Brisbane squash player Samantha Davies says she has nothing to lose after finding out she will be taking on world number one Nicol David of Malaysia on the main showcourt in the first round of the Australian Open in Canberra next month.
Davies was elevated to the main draw of the Open after Frenchwoman Isabelle Stoehr withdrew injured on Monday night.
Her reward is a clash with the Malaysian superstar on the all-glass court in Canberra’s Royal Theatre.
“I’m a bit shell-shocked, I only found out about an hour ago,” the 22-year-old from Scarborough said on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be an incredible experience. I’ve never even see her play live before so it’s going to be a bit of a steep learning curve.”
Davies has only played on a glass court once before, one match at the World Junior Championships in Belgium in 2005.
“But never in front of the number of people that the Canberra theatre can hold and not against someone like Nicole,” she said.
“I’ve got nothing to lose and I can only learn from it. There’s no pressure on me at all, I want to go out there and relax and enjoy it, and get as much out of it as I can.
“It’s a good benchmark for me to see where my game is.”
Davies made the main draw of the Australian Open in 2010 through qualifying, losing to David’s countrywoman Low Wee Wern in the first round on a traditional court.
New Zealand’s Kylie Lindsay, who was due to play David in the first round, will now take on England’s Emily Whitlock.
However, her reprieve may only be temporary as if she beats the 17-year-old Whitlock she would then have to face David in the second round, assuming David beats Davies.
The Australian Open will be played in Canberra from August 8-14.
Men’s world number one Nick Matthew opens his title defence against South Africa’s Stephen Coppinger on Monday, August 8.
SAMANTHA DAVIES FACT FILE: