R2 : Lisa/Emily, SJ/KaLee, Nada/Tinne

Lisa Aitken (SCO) 3-1 [9/16] Emily Whitlock (WAL)  7-11, 11-2, 14-12, 11-7 (47m)

Lisa

Like I told you yesterday, I really wanted to play Emily because she is one I had my eye on for a long time. She sits at a ranking I think is achievable for me, and I find her so difficult to play. She is the queen of lobs, taking the pace down and breaking your own rhythm, and I obviously like to play a different style.

So for me, from a mental and tactical point of view, I view her as the biggest challenge. So to be able to beat her, to overcome her style and her tactics, has been a goal of mine for a long time.

Today, when she slowed the pace down, I tried to not panic and do silly stuff when the ball is high and slow, because typically, I would go a bit irrational in those situations. I have done a lot of work with my psychologist to try and breathe to stay calm in those moments. Trying to almost counteract what she is trying to do, like she is trying to slow me down, if I’m in a position, I’ll change the pace, or if I’m not, be disciplined to go with that slow pace until I’m in a position to change the pace.

tomorrow, I’m playing SJ, my best friend. we played in the British Open recently, and I was very disappointed with my performance. So yes, just do better than that, a better fight, and change a few things that went wrong last time.

[6] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0 Ka Yi Lee (HKG)  11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (24m)

SJ

It’s hard to think in there, but then again, sometimes it’s better for my squash….

I never played her before, so the first half of the first game just about discovering her game. I was definitely opening up more that I was hoping to.

But I stopped doing that, went back to making sure that the ball was going to the back, wide, because she was very good on the volley, and very good around the middle, so you can’t give her the ball there!

It’s never easy to play one of your best mates. We haven’t actually played that many times with Lisa but it’s never been easy at any time. So I’ll try not to have half a game tomorrow working things out!

[9/16] Nada Abbas (EGY) 3-1 Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 (47m)

Nada
I knew I had a tough draw. Sabrina is a very tough player, very skilful, very fit so I knew what to expect.

I was trying to settle down and not overthink things. Really happy I’m through, but most of all I’m very happy I’m getting mentally better, more chilled. I used to put so much pressure on myself, trying to do everything to perfection. But now, I accept that sometimes I will play well and win, and sometimes I’ll lose, and that’s not the end of the world.

This mentality is helping me a lot, and it’s making me enjoying squash, which I didn’t do for a few years now.

To be honest, I didn’t really looking into the next round I was focusing on my match, but yes, I was probably expecting Amanda, who I played for the past two tournaments. Tinne is such a great player, she is proving she deserves to be where she is. I played her last March, and she beat me in the Annecy semis. Tomorrow is a new day, a new tournament, and I’m excited for that match, and hopefully, it’ll go well.

And it’s so nice to get a win on your birthday!