In-form Malliff aims to serve up more squash success at Dunlop British Junior Open
PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 January 2018
Rising English squash star Katie Malliff wants to start the new year on a high with victory at the prestigious Dunlop British Junior Open in Birmingham, which starts today (Wednesday).
Malliff collected an eye-opening set of titles in 2017 and the British Junior Open features over 600 players from more than 30 nations up to under-19 level.
The 14-year-old Malliff is seeded fourth in the under-15 girls’ event behind a trio of Egyptians, who are currently the dominant force in world squash.
But the talented teen, who plays at Wendover and Berkhamsted Squash Clubs, has aspirations to win her biggest title to date after beating older players to win the Dutch Open under-17 title, as well as becoming British and Scottish under-15 champion last year.
“My immediate aim is to win the 2018 BJO by playing intelligent, powerful and competitive squash and beating the other world-class players in my age category,” said Malliff.
“I’m really looking forward to the fantastic and demanding challenge of playing the top Egyptian girls. They are so strong and so knowledgeable about the game. To beat them would be amazing. It is one of the key targets I have set myself.”
Malliff, who attends Tring School, has aspirations to turn professional one day after getting the squash bug aged nine.
She added: “I play as often as I can, whether practising drills, playing league or club matches or helping coach the other children at my local club. I see squash as my future and definitely want to turn pro when the time is right. I want to be world champion.
“I love playing squash because it’s fast and great fun and there is so much to learn and focus on.”
Mum Tricia said: “I changed career after Katie’s dad died when she was just two years old. To make sure I was there for my children I became a squash coach.
“While I didn’t push Katie to play squash, I was delighted she developed a real passion for the sport I love and showed her exceptional talent. I’m so proud. I truly believe she is talented enough and capable of working hard to achieve her dreams.
“I’m privileged and determined to support Katie to be the best she can be – just like all the 80-plus children I coach at our small, two-court village club in Wendover.”
*Dunlop is a proud sponsor of the British Junior Open and official ball partner of England Squash.