LINDA ELRIANI NEWS
England Squash Stalwart Linda Elriani Confirms Her Retirement
Linda Elriani – the third most capped English woman squash player of all-time – has confirmed her retirement from competition in the sport.
The 34-year-old from Eastbourne in Sussex, who boasts 75 caps for England, has enjoyed a glittering squash career: Domestically, Elriani has appeared in 18 British National Championships since making her debut in 1988 – going on to reach the women's final on six occasions and recording her maiden title win last year at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.
Married to French international Laurent Elriani, the former Miss Charman joined the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA) in 1990 and has appeared in 32 Tour finals since 1993, winning 15 titles - including the Swiss Open, the Greenwich Open and Marsh & McLennan Apawamis Open twice each. In January last year, Elriani won the Dayton Open in the USA, and successfully defended the title six months ago.
The England number one achieved her highest world ranking of No3 in January 2000, the same year that she captained England to success in the World Team Championships on home soil!
Linda and Laurent are moving to the USA to take up coaching positions at the Field Club in Greenwich, Connecticut.
"I've always known I wanted to go into coaching after playing, as I've always done coaching throughout my career and really enjoyed it - so when the two jobs came up for Laurent and me in Greenwich, we decided it was a fantastic opportunity for us," said Elriani, the Chairman of WISPA.
"I'll miss competing and I'm probably going to miss the atmosphere at certain tournaments and the friendships I have with other players and people I've met in different places around the globe.
"I'm also going to miss my on-court sessions with my coach Mike Harris and when we move to the USA the biggest thing of all will be missing our family and friends in England. One thing that will soften the blow will be that we already have several friends that live in and around the area we'll be based in.
"The highlights of my career include winning the British Nationals last year - especially after so many attempts! – and winning the bronze medal in the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games doubles with my best mate Fiona Geaves and having both my parents there to see it after all the support they've given me over all the years.
"I've always loved playing for England, so I've enjoyed every one of my 70+ caps," added Elriani.
England National Coach David Pearson acknowledges that Linda will be missed by England Squash. "The one really special feature which marks Linda out is the fact that she always gave 110% when she played in an England shirt. My abiding memory of this was in 2004 in Amsterdam when we played the hosts in a crucial World Team Championship quarter-finals: Linda was two games down against Annelize Naude – who was playing the best squash of her life – and fought back to win the match in five to ensure our place in the semi-finals.
"We wish Linda all the best in her new career – she will certainly be missed," added Pearson.