We caught up with defending Nationals champion Jasmine Hutton ahead of this year’s competition to discuss her thoughts on attempting to defend her title, where her squash is at and the strength of the women’s event.
Hutton overcame fellow Englishwoman Lucy Beecroft in last year’s final to earn the trophy, and the 24-year-old will line up against Millie Tomlinson in the opening round of this years tournament.
“I’m definitely excited to be coming into this year’s Nationals as defending champion,” said the World No.23.
“It’s a special tournament for me because of winning it last time. I’m not feeling any pressure despite winning it last year, I’m No.5 seed this year, so I’m just going to try and beat my seeding and cause some upsets.
“I like the idea of it being a season opener for me, its a big event, not a PSA event, but we’ve still got some big matches and I like that. It gives me some good practice going into the season, last year it ended the season, so I’m excited to start with it this year.
“I think my squash is in a good place. I feel like I’ve improved a lot over the summer. I’m in a good place mentally and physically, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do on the tour this season.”
“I haven’t thought about being defending champion to be honest. I haven’t felt any pressure, there hasn’t been much spotlight on me coming in, so I don’t feel the pressure. I think because I’m the No.5 seed as well, it takes the pressure off. I still want to win and get my name on the trophy again, but I’m just going to take each match at a time and see what happens.
“The women’s draw is strong. It’s great to see. It shows the calibre of women we have in Britain, with Gina [Kennedy], Tesni [Evans] and SJ [Sarah-Jane Perry] as the top three seeds it’s really exciting. Im really looking forward to it.”