Tessa ter Sluis on Dutch squash and the women’s game

Tessa ter Sluis is a Dutch professional squash player. She is ranked number 2 in the Netherlands. In this short catch up, Tessa shares her career aspirations, a look into women’s squash and more.

tessa ter sluis about to serve the ball during squash match
Source: Supplied

Zushan Hashmi: What were you doing before turning pro?

Tessa ter Sluis: I studied sports marketing and after I graduated I decided to go play squash full-time on the PSA world tour. I’m currently, ranked number 2 in the Netherlands and 64 in the world.

Any tips or advice for other squash fans during these times?

Try to exercise daily but don’t force yourself, if you cannot. Make sure you have fun while you’re at it too.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself outside of Squash? What are your hobbies and what do you get up to?

I love watching TV shows on Netflix, it is so relaxing. Reading books is also a hobby.

What has been the highlight of your squash career?

Winning the Dutch National title in 2017. It was my first dutch national final and no one expected me to win.

tessa ter sluis hitting a shot during squash match
Source: Supplied

Tell us a little bit about your training regime?

I train 6 days a week. I try to switch between certain sessions, like gym, physical training, and squash specific training.

Most weeks I have a more relaxed day of training and that’s in the middle of the week, this helps me make sure I can push 100% for the rest of the week.

Who are some of your all-time favourite squash players? Why?

Nicol David for sure, she is just an amazingly humble person.

My ultimate goal is to reach the top 20, so hopefully, you will see me on SquashTV more often.

Is Squash easily accessible in the Netherlands? Is it expensive to play?

There are many courts in squash, so I feel like it is easily accessible here.

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I think court fares are slightly different in cities.

For example in Breda, they have concessions for students, which makes the courts really cheap for them. Whereas, for non-students is a bit more expensive, but not too expensive.

Is the sport growing there?

I think the sport is growing a bit, there are more students that are starting to play squash as well, which is great for the game.

What are your thoughts on squash not becoming an Olympic sport?

I’m so disappointed that they won’t include squash in the Olympics. I just don’t get why this amazing sport is not interesting enough and other less popular sports are getting included.

In the end, it’s their loss that squash is not an Olympic sport. We just have to keep showing people why squash is such an amazing sport and making sure we get more media attention.

woman hitting a squash shot
Source: Supplied

In other sports, there is a lot of discussion around women’s pay, and parity with the men’s part of the game, but squash is doing really well on this front, what are your thoughts on this?

I think for squash it is really good, as it has the same amount of prize money. I do think this is mainly for the top players.

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There’s a simple reason for this: there are way more men’s tournaments than women.

Be positive about yourself and focus on your own squash. Don’t compare yourself to the other girls. It doesn’t help you.

Why wouldn’t we (the women) deserve to get paid the same amount of men? We still train as hard as we can, just like the men. The game is different for sure, we have different game styles, but we still deserve it.

There is an interesting thing, for example going on with football (soccer), where women get paid way less than men. However, the difference between soccer and squash is that there is way more money involved in soccer thAn there is in squash.

So it’s easier to have equality in our sport than in soccer, but that’s just my opinion.

What would you say to young aspiring women who want to play the game?

Be positive about yourself and focus on your own squash. Don’t compare yourself to the other girls. It doesn’t help you.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

My ultimate goal is to reach the top 20, so hopefully, you will see me on SquashTV more often.

You can follow Tessa ter Sluis on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
For more visit Sportageous.
Saqib Tanveer assisted in the curation of this article. You can follow him here on LinkedIn.

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