The second event of the week to be held on English soil on the Challenger Tour is the TWC Squash Squared Open, which takes place at The Wimbledon Club in Surrey from Sunday 22 to Friday 27 August.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Challenger 10 level tournament has allowed only domestic entrants in, with those currently residing in the United Kingdom being permitted to play in the event.
Despite those restrictions, there will still be 12 nations represented in the tournament, due to the multi-cultural nature of the Untied Kingdom.
England’s Richie Fallows heads up the men’s draw, with compatriots Joshua Masters and Tom Walsh also amongst the top eight seeds. Also in that op eight bracket are Scotland’s Rory Stewart and the Welsh duo of Emyr Evans and Peter Creed.
Portugal’s Rui Soares, who already has silverware to his name in 2021, is also in that group, along with Irishman Sean Conroy. Poland’s Filip Jarota and Brazil’s Vini Rodrigues also feature in the draw.
Finland’s Emilia Korhonen, Italy’s Bruna Marchesi Petrillo, Dutchwoman Sanne Veldkamp, Pakistani Faiza Zafar and Singapore’s Au Yeong Wai Yhann are all in action in the women’s draw.
The Scottish duo of Alison Thomson and Georgia Adderley, along with Welshwoman Ali Loke are in the four seeds, with the top seed being the in-form Georgina Kennedy, who has five titles to her name this year.
We spoke to the Englishwoman ahead of the tournament, following her appearance at the Allam British Open in Hull earlier this week.
“I was really grateful to have been given the opportunity to compete in the British Open this year. It is arguably the most prestigious tournament on the calendar so I was thrilled to be involved. It was an amazing experience to be able to play on the glass court in front of a crowd and I definitely learnt a lot from the experience!” she explained.
I was really disappointed to have been knocked out in the first round but I have to give a lot of credit to my opponent who played extremely well and thoroughly deserved the win. I definitely felt a lot more nervous for this event than I have for the others I have been playing recently, and so it was a great learning experience for me to try and find ways to cope with the pressure of performing at these big events. Hopefully I will be back next year!”
Kennedy has claimed five titles so far in 2021, the most of any player on the Challenger Tour, and they have all come in the last three months.
The World No.74 is hoping to keep this form going, but she also knows that it is never as simple as saying it.
“I have had a great run of success at the Challenger Tour events over the past few months and I can’t really believe just how well it has all been going,” the Englishwoman admitted.
“I have absolutely loved competing again after so long and I am just really enjoying playing these events. I hope to keep this run of form going for as long as possible but I know that won’t be easy! I just trying to focus on every match individually and I try to put the thought of winning more titles out of my mind.
This will be the first time Kennedy goes into a tournament as the top seed in this current great run of form, and she admitted that there will be some extra pressure on her.
She also admitted that it has been hard to play so many tournaments so quickly, but she is hoping that the good run of form can continue to push her into the top 50 of the World Rankings and beyond.
“I think there is a little bit more pressure on me now that I am No.1 seed, but as I mentioned before, I try to put the thought of winning the titles out of my mind and I just focus on every match as it comes. Everyone who competes in these events is a very good squash player so you have to play your best each round if you want to win,” she explained.
“I hope that I can break the top 50 soon and that I can start competing in the Platinum events on a more regular basis. I would love to get even higher than top 50 and it is definitely a goal of mine to get my ranking as high as possible.
Although it has been quite difficult to compete in so many tournaments in such a short period of time, it has allowed me to climb the rankings quicker than I thought, so I am really grateful for that!”
Men’s First Round Draw: TWC Squash Squared Open
 Richie Fallows (ENG) – [Bye]
Fergus Richards (SCO) v [9/16] Filip Jarota (POL)
[9/16] Vini Rodrigues (BRA) v [WC] Zan Farooqi (ENG)
 Tom Walsh (ENG) – [Bye]
 Sean Conroy (IRL) – [Bye]
Perry Malik (ENG) v [9/16] Ben Smith (ENG)
[9/16] Curtis Malik (ENG) v Lewis Doughty (ENG)
 Rory Stewart (SCO) – [Bye]
 Rui Soares (POR) – [Bye]
Hasnaat Farooqi (ENG) v [9/16] Sam Todd (ENG)
[9/16] Miles Jenkins (ENG) v [WC] Josh Attwell (ENG)
 Peter Creed (WAL) – [Bye]
 Emyr Evans (WAL) – [Bye]
James Peach (ENG) v [9/16] Owain Taylor (WAL)
[9/16] Jaymie Haycocks (ENG) v [WC] Jordan Warne (ENG)
 Joshua Masters (ENG) – [Bye]
Women’s First Round Draw: TWC Squash Squared Open
 Georgina Kennedy (ENG) – [Bye]
Margot Prow (ENG) v [9/16] Katriona Allen (SCO)
[9/16] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) v [WC] Katie Malliff (ENG)
 Bruna Marchesi Petrillo (ITA) – [Bye]
 Alicia Mead (ENG) – [Bye]
Tayla Mounter (ENG) v [9/16] Katie Wells (ENG)
[9/16] Torrie Malik (ENG) v Saran Nghiem (ENG)
 Georgia Adderley (SCO) – [Bye]
 Ali Loke (WAL) – [Bye]
Emilia Korhonen (FIN) v [9/16] Charlotte Jagger (ENG)
[9/16] Kace Bartley (ENG) v Polly Clark (ENG)
 Grace Gear (ENG) – [Bye]
 Faiza Zafar (PAK) – [Bye]
[WC] Elise Lazarus (ENG) v [9/16] Au Yeong Wai Yhann (SGP)
[9/16] Sanne Veldkamp (NED) v [WC] Tashy Baker (ENG)
 Alison Thomson (SCO) – [Bye]