Name: Tom Richards
Date of Birth: 10th July 1986
World Ranking: 28
World Series Ranking: 21
Birthplace: Guildford, England
Residence: Walton-On-Thames, England
Clothing Sponsor: Wilson
Coach: Chris Robertson, Danny Lee, Steve Meads
Interests: Photography and golf
Clubs/Teams: St.Georges Hill (Surrey Cup & Premier League)
Biography: Tom Richards reinforced his status as one of the top five Englishmen in September 2012 when he celebrated a career-high world No12 ranking.
After turning pro in 2005, the former British Junior U12 & U13 National champion made good progress on the PSA World Tour - almost making the top 50 in 2007 before being forced to take a long layoff with a knee injury, during which time he slumped outside the top 120.
Based in Surrey, Richards made his Tour mark on home soil in June 2008, when he won his maiden trophy at the Hithercroft Open in Oxford.
But it was in March 2012 that he celebrated the fourth and biggest Tour win of his career at the Open de Squash Banque Nationale Groupe Financier in Montreal, where he beat top seed Hisham Mohd Ashour in the semis before overcoming French legend Thierry Lincou, the top seed, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5 in the final.
"When I tore my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) at 20 years old and had eight months out of the game, I was able to take a step away from squash and work at other aspects such as fitness in order to live with the demands of the game," said Richards. "Mentally it also made me a much stronger competitor.
"Winning the Montreal Open after beating Thierry Lincou in the final was undoubtedly one the highpoints of the year - as well as making the England team and becoming European team champions."
Just a month later, Richards notched up the eighth Tour final of his career at the Berkshire Open in the USA.
His England international career took off in March 2011 when he made his senior national debut in the World Cup in India. Unbeaten in an England shirt, Richards then made his European Team Championship debut in May last year.
His 2013 campaign took off well when, unseeded, he made the last sixteen of the PSA World Series Tournament of Champions in New York before going down to the eventual runner-up Gregory Gaultier.
In February, again unseeded, he made the quarter-finals of the Swedish Open – and, again, came up against Gaultier. He stretched the Frenchman for almost an hour – but was unable to prevent the No2 seed from progressing through to the winner's podium.
But disaster struck in April at the Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland where, seeded two, he crashed out of the first round to Nicolas Mueller.
"As I went for a normal lunge deep in the backhand corner I slipped on some sweat and my heel kept going until my hamstring gave way,” explained Richards later. “I knew it was bad as I could feel a ripping sensation followed by a lot of pain.
"This effectively ruled me out for at least three months and potentially more. So I was to miss the Europeans, British Open and Worlds. To say I was gutted was an understatement!”
Richards made his Tour comeback at the Colombian Open in August – but went out in the first round, beaten in four games by Mexican qualifier Alfredo Avila.