By William Comish
After winning her third British Junior Championship (BJC) title in October, followed by a first PSA final last month, rising-star Amelie Haworth is in inspiring form.
While juggling schoolwork alongside her passion for squash, Amelie, 18, has had a remarkable junior career, winning four English Junior Championships (EJCs) and three British Junior Championships over the years.
Just last month, she had an incredible run at the PSA’s David Lloyd Purley Open, beating the second, fourth and fifth seeds on route to the final before losing to top seed Alison Thomson.
Given it was her sixth professional tournament, she fared well amongst a strong draw.
This recent run of form all started with success at the BJC, a tournament she entered desperately needing clarity around where her game was at.
“Before the British (BJC) I hadn’t played a tournament in quite a while,” she said.
“I wasn’t really sure how much I’d come along. I really wanted to play the other girls and see that I’ve made some good steps.”
Alongside her lack of match fitness, she was seeded as number one, adding significant pressure to her tournament.
She added: “I really felt like I had to be on my top form throughout the whole tournament.”
Her final BJC was capped off with a 3-0 on October 29th, without dropping a game all tournament, a feat she would love to repeat in January.
With an intrinsic self-belief and a drive to be the best she can be, Haworth has thrived a natural ability to thrive under pressure.
This is an attitude which has undoubtedly been influenced by following the professional players from a very young age.
She said: “I’ve grown up watching England’s Nick Matthew and Laura Massaro. He had so much grit and determination and he just never ever gave up.
“I remember when I was younger having a poster of those two on my wall. I’ve always wanted to be at the level that they were at, they’ve always inspired me a lot.”
After recently moving from the Isle of Wight to Somerset to join a boarding school, she feels she’s given herself a greater chance to play different players, which will help greatly in her endeavour to continue good form at the BJO.
While competitive squash has been difficult to juggle with her education, she feels this is a balance she firmly has in check.
She said: “In the past year or so I feel I’ve picked up my training even more – spending more hours, doing more strength and conditioning, more stretching and the extra things that I didn’t used to do before. I feel like it’s really helped me get to where I am currently.”
The recent PSA run at the David Lloyd Purley Open really opened her eyes to professional squash, something she is excited to play in the future.
But for now, in her final year of A-levels, she has her eyes set on university in the USA – a pathway similar to that of 2022 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Georgina Kennedy.
With the sport such a huge part of her life, Amelie hopes to play some tournaments while out at university, before setting her sights on a professional career.
The rise in her confidence is partly down to having already been able to compete with the senior players and with the recent news that Squash will feature in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, the sky is the limit.
She said: “I’ve always wanted to play in the Olympics and I never thought that would be possible. I know it will be very hard, there’s a lot of players that currently are better than me.
“I’m hoping if I work hard enough then hopefully, I could compete with those top players and maybe get a spot.”
However, for now her sights are firmly on finishing her junior career strongly with the British Junior Open the current focus of her attention.
She concluded: “I’m planning on taking a few weeks before the BJO, just not doing any tournaments, working on my strength and making sure I’m as fit as I can be.”