Carol Weymuller + Granite Open 2017

Happy Friday! Coming in a couple weeks late here, but better late than never for a tournament recap! Since the US Open, I’ve had two tournaments: a 50k close to home in Brooklyn, and a 15k in Toronto. In between the tournaments I had a chance to rest, and also get some solid training in.

Does watching squash while I cook count as training?

Although my in-season training schedule is always in flux, I’m doing a better job of staying consistent with on-court practices, off-court training, and rest. Last year I found myself overtired/overtrained all too often, but at the same time felt I wasn’t fit enough. So far, this season has started off much better in that respect, as I feel more confident in my game, and in my base level of fitness.

Carol Weymuller : Match vs Mayar Hany (EGY)

I went into my match vs Mayar pretty positive and optimistic. Since the US Open, I’d been practicing a dominant style of play, and felt confident that I could implement it.

What went wrong? Simply put, she implemented my game plan better. Mayar took the ball very early and crushed the ball, putting me under consistent pressure. I found it very difficult to retrieve both her hard drives and short shots with the fast front wall and 17 inch tin. I popped up a lot of loose shots in the middle (perhaps due to nerves), which she had no trouble taking advantage of. This frantic style of play kept me from gaining much confidence and settling in.

Although I lost rather quickly, there were some key takeaways from the match.

  1. I should really take advantage of practicing on the courts before. I only had one hit and didn’t feel very good on there. Since I live so close to the facility, I should have made more of an effort prior to the tournament to practice.
  2. I need to realize and accept that opportunities are going to be harder to produce when playing a higher ranked player. This is obvious, but is hard to accept when you’re in the match!
  3. Keep trying to play the right way, even if you make some “good errors”. In the end, this was a learning experience!
  4. Improve my game at the back of the court. If you’re losing the back-court game, it’s going to be difficult to produce opportunities and a dominant position.

Thank you to the sponsors for putting on a great tournament! It is amazing to have such high quality squash come to New York, and these events are not possible without the time and support of countless volunteers.

Granite Open : Match vs Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL)

I arrived in Toronto on Friday in plenty of time for my match. I was originally supposed to play Sunday, but my match got pushed back to Tuesday due to a couple of withdrawals. I wasn’t too upset by this, as I used the time to rest, train, and acquaint myself with the courts at the Granite club.

 

Spent a good amount of time in the awesome gym at the Granite!

Danielle, Mary, Colette, and I also spent some time cooking at our billet’s house, which was a fun way to pass some of our down time. (I also watched several episodes of Narcos and the Mindy Project…).

Greek yogurt, cinnamon maple roasted butternut squash and apples, almonds, and more cinnamon

My practice hit on Tuesday morning was rough, to say the least. I felt slow and lethargic, which was concerning as I knew there would be no path to victory if I played like that in the evening. I tried not to focus on it that day, and made sure I got a good warmup in before the match.

I started off the match against Amanda pretty slowly, managed to work my way into it. Unfortunately, by the time I had found a groove, it was already the third game and I was down 2-0. Amanda did a much better job of taking advantage of any opportunities I gave her, and neutralizing some of my attacks. If I had started the first game the way I started the third, the 3-0 scoreline might have been different. However, once I started to feel comfortable with my racquet and footwork on court, I was cautious not to get too carried away. One of the habits I’ve been trying to break is attacking soon and at the wrong time. Against Amanda, I worked myself into the match, making sure I didn’t open up the court too early. In retrospect, I could have attacked a bit more to the front, perhaps not to win the rally on that shot, but to produce an opening.

All in all, I learned a lot from the match, and was relieved to finally feel like myself on court and feel comfortable. I wish it could have been a best of 7 match, as opposed to a best of 5!

I’d like to thank all of the sponsors and billets that helped out with this tournament. There is a lot of work behind the scenes that the players and spectators never see, but it is crucial to the success of the event. Thank you, Granite Club and Slaight Music, and everyone else who helped make the tournament possible.

What’s Next?

I’ve been back in NYC for a week or so now, and have another 10 days before I head up to Sarnia, Ontario for a 5k. Following Sarnia, I have a week to gear up for my last PSA tournament of 2017, the London Open! I’ve never been to London (Heathrow airport doesn’t count), so I’m looking forward to not only playing squash, but also checking out popular sights of the city.

Alright that’s all from me for now! Have a great weekend.

 

 

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