Dame Susan Elizabeth Anne Devoy
, (born January 4 1964
) was a New Zealand squash
player who dominated the sport in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She won the World Open
on four occasions.
Born in Rotorua
, New Zealand
, Susan attended Mackillop College (later amalgamated with Edmund Rice College to create John Paul College). She first played squash when she was 6 years old, and turned professional at the age of 17. Her first World Open title came in 1985, with a subsequent win in 1987. Further World Open titles came in 1990 and 1992. For most of her career, the World Open was held biannually, a fact that stopped Devoy potentially doubling her tally. She did, however, win the coveted British Open
eight times, a record only beaten by Heather McKay
in the '60s and '70s, and by Janet Morgan
in the 1950s.
In 1992, the year of her unexpected retirement, she was the Australian, British, French, Hong Kong, Irish, New Zealand, Scottish, Swedish and World squash champion.
In 1986 she was awarded the MBE
, which was followed by a CBE
in 1993. She is also noted for her charity
work, being the New Zealand Patron on the Muscular Dystrophy Association
. In 1988 she walked the entire length of New Zealand, over seven weeks, and raised $500,000 for that charity. Other achievements include being named New Zealand Sports Person and Sports Woman in 1985.
In 1998, she became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, the youngest New Zealander since Sir Edmund Hillary to receive a knighthood. In between her charity work she is also a professional speaker in motivation and inspiration. In 2007 she appeared on the award winning Like Minds, Like Mine TV commercials in New Zealand to counter the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.
World Open Squash Results
- 1985: Won (beat Lisa Opie 9-4, 9-5, 10-8)
- 1987: Won (beat Lisa Opie 9-3, 10-8, 9-2)
- 1989: runner-up (lost to Martine Le Moignan 4-9, 9-4, 10-8, 10-8)
- 1990: Won (beat Martine Le Moignan 9-4, 9-4, 9-4)
- 1992: Won (beat Michelle Martin 9-4, 9-6, 9-4)