After taking a summer holiday I got down to some hard summer training. I really enjoyed it but hated parts of it too. Anyone who’s been through a summer training block will know that some sessions are not fun. On the positive though the improvements are satisfying. I just had to hope that the hard work would be worth it and the squash would come together at the start of the season.
My first event was the Macau Open. Danny and I travelled to Hong Kong together and stayed with friends for a few days. We had a great time enjoying the training and socialising as well. Then we got the boat to Macau which took just over an hour. I was really looking forward to arriving as i’d heard it was like a mini Vegas. We went straight to our hotel which was a shock and not at all what I was expected. Surrounded by the MGM Grand, Sheraton, Venetian, Galaxy and many more we were in an old run down hotel. By far the worse hotel in the area. Danny and I checked in and took one look at the room and walked out again. I guess my situation is different as we have to pay for half the room for Danny and so unlike other players who get their hotel costs covered it seemed silly to stay somewhere like that and have to pay for it. We got a great last minute rate at the Sheraton and moved over immediately.
Intantly feeling better I knew we had made the correct decision. The club was close by and I felt happy there. The next morning we went to hit at the club. Everything else at the event was great. The courts were nice and everything was well organised. I played Dipika Palikal first round and won 3-0. The first game was tight and then I managed to pull away in the 2nd and 3rd games. Happy with my performance and to get the first match out of the way I was playing Donna Urquhart in the QF who beat Jenny Duncalf 3-2.
It had been a while since I last played Donna but I was again happy with my performance. I played the corners well and moved well. I won that match 3-0. Next up in the semi was Alison Waters. It was always going to be a tough semi and the hot conditions on the outdoor court would make it tougher.
The semi final was on the glass court in the town square. Once the sun had gone down we started playing. It was still baking hot and conditions were tough. However, I have had some positive experiences in the past in hot conditions so I was confident I could handle it. I went 2-0 up playing well and Alison played better in the 3rd to take it but I came through a tough 4th game to take the match 3-1. Really happy with my performance and how I played in those conditions. Next up in the final would be Nouran Gohar who was on a winning streak, nothing to lose there then!
The final was similar to the semi in terms of conditions. Hard work and very humid but again I had confidence. I started well and took the first game which helped me settle. Then in the second I played even better and took that in double quick time. The third was competitive but I sneaked it at the end to take the title and win my first PSA event since becoming World Champion in 2014. Happy was an understatement!!!
The next day was off before flying home so I think some retail therapy and a celebration is in order 🙂 Next up Carol Weymuller in Brooklyn.