Medal haul in Glasgow and Canada the ‘number one goal’ for Alison
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter
World number four Alison Waters has branded 2014 a ‘huge year’, as she sets her sights on winning gold for England at the Commonwealth Games in the summer and the World Women’s Team Championships in December.
Waters, who has won eight WSA Tour titles, represented England at the Delhi Games in 2010 but was forced to pull out of her bronze medal match due to injury.
But with her selection at the Glasgow Games and the World Team Championships all-but confirmed, Waters has revealed her ambitious plans to win her maiden Commonwealth gold medal and help extend England’s 31-year medal-winning streak at the World Team event at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada.
“My number one goal would be to challenge for the gold medal at the CWG in both the singles and doubles events,” the Middlesex-based player told England Squash & Racketball.
“It’s a huge year for us. The CWG are only every four years and the fact that I got injured during the event in Delhi four years ago gives me extra incentive to want to get a medal.
“Aside from this, we have the Women’s World Team event this year, which we have missed out winning the last few years, so we are all very, very determined to win it this year.
“I also want to challenge for all the major titles. If I can do this, then that will get my ranking up from four. As I said, it’s a huge year with lots on, so ultimately I want to play well, enjoy it and have a great year.”
Waters endured an inconsistent first half of the season with early exits at the Malaysian Open and Carol Weymuller Open in October overshadowing her semi-final defeat to world number one Nicol David at the Hong Kong last month.
But while the 29-year-old realises her chances of ousting David at the top of the world rankings are incredibly slim, Waters is hoping to use the Tournament of Champions (ToC) next week as a platform to finally break David’s dominance in the women’s game.
“Nicol is quite a bit ahead in terms of ranking points, so it would be tough this year to get the number one spot from her. However, I challenged her in Hong Kong and I have used this as my motivation over Christmas to build on that and to hopefully push her even further in 2014.”
“I’m looking forward to playing the ToC, as it’s back as a Gold tournament for the first time in a few years, which is great news as it’s an amazing venue and one of the best we play at.
“I play a qualifier in the first round, so I won’t know until the night before the first round starts who I play. It’s a strong tournament, so there are no easy matches, but I’m just going to play my game and play to my strengths. If I can do this, then I feel confident and can do well,” the England number two added.
Waters is seeded fourth for the $50,000 event and could meet fellow compatriot and world number nine Jenny Duncalf in the quarter-finals.
The reigning British National champion will stay in America for the next three weeks and will also compete in the Cleveland Classic at the end of the month.
Source: England Squash & Racketball; Pictures by Michael Catling