Englishman Nick Matthew's 20-year career, which included three world title wins, ended today as he lost to world number two Ali Farag in the last four of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Series Finals.
Matthew, 37, retired after the British Open in May but was drafted into the season-ending tournament at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai when Marwan Elshorbagy pulled out.
The Sheffield-born player, whose other honours include two Commonwealth singles titles, received an extended standing ovation after losing 11-5, 11-7 to his Egyptian opponent.
"I dared to dream for a second that I could go all the way," said the former world number one."
Matthew said people had tried to talk him out of retirement.
Warmth 🤗— Nick Matthew OBE (@nickmatthew) June 8, 2018
Words which spring to mind right now 🤔🧠💆🏼♂️🐺
"That's not happening," he added.
"I'm 100 per cent going to stay in squash, but I'm going to have a rest this summer.
"I've got some camps in the US and I'll have a lot of family time and regroup."
Farag described the game as "emotional", adding: "I knew that if I was close to winning that they were going to be the last few points of Nick's career.
"Only such a legend would get a standing ovation for around 10 minutes."
Farag will now play world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy, elder brother of Marwan, in an all-Egyptian final tomorrow.
The defending champion overcame Germany's Simon Rosner in the other semi-final 12-10, 10-12, 11-3.
Egyptians Nour El Sherbini and Raneem El Welily claimed wins over France's Camille Serme and another Egypt player, Nour El Tayeb, respectively to book the women's final.