Arrived in Canberra for a new tournament on my list. I was really excited because I had been given many insights about this prestigious Australian Open title from Liz, Sarah and Vicki, all of whom were top Australians gunning for that title during their heyday. The history of this tournament even dates back before the World Championships started.
Everyone was provided accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the city, next to the National Convention Centre where the glass court was set. Most players started at the Woden Squash Club but I was fortunate to get on the glass court straight away.
Samantha Davies was a shot player and I managed to get some depth in my shots that gave me an advantage.
I noticed Emily Whitlock had her eyewear on and I realized she just got back from the World Juniors where they’re required to wear protective eyewear… plus she was waaay younger than me! She took that first game right off the bat and kept me trailing but I gathered a string of tighter shots to gain the lead to win.
Annie Au wasn’t moving and hitting her shots as well as she does in our matches. I felt good and kept the pace on but she stopped eventually in the third due to a leg injury.
Rachael Grinham had home ground support and the rallies we had through the match were intense. Good tight shots played and of course her signature drops came into play. I worked hard to come back from 10-8 down in the second to win 13-11. The third game went more my way but she still didn’t let it go.
Jenny Duncalf and I had a high level pace going with good lengths and long rallies. My movement and focus came together at the right time. Sometimes I hardly remember what I was doing but I knew it was hard work out there.
Winning the Australian Open was a great experience for me and we had some spectacular men’s matches that got the crowd going too. The highlight of it all was that I finally met Heather McKay in person after the semis. That just made this whole win extra special.