Name: Martin Heath
Country: Scotland
Date of Birth: 31 January 1973
Height: 1.83m
Place of Birth: Stirling
Place of Residence: Nottingham/Oban
Current World Ranking (Apr 03): 11
Highest World Ranking (Oct 99): 4
National Ranking: 2
PSA Titles: 7
PSA Final Appearances: 15

Heath on


Martin Heath, 29, was born in Stirling in Scotland and, after living for some time in the coastal town of Oban in the Western Highlands, then in Edinburgh, now resides in Nottingham, England.

He made his professional debut in 1993, appearing for the first time in the January PSA world rankings at 251. By March 1994 he reached 100, and made his top 50 debut eight months later. Not until September 1996 did he first break into the top 20, leaping from 29 to 19. His ranking fluctuated little in the months that followed - until November 1998, when he became one of very few players to make his top ten debut from a position outside the top twenty - soaring from 21 to 7, before moving on to a career-high No4 in October 1999.
Martin has spent most of squash career in the shadow of his former compatriot Peter Nicol - but, in the Al-Ahram International in October 1998, he achieved one of his most satisfying PSA Tour wins when he beat Nicol for the first time since the pair were in their early teens - 12 years before!

Unseeded Heath's 48-minute 15-9 15-5 15-11 victory - Nicol's first defeat since claiming the sport's inaugural Commonwealth Games gold medal in Malaysia the previous month - took place in the semi-finals, and followed earlier upsets against England's Mark Cairns, Welshman David Evans, and Australian Byron Davis. Now Heath found himself in his first ever Super Series final - against local star Ahmed Barada, and around 5,000 fans urging their squash hero to win this prestigious title for Egypt. Undaunted by this wholehearted opposition, the Scot made sixth seed Barada fight for every point, before the Egyptian ultimately claimed the title 15-7 15-17 15-11 13-15 15-13 in 98 emotionally-charged minutes.

This was the breakthrough that Heath's talent had threatened for some years - the inspiration for his dramatic end-of-year No5 position in the Dunlop PSA World Rankings.
Heath first made his mark on the PSA Tour in 1994 - when he registered his first Tour title by winning the Mazda Professional Championship in Hong Kong, then later claiming the Philadelphia Open title in the USA. In 1995, he won the Oasis International Classic in France, and at the end of the year successfully defended his Philadelphia Open title.

After becoming the Danish Open champion in April 1996, Heath went on to secure his richest tour prize to date - beating Pakistan's top seed Zubair Jahan Khan 3-0 to win the Singapore title in October without conceding a game. Exactly a year later he was back on the winner's rostrum again, lifting the Singapore Open trophy for the second successive year - again, without conceding a game throughout the tournament.

In April 1999, he reached the final of the WSF-organised Greek Open in Athens, where he lost to Mark Chaloner in five games. A week later he teamed up with Peter Nicol and former Australian John White to form the strongest Scotland entry that had ever competed in the European Championships. Heath lost to old rival Simon Parke as the squad went down 3-1 to defending champions England in one of the closest finals on record.

Later in May, Heath competed in the PSA Super Series Finals in London for the first time – but lost to Jonathon Power and Paul Johnson in the initial pool matches.
In December’s US Open in Boston, Heath suffered a recurrence of a rapid heartbeat during his second round match against Simon Parke, and withdrew after just two games. A week later, back in Scotland in the British Open, he was back to full health – and, after beating Australia’s Stewart Boswell and France’s Thierry Lincou, reached the quarter-finals where he lost in four games to the eventual champion Jonathon Power.

Mixed success greeted Heath in the USA in the new millennium. In February, Martin scored his second career victory over compatriot Peter Nicol to reach the final of the Tournament of Champions in New York. The fifth seed’s 12-15 15-10 15-11 15-10 triumph in 69 minutes over the world No1 - “the best win of my career” – took him into the final on Grand Central Station, where he fell in four games to top seed Jonathon Power.

2001 was “a bad year” according to Heath – in which “I was recovering from three serious injuries, and ended up being injured in five out of ten events!” The result was “dropping out of the top ten for the first time in over three years.”
In January 2002, Martin reached the quarter-finals of the US Open and second round of the Tournament of Champions, then in March pulled off upsets over both Mark Chaloner and compatriot John White (in both cases fighting back from behind) to reach the semi-finals of the Pakistan Open in Lahore. Here the 13th seed finally met his match, going down for the second time in the year to old rival Peter Nicol.

A week later, back in Scotland, Heath scored his second successive win over the higher-ranked White in the final of the Scottish Nationals to claim his home title for the third time.

Unseeded in the British Open in April, Martin took out Canada’s Graham Ryding in the first round to claim a significant upset in the next by knocking out Australia’s fifth-seeded Stewart Boswell in an 86-minute four-game battle. His run ended in the quarter-finals where he lost in four to fourth seed Thierry Lincou.
The son of a basketball player and semi-professional footballer, Heath took up squash at the age of eight. He graduated from Glasgow University with a BSc in Physiology, Psychology and Sports Science, and eventually plans to study for a Masters degree in the USA. His main interests outside squash include “yoga, travelling and people (well, women)” and his ambitions for 2002 are “to get back into the top eight ranking and to do myself justice by playing the way I can more consistently.”

Mar 94 Winner Mazda Championships HKG
Mar 94 Runner-up Perrier Asia Classic HKG
Nov 94 Winner Philadelphia Open USA

Apr 95 Winner Oasis International Classic FRA
Oct 95 Winner Philadelphia Open USA

Apr 96 Winner Danish Open DEN
Aug 96 Winner Singapore Open SIN

Jan 97 Runner-up Greenwich Open USA
Jun 97 Runner-up Luxembourg Open LUX
Aug 97 Winner Singapore Open SIN
Aug 97 Quarter-finalist *Hong Kong Open HKG

Feb 98 Runner-up Flanders Open BEL
Oct 98 Runner-up Al-Ahram International EGY

Feb 99 Runner-up Flanders Open BEL
Apr 99 Runner-up Greek Open GRE
May 99 (Quarter-finalist) *Super Series Finals ENG
Sep 99 Semi-finalist *World Open EGY
Dec 99 Quarter-finalist *British Open SCO

Feb 00 Runner-up *Tournament of Champions USA
Jun 00 (Quarter-finalist) *Super Series Finals ENG
Nov 00 Runner-up Florida Open USA

Feb 01 Quarter-finalist *Tournament of Champions USA
Feb 01 1st round *Flanders Open BEL
Apr 01 2nd round *PSA Masters EGY
May 01 Quarter-finalist Irish Open IRL
Jun 01 Semi-finalist *Super Series Finals ENG
Jun 01 Quarter-finalist Scottish Open SCO
Aug 01 Quarter-finalist *Hong Kong Open HKG
Sep 01 Quarter-finalist *Al-Ahram International EGY
Oct 01 1st round *Qatar Classic QAT
Oct 01 (4th-placed team) World Team Championships AUS
Nov 01 1st round YMG Capital Classic CAN

Jan 02 Quarter-finalist US Open USA
Jan 02 2nd round *Tournament of Champions USA
Mar 02 Semi-finalist *Pakistan Open PAK
Mar 02 Winner Scottish Nationals SCO
Apr 02 Quarter-finalist *British Open ENG
Apr 02 1st round *PSA Masters QAT

* Super Series event