Alison Waters has eye on fifth British National Squash Championship crown
PUBLISHED: 11:43 09 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:58 09 February 2017
Welwyn Garden City's Alison Waters battled her way to her maiden British National Squash Championship women's final in 2005 and now, 12 years on, the world number 10 is eyeing a fifth title and 10th final in Manchester this week.
The 33-year-old is due to take on a qualifier in the opening round of the competition at the National Squash Centre today (Thursday).
Should Waters reach, and triumph in, the showpiece final on Sunday night she would go joint-second in the event’s all-time winners’ list and would add another chapter to an incredible career behind the glass.
Waters told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It would be amazing to win the title for the fifth time.
“It’s a prestigious event with a great crowd that comes to watch and makes a really good atmosphere.
“I love playing in the nationals. It’s a tournament I always want to play well in every year and one of my goals for the year.
“To say you are British champion is an amazing feeling and hopefully I can get the title back this year after three without winning it.”
Her inaugural final against one-time winner Linda Charman did not hand her a fairytale ending to her adventure with Waters losing in straight sets but the experience enhanced her game and after losing another final in 2007 against Jenny Duncalf, she finally got her hands on the title in 2008, beating Laura Lengthorn-Massaro.
On her first ever final in 2005, she said: “I was really nervous. I had come through qualifying and had some really good results so it was very unexpected getting that far.
“It was exciting at the same time and it made me want to come back the next year and do well.
“It [making the final] definitely made me realise how exciting it is to play on a big stage on a glass court with lots of people watching.
“Also it made me want to train hard so I could get to play in these amazing settings that we have now on the tour.”
Waters enters the competition in indifferent form having exited the Tournament of Champions, played in Grand Central Station in New York, at the first-round stage
Waters said: “The Tournament of Champions defeat was tough to take.
“I think I was grumpy for about a week after it.
“Since coming home I have trained hard and tried to mix a few things up in my game.
“Even though I lost I didn’t feel I played badly.
“The depth in every draw is so good nowadays that you can easily lose first round or win the tournament so it makes it exciting but not when you lose first round.”
“There are six players in the top 20 in the British National Championship draw so it is very strong.
“There are no easy matches so I will be taking it one match at a time and just looking forward to playing and hopefully playing well.”