Opponent: Alana Miller
Country: Canada
World Ranking: No.38
Result: Lost 3-0; 12/10, 11/9, 11/7

A tough way you lose, considering I had a great start in the first game. My game plan was to play aggressively, attacking the loose ball every opportunity I received. This gave me an 8-0 lead, much to my surprise, then she settled, changed the pace and placed the ball better…then I started focusing on my errors, and started playing a much safer game. This means I stopped attacking her, which gave her space to breathe and get her rhythm back. Anyway…I know I should have kept up the pace. Now, I need to move on from this.

I knew this tour to the United States and Cayman Island was going to be a tough one. Both tournaments had the best players in the world competing in them. The Texas Open had the World No.4 as the No.1 seed and the Cayman Open had 8 of the Top 10 players in the world. So why waste time, money and energy making a trip where you’re set up to lose in the first round?

My answer is this: If I am selected to play for South Africa to compete in the World Team Championships at the end of the year, SA Squash will pick four of us to go. Three players play each fixture, where the No.1 of one team plays the No.1 of the other, No.2 plays No.2 and No.3 plays No.3 etc. Now, if RSA had to play Egypt, we would face people with world rankings No.6, No.14 and No.16. If we played England, world No.2, No.4, No.8…Malaysia: No.1, No.22, No.31…USA: No.6, No.21, No.46…Hong Kong: No.17, No.18, No.29…France: No.11, No.20, No 69. I’m sure you get the picture.

Therefore, as important as it is that I must compete in smaller tournaments where I can progress through the rounds by having good wins and earning much needed ranking points, it is also important to be in regular view of the bigger picture, and to keep testing myself against the “bigger girls”, whom I’m likely to face in major championships. Ultimately, I am working towards being able to beat them, not just give them run.

I watched lots of matches, took down notes and analysed plenty. But there is also another lesson I learnt, which was actually off the court. I got direct glimpses of what makes certain tournaments run successfully. The Cayman Open tops the charts, from athlete privileges, spectator participation, junior involvement, to sponsor exposure. I fill like I’ve just received a crash course on how to run a wonderfully successful tournament. Brilliant!



  1. Well done Siyols!! I love the way you always look at the positives and I’m sure it was worth the while!! Keep smiling 🙂

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