Heather McKay - widely considered the greatest squash player to have played the women's game. Born in New South Wales, the Australian has went on to make outstanding achievements on various counts:
- Winning the British Open championship every year for 15 consecutive years from the year 1962, in which she won her first British Open title
- Winning her open in the British Open 1968 final - Bev Johnson - without dropping a single point
- Winning the Australian Amateur Championship 14 consecutive times from 1960 to 1973
- Having piled up 20 consecutive undefeated years at the time of her retirement in 1981
If you think her dominance as a squash player was stunningly impressive and her prowess as an athlete deemed to not be able to be better, think again! She has impressively maintained, at the highest level possible, a standard of excellence across a multitude of different sports:
- She was a member of Australia's Hockey Team in 1967 and 1971
- She won the Australian Amateur Racquetball Championship once in 1979; the American Racquetball Championship three times in 1980, 1981 and 1984; and the Canadian Racquetball Championship five times in 1980, and the years from 1982 to 1985. She was even inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame in 1997!
These accomplishments however, in our opinion, pale in massive comparison to the fact that she only lost two games in her entire career. Her committing this pair of losses was made all the more impressive when one takes note that the two losses were made at the very start of her career. If you are a tennis fan, just imagine Roger Federer losing that 1998 match of his against Andre Agassi, and perhaps his first round French Open match in 1999 against Pat Rafter, before going on to win every single match, until he retires in 2020 (touch wood!)
She was perhaps also not of ideal height - she was only five feet six inches tall and little more than nine stone. However, such may be the precise reason for her ability to hit harder than most opponents and to move faster than any of them. Our hunch is that a greater center of gravity plays a part in this.
It must also be added, that squash was her third choice. Her father encouraged her to play tennis and hockey above squash, and she did in fact displayed a greater interest in these two. Her choice of squash as a professional career was mainly due to the commercial rise of squash in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s.
Lastly, but not least, she also chain-smoked when came to the United Kingdom. Does this not remind one of Usian Bolt eating up to 100 (is it?) chicken McNuggets the day before one of his important races at the 2008 Beijing Olympics..
Rovo is an app that connects you with other sports players nearby. It takes the hassle out of coordinating timings and matching others of the same skill level so you can #playmore!
Get the latest versions of the app here