‘I know I can beat the top girls and my results show that’
By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)
England’s Georgina Kennedy is aiming to live up to her billing as the ‘Emma Raducanu of squash’ by clinching gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Kennedy comes from the same suburb of Bromley in London as the British tennis star. They both train at the Parklangley Club and even share the same strength and conditioning coach.
Like the US Open tennis champion, 24-year-old Kennedy has risen to prominence within her sport in rapid fashion, ascending from 185 to ninth in the world rankings in under a year after graduating from Harvard University in 2020.
Kennedy said: “It is a huge compliment to be likened to Emma as she is an absolute superstar. Obviously I have had a successful year, but I haven’t done anything on the scale that she has yet.
“Hopefully one day soon I will win a major title or, who knows, the Commonwealth Games, then I will really feel like I have achieved to the same magnitude.
“After I graduated from university and went pro, my primary goal was to be selected for Team England at the Commonwealth Games. I just wanted to get on the selectors’ radar.
“When my ranking went up so quickly, that ambition changed from just getting selected to seriously targeting a medal. I would never have predicted that rise.”
Kennedy is seeded third behind Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Joelle King (NZL) and Birmingham-born Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG), both of whom Kennedy beat on the PSA World Tour last season.
Here are Gina’s Head To Head records against Perry and King, kindly supplied by Howard Harding of www.squashinfo.com
“It’s so exciting because I know that I can beat any of these players on my day,” Kennedy said. “I have always been extremely competitive and had strong physical attributes. My retrieval skills can usually get me out of trouble and I love long, gruelling rallies.”
Eighteen-time national champion Joshna Chinappa (India) is the fourth seed, with Tesni Evans (Wales), Emily Whitlock (Wales) and Yorkshire-based Hollie Naughton (Canada) also vying for places on the podium.
Pictures courtesy of PSA