As we reach the end of another season, the PSA’s Matt Coles has been talking to the stars of the PSA World Tour about their 2018/19 campaigns. Here he catches up with Australia’s Rachael Grinham.
Rachael Grinham has now been inside the top 50 in the World Rankings for nearly 15 years, an incredible feat. She ended the 2018-2019 season as the World No.26.
The Australian, who spent 16 months at the top of the World Rankings in 2004 and 2005, has a lot of pride in what she is still able to do on a squash court at the age of 42.
“When I think about it I’m really quite proud that I’ve managed to stay within the top 30 in the World at my age,” Grinham admitted.
“The depth and strength of the women’s tour just keeps increasing every season, and particularly with new Egyptian juniors exploding onto the scene each year it makes it hard enough just to maintain a ranking.
“It’s a funny thought when I realise that half of my opponents weren’t even alive when I first began on tour, but that’s also probably one of the things that I still really enjoy about playing, knowing that everyone else I play should have the physical strength edge on me, but that there is more to squash than just being physically strong and I enjoy the challenge to compete against these younger and fitter players with my own strategies.”
Despite the age gap to most of her opponents, Grinham was more than able to put up a fight, and the former World No.1 is happy with the way her season went.
“I feel like overall I’ve had a pretty good year, there are always ups and downs with form in a season, but I was particularly happy with some of the results I was able to achieve when I was at my best form this year,”
“My best result on paper would have to be beating SJ [Perry] at the Texas Open in March, however she was still in the process of getting back to 100% after injury at that point,” she explained.
“While I still felt I was playing well, I was most happy with my form at the DPD Open in April when I beat Olivia Blatchford Clyne and then I also played well against SJ in the quarters, despite losing that match.”
After a long season, which included a lot of travelling, Grinham was looking forward to an off-season where she did not have to take her squash gear with her.
“I’ve had such a busy travel itinerary in the last few months that all I’m looking forward to at the moment is being home and not having to do a long-haul flight for a couple of months!” the Australian added.
“I’m enjoying a week or two away at the moment – first trip away without packing rackets that I can remember in forever – and then will just look forward to getting into a normal routine again at home for a couple of months and see what happens from there.”
Having achieved almost everything there is to achieve in the game of squash, the Aussie does not have any particular goals for the coming season, but she is just enjoying every day.
“I don’t really tend to have any goals left now other than to enjoy and make the most out of my squash career while it lasts,” the former World No.1 explained.
“Obviously I need to be considering any opportunities for retirement, so at the moment there’s no real planning too much ahead for my squash and it’s just a matter of going day by day and enjoying it.”
Keep a look out for the next player’s review of the 2018-19 season in the coming days, as Frenchman Lucas Serme reviews his campaign.