Todd Harrity retires from PSA World Tour

July 03 2024

Three-time US National Squash Champion Todd Harrity has announced his retirement from the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour.

Todd Harrity joined UNSQUASHABLE in 2028 and proved to be a model professional, representing the brand with distinction in what proved to be the most successful period of his professional playing career. Everyone associated with UNSQUASHABLE is greatly indebted for his support and wishes him well as he embarks on an exciting new chapter in his life and career.

The former US No.1 departs the sport after an illustrious 11-year career during which he has been mainstay on the international professional squash circuit since 2013, winning four PSA World Tour titles and achieving a career-high ranking of World No. 32. His consistent performance saw him break into the world's top 100 in 2014, a position he maintained throughout his career. Domestically, Todd clinched three US National squash titles and won two Gold Medals at the Pan American Games.

Todd Harrity's squash journey began at Princeton University, where he leveraged local spots and wildcards to secure a place in the prestigious J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York and which eventually provide pivotal in his decision to pursue a professional career.

“It was fantastic,” said Harrity. “John Nimick [ToC Tournament Director] was giving me the wildcard for the ToC when I was at university at Princeton. So that was great. It kind of sparked my interest and enthusiasm. It was a great opportunity to get to play in a major tournament like that. But the real full-time training and taking pro squash really seriously didn’t happen until after I graduated.

“Back then at the time that I did, turning professional was definitely a strange decision to make for an American player coming out of university. There were only a couple of players that had ever done it before. There was Chris Gordon, Julian Illingworth and Gilly Lane before then. But apart from that, there wasn’t anyone on my radar.

“US Squash had a big part in it. I remember when I was first deciding what to do, US Squash called me and said that they wanted to encourage more Americans to go pro and that they were going to start providing more funding and that I would be the first player to really benefit from it. So that impacted my decision because financially it was a bit better. Actually, early on, I used to coach a few summer camp sessions for Peter Nicol, and he had encouraging words for me, he thought I was good and had the potential to do well on the tour and said the game needs an American player, so it was really those things that impacted my decision to go pro.”

Upon joining the PSA World Tour full-time, Todd Harrity found the solitary nature of professional competition to be a daunting challenge in the early stages of his career. Later, as he consistently ranked as the top US male player, Todd faced the pressure of leadership, though he modestly never viewed himself in that role.

Reflecting on these experiences, Todd acknowledged the initial struggle of adapting to the demands of solo competition and the unique pressures of maintaining a leading national position.

“There were a lot of challenges for me on the pro tour. Definitely, with it being a very solo endeavour, it was lonely. The constant traveling as well, It’s one of the things that’s maybe impacted my decision now that I’m a lot older. It’s that lifestyle of living out of your suitcase and traveling, going from tournament to tournament. It’s always a new place, a new strange city where you don’t know people. I had my friends on tour, of course, but in another sense, you are also by yourself. So that was a challenge.

“I did feel pressure and dealing with pressure was also a challenge for me. I did spend a lot of time doing the mental and psychological work on how to handle and deal with pressure. I know it wasn’t just me, there were other players too. Chris Hanson was playing and we had a good rivalry amongst us. Chris Gordon as well. But I suppose for a lot of my career, I was the top ranked US player on the men’s tour. I didn’t necessarily see myself as the No.1 or the face of US squash in that way, but I did definitely feel pressure. But I think that is just part of the job.”

Todd Harrity’s most significant PSA title came at the 2nd HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Chennai Leg 1 in April 2021. Seeded No. 2, Todd faced numerous challenges beyond just playing squash in a tumultuous tournament. Despite these difficulties, he emerged victorious, savouring a triumph he described as nearly impossible to replicate.

Reflecting on the victory, Todd highlighted the intense satisfaction of winning under such challenging circumstances. This experience stands out as a pinnacle in his career, encapsulating his resilience and competitive spirit.

“That was a great effort. It was a tough tournament and that event was crazy. There was a COVID issue early in the event so the start date was actually a couple of days later than it was supposed to be and we were quarantined in our rooms for a while. I remember meditating a lot and trying to just handle things as best I could. There were some difficult matches where I almost mentally broke down, but I just managed to stay with it. It was such an amazing feeling winning that tournament.

“That win was my biggest PSA win but I’m extremely proud that I won three US National titles as well. Winning events will be a feeling I will miss. It’s just such a thrill and such a high that I don’t see being replicated in another field.”

In 2018, Todd Harrity became the first openly gay male player in professional squash. He describes his decision to come out as a deeply personal one, and despite initial fears, he was heartened by the positive response from the squash community.

Todd's openness about his sexuality marked a significant moment in the sport, with his courage and paving the way for greater inclusivity within the squash world.

“Everyone was so supportive. It was interesting how I anticipated it being a problem. But it wasn’t at all. I didn’t lose a single friend. Everyone who was my friend before, was still my friend after and I didn’t notice anyone treating me differently. I did it only for personal reasons, it would just make my life easier to not have to dodge questions anymore, or have to lie or be vague when things come up, I just wanted to be able to be myself.

During the 2023-24 squash season, his final season on the PSA World Tour, Todd Harrity faced challenges, before rediscovering his form in 2024.

“I had been struggling for a while before the start of 2024 and I took some time off and didn’t play in December or January of this past season and then sort of worked on myself physically and mentally and came back to the tour playing well, and I had some good wins. Whether those were wins or not, I’m really glad that I experienced playing well again and experienced the joy of playing those matches.

“It really started for me at the Squash on Fire Open. I had a tough round first round which I managed to sneak through in five and then played really well in my next two matches against Omar Mossad and Youssef Soliman. I then played well in Chicago and Optasia, so I felt happy with that, and I’m glad that I’m not leaving the game in a rut where I had no confidence and was really not playing well for a long time. I’m leaving the game on good terms and my reasons for leaving are more psychological than physical. I just feel that I’m satisfied with my effort, it’s been a great experience. But I just I know that I’m ready to move on and I’m excited to see what’s next for me.”

Despite his many challenges, his career stands as a testament to his resilience and dedication to the sport and as he steps away from the sport, his legacy remains one of perseverance, skill and national pride.