Alison Waters believes she is fit and ready to take on the busiest programme of England’s squash squad at the Commonwealth Games.
The 30-year-old Londoner is the only player in the 10-strong selection who will be taking part in three events in Glasgow – namely the women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles – but she is positively embracing the challenge.
“Yes it’s a tough schedule, but one I’m really looking forward to,” she said. “I have prepared well over the summer mentally and physically, and I’m ready for it.”
The world no.6 has no fears about switching from the singles, where she is seeded fourth, to the doubles, in which she is seeded third with Emma Beddoes and fourth with Peter Barker.
“It will be fine,” she said. “We have had lots of squads over the summer where we have been swapping from singles to doubles. It’s easier going that way round than doubles to singles.
“After the singles has finished, we will go over our doubles tactics and mindset, and we will be ready to go.”
As Waters said, the two singles events take place first – from July 24 to 28 – with the three doubles tournaments following from July 29 to August 3, and she is optimistic of her first Commonwealth medal.
“I think if I/we play to our potential, then we have a good chance of getting some medals,” she said. “It would mean a great deal to me to win a medal. It would be very special.”
This will be Waters’ third Games and she has mixed memories over the first two – in Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi in 2010 – with her Indian trip being marred by an injury in the singles which prevented her taking part in the bronze-medal play-off and the doubles events.
“My first CWG was in Melbourne and that was incredible,” she recalled. “It was very exciting and you kind of walk around in a daze initially. The atmosphere was so good and it’s such a unique experience to be involved with so many other athletes and sports.
“Delhi was equally exciting, but a bit different to Melbourne. We didn’t really leave the CWG village at all apart from going to play, so it was like being in our own little world for two weeks. One of the best things was the 24-hour food hall – very, very exciting, but a bit daunting at first!
“Delhi was tough, though. It was one of my toughest times in squash due to getting injured and one I still don’t really forget about. I would love to do well in Glasgow to put some of that disappointment behind me, but I don’t really need any extra motivation – it’s the Commonwealth Games!”