8:23 am
21 Jun 2024

Macree Bids Farewell

27 Feb 2005

After 17 years on the WISPA World Tour, England international Rebecca Macree has decided to retire, with immediate effect.

The decision was made after the 33-year-old from Essex was narrowly defeated by world No2 Vanessa Atkinson in last week's quarter-finals of the Tournament of Champions in New York. Atkinson, from the Netherlands, went on to take the title - but Macree was the only player in the tournament to extend the world champion to five games.

Born deaf, Rebecca has competed at the highest level, representing England in the World and European Team Championships despite her disability. In 24 WISPA Tour final appearances since 1993, Rebecca has claimed eight titles, including the Ottawa International in Canada last October.

"Seventeen years travelling the world, to all the different countries and meeting all the fantastic people, has been a chance of a lifetime," said the world No9, who reached a career-high No7 in May 2003. "But on the downside, the air travel and living out of a suitcase for all those years does take its toll so I have decided to call it a day."

Known for her forthright style of play on court, she is sure that quite a few of the ladies on the circuit will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that she will not be drawn against them in future.

"I know some of the girls have not liked my style of play, but I have played this way all my squash career," added Macree. "For the people who really know me, I am a different animal off court than on."

Andrew Shelley, Executive Director of the Women's International Squash Players' Association, added: "Rebecca is rumbustious on court, sometimes a real handful for referee and opponent alike, but let's not be sidetracked. Her long and successful career has been based around great athleticism and drive. She has always hit the ball as sweetly as anybody in the sport. More than this, of course, she has overcome the difficulties posed by deafness to a degree that has been inspirational."

When asked what she is going to do in retirement, Rebecca replied: "Take a good long rest first and then we will see."