With the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour starting in Shanghai this week, we spoke to squash player and patient, Emily Whitlock. Currently ranked 13th in the world, Emily is back on the courts this Thursday for the Women’s JP Morgan China Squash Open 2017. We wish her all the best!
How did you get in to squash?
My parents bought a squash club in Rhos on Sea, North Wales, when I was two years old. My earliest memories are of me playing in the crèche we used to have, waiting for my Dad to finish transforming four of the courts into a gym and Mum to finish working behind reception!
I didn’t actually start playing until I was 8 or 9 years old. It was always going to happen, seeing as my Dad was a professional player himself and watching him train, when he wasn’t fixing up the club!
So your Dad is your coach, how has that been for you both? Testing at times?
Yes, especially when I was younger! But it was when I saw my Dad coach Laura Massaro, to get from 9th in the world to no.2 in the world rankings. I actually learnt more from him when he was talking to someone else, because it was more coach to female player, rather than Dad to daughter. Now we’ve worked out a system where I actually call him Phil when it comes to squash and Dad when we’re at home!
He was ranked 8th in the world for squash, that must have had a significant influence on you. Has he passed some well needed nuggets of wisdom on to you?
I wouldn’t call it influence, even though it subconsciously is…I’ve just always wanted to beat his ranking! I do want to be the best in the world, but if I did ‘only’ manage to get to 7th in the world rankings, I can still say I did better than my Dad!
You came to Harris & Ross with a hip injury, how did you find out about us?
My brother, who plays pro football came to see you guys…and that’s it!
How did this particular injury occur?
I played quite a few tournaments in a row, which is something I rarely do because I normally like to have a couple of weeks training in between events. But the tour calendar is at an all-time low for the women and with no other tournaments from (April) until September(!!!), a lot of players had to play nearly every tournament in February and March! It was just the aftermath of a lot of hard work, in a short space of time.
Yes! I found out that my glutes can be activated in different ways to get my body constantly thinking.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be flying off for the China Open soon!