Top seed Laura Massaro is expecting the most competitive Nationals tournament for years with several players “at the top of their game”.
England’s finest women will all compete in the prestigious tournament in Manchester with World No.5 Massaro in fine form having reached the final at the Tournament of Champions.
The England No.1 was beaten in the New York final by Camille Serme of France 11-3, 11-8, 11-4, 3-11, 7-11, having knocked out her national teammate Sarah-Jane Perry in the semi-final.
And Perry [3/4] is just one player Massaro believes has the potential to challenge for the title. Massaro, 33, said: “It’s great to see there is so much depth in the draw. Over the last few years it has seemed like you perhaps could predict the semi-finalists at least based just on world rankings.
“But I think with the form Sarah-Jane Perry was in with the Tournament of Champions, she’s going to be one to look out for. Alison [Waters]  is always there and enjoys playing the Nationals [she has four titles] and she is playing well in terms of getting back into the world top 10.
“But then just below that you have players doing really well like Victoria Lust [5/8] and Emily Whitlock [3/4], Jenny Duncalf [5/8] looked like she was finding some form again. Then we’ve got the Welsh interest in Tesni Evans [5/8], so hopefully there will be a strong standard and some really good matches.”
Massaro will be competing for her fourth Nationals title – while in the men’s draw, three-time world champion Nick Matthew will be looking to win for a record ninth time.
“It’s one of the most prestigious tournaments that a British person can win,” she said. “At this point for me, it’s about trying to get my name on as many titles as I can so I can set a target for future players to chase after. I would love to get to eight like Nick but I think that might be a bit far out of my reach.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)
“More than that, I’m just really excited to be playing in the tournament – there’s always a great atmosphere.”
The Blowers Jewellers National Squash Championships begins at the National Squash Centre on Tuesday 7th February with the qualifying rounds before the main draw begins on Thursday 9th, with the finals taking place on Sunday 12th. There will also be masters draws with age groups right up to the Over 80s – buy your tickets now.