It was a gorgeous setting with the glass court at Camana Bay this year. Everyone who came to watch last year at the South Sound Squash Club was excited that this tournament was raised up to a Gold event. Thanks to Dan Kneipp for making it worthwhile for everybody. Most of the world’s top 10 players were around and the buzz was on.
I was glad to be back here again to their lovely beaches and chilled out atmosphere. The moment I arrived on the island, I felt like I was on holiday. However, there was a lot of squash lined up and I was geared up to play outdoors at the new location.
It was a new experience for me to play Jaclyn Hawkes this time around. Just before the start of our match, 4 friends of hers from New Zealand performed the ‘Haka’ while I stood there on court facing them—certainly a new form of warm up for me! I was flowing well for my first day on the glass court and Jaclyn was finding her way in the match. This gave me an opportunity to play my game to win 3-0.
I came out strongly in the first two games and Camille Serme kept the rallies in play really well. In the third game, both of us were trying to out position each other—there were some intense rallies. Towards the end, we had a monster rally that ended with a cross court drop from me to win the match in 3 games.
Rachael Grinham was working the court well with some hard hitting shots while I kept to it with a similar pace in the first game. There was a mix of shots from the both of us and I could feel the crowd getting into the match just from their reactions after each rally. In the second and third games, I was moving and placing the ball much better. Rachael took the lead in the third game but I stuck in there to win in 3.
There was a moment in the match when all I could feel was the crowd closing in on the court—completely engrossed with the way we played. It was a clean game of squash with highly intense rallies. Jenny Duncalf was keeping steady in the first two games but at the end of each game, I played some winners that went my way to get the 2-0 lead. She made a couple of errors in the third game and I kept pushing through til the very end to win the match and title.
It was such a pleasure to play in the Cayman Islands in front of an enthusiastic crowd. I had a great tournament and look forward to joining the Malaysian team in Chennai for the Asian Championships next week.