How I See San Francisco: Professional Squash Player Sarah-Jane Perry
A native of England, Sarah-Jane Perry returns to San Francisco in 2019 for the Oracle Netsuite Open Squash Championship. A professional squash player since 2011 and ranked as the sixth seed of this year's tournament, she enters as the two-time defending women's singles champion. Ahead of this year's event, held Sept. 24 - 30, Sarah-Jane took some time to answer a few questions on how she sees San Francisco as she returns to the competition along the Embarcadero.
Sarah-Jane, you’re the two-time defending women’s champion of the Oracle NetSuite Open. What’s the outlook for 2019?
The tournament is even bigger this year and consequently the field is stronger, too! I seem to play some of my best squash in San Francisco, so I say, bring it on!
Compared to other stops on the Professional Squash Association tour, what’s special about this tournament in San Francisco?
The atmosphere at Embarcadero Plaza is unique. Despite being outdoors, it retains an intimate feel. The crowds are always enthusiastic and knowledgeable, so it’s great to entertain them.
What's special about playing in the portable glass court?
Squash is a very gladiatorial sport between the tactics and extreme physical duress. The glass court just adds to the drama, as the crowd can be so close and view the match from all angles. Glass courts reward attacking play, so that's perfect for how I love to play the game!
What should a spectator expect from this year’s Open?
Drama, passion, athleticism—everything in between! The best of three matches earlier on in the event allow the spectators to see more players in quick fire, high paced battles.
Do you have a go-to stop in the Ferry Building Marketplace, since you play next to it during the tournament?
I only discovered this gem last year and promptly went back every day. Blue Bottle Coffee is always a must and I had some great food at different vendors, too.
What is one favorite restaurant you’ve found in San Francisco that you’d recommend?
I love Mexican food, so my two favorites (so far) are Rosa Mexicano, which is literally adjacent to the court set up, and Uno Dos Tacos for a more chilled out but equally tasty dinner.
Any place around town that’s good for keeping in shape while you’re waiting for match play?
What is one item still on your to-do list as a visitor to San Francisco?
I was booked to go to Alcatraz before the tournament last year, but unfortunately I was sick so I didn’t go. I’ve got it booked in for this year and I’m planning on not being sick!