Unlike last year, I went into Nationals a little less excited and a little more tired and it showed in my performance. I flew to Toronto early to try and get used to the courts at the Mayfair Lakeshore. I really enjoyed spending some time at the courts, watching the Men’s Open Qualifying event, and spending time with Tara Mullins who was very generous by letting me stay with her for the week.
My first round was against Mariam Mansoor, an up and coming junior player. In this match I focused on establishing my length and then attacking short when I had the opportunity. I felt confident and relaxed throughout the match, winning it 3-0.
In the semi finals I was up against Hollie Naughton. We always have battles and I knew this match wouldn’t be any different. It was a weird match because neither of us really settled into it or played our best squash and there were lots of momentum swings. My length was deep and tight I created opportunities for myself, but my short game failed me that day. Disappointed to lose in 5 games.
The following day, rather than being down and unmotivated for the 3/4 match, I pumped myself up and wanted to prove to myself that I could perform better. I went to the club early to do a solo practice and a good warm up. After an hour and a half I felt refocused and ready for my match against Grace Thomas. From the start of the match to the end of it I felt focused, finding my length, my short game, and my holds. Happy to end the tournament on a positive note.
To end my 2019 nationals experience, I did commentary on the men’s and women’s finals with Squash Canada High Performance Director, Martin Heath, and Kelly Shannon. Enjoyed being behind the scenes and watching some great matches. Congrats Sam and Nick on your titles!