Bryant raring to go at British Junior Open

By William Comish

After securing his maiden professional title in October followed by his third British National junior title just a few weeks later, young talent Jonah Bryant is eying a second British Junior Open win in January.

Jonah Bryant at age 18 is one of the most successful juniors this country has produced. Not only was he a big part of the England team who won the World Junior Team Gold in 2022 for the first time in 20 years, he exceeded his 9/16 seeding at the 2023 British Junior Open to finish runner up in the Boy’s U19 category.

After winning his third British title at the 2023 ProAir British Junior Championships (BJC) in October, he now aims to sign off from his junior career in style at next week’s BJO.

“The BJC win has definitely given me confidence and momentum for the BJO”, he said.

“But it is just another event in my season, I’m not trying to put too much pressure on it.”

This tempered attitude follows his quarter-final exit in July’s WSF World Junior Championships, though Bryant admits lessons have since been learnt.

The Sussex player added: “I was very proud to be seeded first in the World’s last year, and there was a bit of pressure on me. I didn’t handle it the best, but I’ve tried not to think about it too much.

“I placed too much emphasis on it and so I’m trying not to put pressure on the BJO this time around.”

Bryant recently moved from Sussex to Birmingham to work more closely with coach Rob Owen, plus the likes of with Paul Coll and Sarah-Jane Perry.

The move comes in an effort to focus more on his training full-time.

“I’ve felt an immediate impact straight away over the last three months,” he added.

“Seeing all elements of my game massively improving, training hard and spending sort of two-three sessions a day on court. Working much more closely with my coach has enabled my full-time training to step up a level.”

With the 2024 British Junior Open in Birmingham just around the corner, Bryant will be feeling right at home as he attempts to go one better than last year, with form under his belt and a second seed position.

Having been top seed in previous tournaments, with significant expectation on his shoulders, his last British Junior Open presents a fantastic opportunity to cap off a remarkable junior career.

Working with Adam Peaty’s S&C coach, Rob Norman has enabled Bryant to reach the next level, unleashing his true potential.

“I’ve been training hard and spending a lot of time on court, I feel in great physical condition,” he said.

Ahead of his upcoming transition to the professional tour, the talented teenager is looking to build on his maiden PSA World Tour title, which came at the Stourbridge Open in early October.

And following the recent announcement that squash will feature as a sport in the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, Bryant is relishing the upcoming opportunities available to him.

He concluded: “I’m extremely excited about the next few years, I think it’s a really good time to come through. The Olympics is definitely a long-term goal.”

Flashback to 2018 Boys' U13 Final :

Jonah Bryant (Eng) 3-0 Islam Kouratam (Egy)    11-2, 11-5, 11-6 (22m)