Georgina Kennedy reflects on a challenging but successful 22022/23 season

July 11 2023

Georgina Kennedy, England's top-ranked squash player, faced a challenging first half of the 2022/23 season due to illness. However, she made an impressive comeback, securing a spot in the CIB PSA World Tour Finals and reaffirming her position in the world's top 10.

In an recent interview with the Professional Squash Assocaition, Kennedy reflected on her season and expressed satisfaction with her overall performances achievements in the 2022/23 season.

Kennedy acknowledged that her ranking might not have improved significantly compared to the previous season, but she believed her squash skills had developed considerably. She emphasised continuous improvement in tactics and technique, stating that she would back her current self to defeat her past self. Despite finishing at number eight in the world rankings, Kennedy recognised the importance of progress beyond rankings alone.

The athlete revealed that winning the Commonwealth Games was a dream come true but also took a toll on her physical and mental well-being. The pressure to achieve more immediately after a major victory affected her health, resulting in months of illness. Kennedy acknowledged the need to balance ambition with recognising and celebrating achievements.

While Kennedy's performance at the British Open, where she pushed Nour El Sherbini to five games, was commendable, she understood that to advance further, she needed more victories against top-ranked players. She acknowledged that being close to winning wasn't enough and that beating one of the top three players was essential for her confidence and progress.

Kennedy opened up about her battle with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. The condition flared up during the season, forcing her to miss two months of competition. She emphasised the unpredictability of the disease and the importance of managing it effectively through medication and self-care.

Looking ahead to the new PSA campaign, Kennedy expressed eagerness to work on her weaknesses. Collaborating with coach Ben Ford, she aimed to improve her short game to challenge the top five players in the world. Kennedy recognised the need for discipline and finding the balance between aggression and strategic play against elite opponents.

Kennedy's first appearance in the World Championships quarter-finals in Chicago was a highlight of her season. Despite eventually losing to Nour El Sherbini, she was pleased with her performance throughout the tournament, particularly in terms of technique, shot selection, and tactical awareness.

The English player celebrated two event wins during the season, with a special mention given to defending her title at the Cleveland Classic. Kennedy cherished the opportunity to defend the title in a tournament she loved and expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality she received. She acknowledged the pressure of winning such moments and the need to capitalize on opportunities.

Kennedy concluded by setting her sights on reaching the top five in the world rankings. Although she recognised the consistency and improvement required to achieve this goal, she remained determined to push herself and continue her climb in the rankings.

Overall, Kennedy reflected on her season with a mixture of pride, gratitude, and determination. Despite setbacks and challenges, she remains focused on her growth as a player and looks forward to the upcoming season with optimism and a renewed drive to succeed.

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