British National Squash Championships 2014  •  10-16 February  •  Manchester


#8: Alison Waters

Defending champion Alison Waters believes there will be no pressure on her at this week’s National Championship in Manchester after she was seeded second for the British game’s showpiece.

Having avoided the favourite’s tag, which has gone to world number two Laura Massaro, Waters feels she can just go out on court at the National Squash Centre and enjoy herself.

“I’m seeded two for the tournament, so the pressure isn’t on me,” said the world number four from Middlesex. "I just want to play well, enjoy it and if I do these things, then I don’t see why I can’t win the title.

“As cliched as it sounds, I just take one match at a time and try not to look too far ahead in a draw. It’s a really strong field and everyone will be really keen to win the title, as I am, so we shall just see how the week develops.”

A fourth National crown is one of Waters’ aims this year – to follow those she won in 2008, 2010 and last year.

“I love playing the National Championships,” she said “It’s one of my targets for the year to win the title. It rates high on my priority list, as it’s a nice thing when you get announced onto court as the National Champion.”

The 29-year-old feels she is in the type of form to successfully defend the trophy she regained in thrilling style last year with a 3/2 victory over Massaro in the final.

“I have had a good few weeks in America, playing in the Tournament of Champions and then the Cleveland Classic, where I got to the semi- finals in both events before losing to Nicol David and Annie Au respectively,” she explained.

“I feel in good shape and had some good matches over the two weeks, which have put me in good stead for the Nationals.

“There are always things to work and improve on, especially after a tournament when you reflect on matches. With not much time before the Nationals, though, it will be a question of just getting some practice in and some quick sharpening-up work.”

Waters feels she is in even better shape than last year, reasoning:

“I have worked hard since then on aspects of my game, so I would like to say I am a better player than last year. Well, I hope so anyway!”

No wonder she’s not thinking about anyone else as the 2014 champion!

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