Malaysia’s Nicol David has been named WSA Heather McKay Player of the Year for the 7th time following a presentation at the Cleveland Classic quarterfinals night.
David, who saw another immaculate year as the world’s No. 1 player, was just one title short of claiming a clean sweep in all World Series events in 2012, culminating in her seventh World Open title. The award, one of many re-branded accolades this year, is named after a legend of the women’s game, Heather McKay, who was a dominant force on the Tour throughout the 70’s and 80’s.
Alison Waters received the Vicki Cardwell Comeback Player of the Year after an impressive return from a year’s layoff saw the English 28-year-old start the year at No. 39 and claim five titles on her way back up to the world’s top-4. This award is brand new for 2012, and marks a player’s remarkable resilience to return to top form following a lengthy absence. Cardwell herself took time out from the game to have a baby, before making a return to the top of the game.
Seventeen-year-old Nour El Sherbini burst into the upper echelons of the WSA world rankings in 2012, leaping from No. 28 in January 2012 to peak at No. 5. The prodigal Egyptian reached the British Open final at the 02 Arena in London in May, and in acknowledgment of her excellent efforts has been appointed the 2012 Breakthrough Player of the Year.
Samantha Teran’s services to squash did not go unnoticed last year, as she was honored with the Platinum Service Award. Also a new award, it celebrates a player’s dedication and service to the sport, not just for the past 12-months, but over a number of years. The Mexican has been busy both on and off the tour, helping to raise the profile of squash in her home country, as well as opening a new squash club and founding the Abierto Mexicano de Raquetas event in Toluca, which she was unfortunately forced to withdraw from through injury.
The new Sportsmanship Award was awarded to Canadian Samantha Cornett for her commitment to fair play and keen spirit both on and off court.
The WSA Cayman Islands World Open 2012 was deemed the first ever Tournament of the Year as the culmination of the WSA’s calendar in December. Voted for by the players, the event, run by Dan Kniepp, was regarded as highly successful and well-run throughout the week.