The second half of the year started off with the Malaysian Open, which was followed by the Singapore Open. After 2 months off from tournaments, I was well excited to step on court to compete again.
All those who have been following up on the SquashStars live coverage and updates must have known that throughout both tournaments, I had some clinching moments in each round I played to win both titles. It was certainly full on from the first round onwards and I will share some moments that made everything come together for me.
There was my first round match with Joelle King when I experienced her hard hitting pace for the first time at Bukit Jalil. Definitely took some time to get used to it and when I got my game going, she made a few errors that gave me a lead to win 3-0.
My match with Camille Serme in the quarters was fast paced and I kept to what I needed to work on. She was settling into the glass court more in the third game but I managed to step ahead to win it in 3 games.
The semis with Alison Waters was definitely an interesting one. Our previous encounters have always been close and this match couldn’t get any closer. It was intense and solid squash from both of us. Alison took her chances and it came in. As she led both the first and second games, I just didn’t want to let it go. The rallies at the end were long and the first two games saw both of us fighting for every point. The turn around being game ball down to get a 2-0 lead was a big boost for me. However, Alison came out stronger and won the third. In the fourth game, we were neck-to-neck up to a point where I took a string of points and endured a monster rally to win the match at the end.
The finals was another battle with Jenny Duncalf. It was point-for-point from the two of us. A few errors from her and I took the game. The second went the other way when I made the errors and she played some winners to equal it to 1-1. A tight third game but I had a couple of points in a row at the end of the game. In the fourth game, no one gave in and rallies kept on going. At 10-8 game ball, Jenny played a winning boast to get the serve and she took it further to win that game. By the fifth game, she tried to play more shots and the errors came in, giving me a better edge to win the match.
Pretty hectic tournament already but there was more…
Playing Raneem El Weleily in the first round was always going to be interesting. Taking the first game leaving me 6-0 to catch up was not the best start. I did somehow work the glass court better while some of her shots just hit the tin at times to give me the lead in the other games winning it in 4 games.
Kasey Brown was mixing the pace up during our quarter final match. My focus and movement were flowing much better making my game more consistent throughout the match and I won 3-0.
The semis with Madeline Perry was an exciting one having close scores at the beginning of the first game and it went my way but Madeline completely stormed into the court during the second game to equal 1-1. I didn’t want it to go her way so I fought hard to contain her. I kept to it and she gave some points away. I took this chance to win the third and fourth game winning it 3-1.
Back on court with Alison Waters and this time in the finals. It’s the first time ever that my first game has gone to 18-16 and that was in this very finals. I thought it would never end. All I could think of was that I did not want to come out of the court without taking that game especially after it had been going on for 25 minutes already. After what felt like a five-setter, I stepped back on court playing a solid tempo in the second game. Alison made some uncharacteristic mistakes but she didn’t stop there. In the second and third games, she still brought the winners and tight lengths in. As everyone can imagine, more long rallies but I finally won 3-0 after an hour of play.
A lot of hype from both tournaments with the crowd’s cheers filling the air with excitement right through. Nothing like the home crowd and some Asian connections to give that little extra push when it matters.
Thanks for all the support from everybody who have been cheering on (those from the Live Blog with SquashStars too). Next up is Hong Kong Open at the end of the month. More excitement to come!