British National Squash Championships 2014  •  10-16 February  •  Manchester

  PLAYERS: #5 Sarah Kippax

#5: Sarah Kippax

Sarah Kippax and the National Championships go back a long way – 17 years to be precise – and are indeed the reason she took up squash and decided to play it professionally.

“It’s the event I grew up watching,” recalled the 5/8 seed from Cheshire. "In fact, I was a court attendant at the age of 13, there to clean the white ball and mop up the sweat between games. I loved it because it meant that I had the best seat in the house!

“I remember being mesmerised. It allowed me to watch and learn, and left me completely inspired and determined that one day I would compete on the same stage.

“So, as you can tell, it’s a BIG deal to me and very special for a number of reasons.

“As we are such a dominant nation in the world of squash past and present, the British National Championship is an extremely prestigious title.”

As such, the nine-time WSA Tour tournament winner would dearly love to win the trophy for the first time, but she is looking no further than her first-round tie with Wales’ Deon Saffery.

“I am not one to study the draw in great detail, but I know I have Deon in the first round,” said Kippax. "She is a skilful player, whom I haven’t played for years, so I’m looking forward to the match.

“I always aim to take one match at a time, as you can’t afford to get ahead of yourself. My focus will be to perform to the best of my ability on the day and the results will take care of themselves.

“However, it would be nice to get past the quarters for the first time!”

In fact, the Halifax-based 30-year-old has reached the quarter-final stage at the last six Nationals, but she is pleased with her current form.

“I had a few injury niggles at the end of 2013, so since Christmas I’ve altered the balance of my training,” she explained. “Now I feel good physically, happy with the way I’m playing and excited to compete in the Nationals so close to home.”

[ Sarah Kippax ] Emma Beddoes ] Sarah-Jane Perry ] Adrian Grant ] Chris Simpson ] Laura Massaro ]

Sarah Kippax

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