Milou hangs up her racket

Dutch star  Milou van der Heijden has announced her retirement from competitive squash after a  15 year career.

The Netherlands #1 won 10 PSA titles, starting with the NT Open 2012 in Alice Springs, Australia. Her biggest title came in 2020 at the Savcor Finnish Open as she lifted the Challenger 10 title, beating Finland’s Emilia Soini 3-0 in the final.

Van der Heijden’s first event came in her home country at the Enschede Open in 2006 where she lost out in the qualifying finals, but it wasn’t long before she was competing in the pinnacle of the sport, the World Championships. Her first appearance came again in her home country in 2009 in Amsterdam. A further 10 appearances in World Championships would follow, ending in Cairo last month.

Miloun broke into the world’s top 50 in June 2013 and spent an impressive eight years inside that ranking bracket and went on to reach a high of #29 in 2019.

She also also picked up six Dutch National titles throughout her career, and led the team to Bronze in this year’s European Team Championships in her home town of Eindhoven.

“This journey would not have been possible without the help of so many people.

“Transforming me from a teenage girl to an athlete, both physically & mentally, I have to thank Allistair McCaw, Floris Minneart, Gert Jan van Dijk, Jos Lammers & Frank Bisschops. Making it through 13 seasons without a major injury is thanks to them, and of course Remco Claessens & Ries Segers.

“My squash made many small steps in those years, thanks to the help of my father Sjef, my brother Dylan, Latasha Khan, Bas van Hoorn & Marijn Koot in the early years.

But my biggest thank you goes to Natalie Grinham & Tommy Berden, you’ve been a great role models (& ‘family’) & I’m grateful you’ve shared your knowledge & invested your time in me. Thank you to all of them for believing in me, especially when I doubted myself. Then of course the sponsors who have supported me along the way, Scipio, Subsign, IONLed & Quizzzit. The biggest thank you goes to Dunlop, who have literally been there from the start.

“I’ve got to travel to so many great places & have met many wonderful people. I want to thank all the billets I’ve stayed with, thank you for taking me into your homes. Some of you have really made me part of the family & you have a special place in my heart. I really hope our paths will cross again!

“My parents, Dylan, Nikki & Robin, thank you for your endless support. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it this far. Of course, everyone else, friends & family and other squash enthusiasts who have supported & followed me during this journey. Last but not least, my husband Ger, thank you for your patience when I was following my dream. I’m grateful for you and so excited to be home more & keep building our future together!

“The last year I’ve already started working on some new ventures. I’m excited to see where I can take SQSH Wear, work on the future squash generation with Squash Bond Nederland & keep growing my parents’ squash club Squashtime Eindhoven.”

Milou van der Heijden Photo Album