The start of the tournament season finally arrived for me!
It was good to see familiar faces and to be back in the competitive scene at my very first tournament of the year. Everyone was ready to step on court to get the ball rolling in the new tournament addition to the WISPA calendar.
The squash players were put up at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel where we were treated like royalty the moment we set foot in the hotel. Their staff greeted us with such warmth and looked after our every need—you can truly sense their genuine hospitality.
The tournament was held at the Indian Squash Academy by the Squash Rackets Federation of India. The academy boasts their very own 4-glass-wall show court and 7 courts with moveable walls to convert into doubles courts. A very impressive venue and a striving squash academy.
Here are my personal reflections on all the games I played at the Chennai Open:
Round 1 Playing Dipika Pallikal from India in Chennai on the show court was an attraction for the local supporters coming to cheer for their local hero. The crowd was getting into the match and Dipika was stepping up her game right through. I stayed with my game plan and kept it going at my own pace. She gave her best performance and I had to work to win the match 3-0.
Quarter Finals After training with Samantha Teran in Amsterdam before this tournament, I was drawn to meet her here in the quarter finals. There were moments at the end of the first and third game where the scores were close between us but I made sure to focus well at the crucial points. She made a few errors and I clinched victory in the end.
Semi Finals I had to play Kasey Brown in the semis. It was her first time stepping onto the glass court while I had 2 matches here already. I felt more comfortable with the conditions and started off strong from the start of the match. She was still working her way into the match and I wanted to keep the intensity going. My movements worked well and a few unforced errors on her part gave me a good run throughout the match.
Finals It’s another match up against Jenny Duncalf but this time, in the finals. I was glad to be in the finals and gave it my best shot. There were some solid rallies and both of us were trying to put the ball away at every opportunity possible. Some of Jenny’s shots just missed and hit the tin. At times I took my chances and it went my way. I was pleased with my focus and performance overall.
Most of the Malaysian squash players were still around supporting Ong Beng Hee and I when we won our individual titles. It was a nice ending to the Chennai Open.
Looking forward to the KL Open now… it’s good to be home.