Last week I competed in the Cedrus Cayman Islands Open, which has to be my favourite tournament of the year. The setting for the event is amazing with the glass court placed waterfront in Camana Bay. Dan Kneipp runs a very well organised event and the people are lovely and always willing to help out. Just one example of this is that one of the major sponsors, Frank Brennan of the Security Centre took time off to continually drive players to and from the courts. Plus, the beaches of Cayman are amazing and there is watersports galore.
Unfortunately my tournament didn’t go as well as I would have liked. For the third consecutive time this year, I was drawn to meet Nicol David in the quarter finals. However, in the round of 16, I was to meet a qualifier and was drawn to play an in-form, former world number 2, Natalie Grinham. I knew this would be hard as Natalie had just come from a win in the Atwater Cup in Montreal and her confidence would be high.
As I was the seeded player, I felt some pressure and it seemed to affect my game. Natalie started off well, moving the ball around, and although I knew I would not be able to get any rhythm, it took some time to adjust. I got more used to her style in the second game and took the lead 8/6. It was at this point I played a critical error in the front court that seemed to turn the game but I was able to take it to a tie break. I missed some opportunities I wouldn’t normally and lost the game 11/13. It was a tight third game and after a bad call at 8/8, I got up game ball. Again, I played a crucial mistake driving the ball from the front and it went to a tie break again. At 12/12, I was unlucky that the ball hit the nick in the front court to come back to me to give the stroke to Natalie and I lost the match 12/14.
It seemed like I had no luck that day and I was devastated to lose first round.
Below is my reaction to my loss: