlds title in Penang, beating then 18-year-old Nour El Sherbini in the final.

But after one more title for David in Cairo, El Sherbini soon got her hands on the sport’s biggest prize when she battled back from two games down against Massaro, this time in Kuala Lumpur, to become the youngest ever women’s World Champion at the age of 20 – eclipsing the record set by Devoy 31 years earlier.

Since then, El Sherbini has made her mark on the tournament, also sealing the 2016 and 2018-19 editions when she beat compatriots Raneem El Welily and Nour El Tayeb in the respective finals.

El Welily got her revenge in 2017 when she defeated El Sherbini in the final in Manchester to seal her first World Championship crown, but earlier this year in Chicago Sherbini claimed her third title and comes to the Pyramids looking to prevent her reign from ending prematurely.

Full World Championships History :

Recent Women’s World Squash Champions
2018-19 Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
2017 Raneem El Welily (EGY)
2016 Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
2015 Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
2014 Nicol David (MAS)
2013 Laura Massaro (ENG)
2012 Nicol David (MAS)
2011 Nicol David (MAS)
2010 Nicol David (MAS)
2009 Nicol David (MAS)
2008 Nicol David (MAS)
2007 Rachael Grinham (AUS)
2006 Nicol David (MAS)
2005 Nicol David (MAS)
2004 Vanessa Atkinson (NED)
2003 Carol Owens (NZL)
2002 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS)
2001 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS)
2000 Carol Owens (AUS)

Full World Championships History :