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Cindy Merlo

Swiss Open Preview: Merlo Looking Forward To Added Pressure

The Swiss Open is the biggest event of the week on the Challenger Tour, and it will take place over the course of the next three days at Squash Uster in Switzerland.

Like the majority of events on the Challenger Tour right now, there were limits on entrants for the tournament, with only players from Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Liechtenstein allowed to enter.

Four of those nationalities are represented in the 24-strong draw for the women’s Challenger 10 level tournament, with French World No.48 Enora Villard the top seed.

Cindy Merlo, the World No.56 and Swiss No.1, is the leading player featuring on home soil, and she will be the No.2 seed for this week’s event in Uster.

Merlo, who has become a regular on the PSA World Tour, and featured in last week’s CIB PSA Black Ball Squash Open in Cairo. Her last appearance before that came at the Sihltal Classic, where she was beaten in the final. The World No.56 admits that she still feels bothered by that result.

“I feel like I am getting back to where I was mentally. COVID has messed with my head a little bit I would say, so here I am now training to pull myself straight again,” the Swiss No.1 admitted.

“Anyway, [I am] certainly very motivated to play, learn and improve! Always grateful to be able to play any time any where.

“The Sihltal Classic was not the result I hoped for. I still feel it and it bothers me. However, that tournament got me out of a really bad mental state, so since that final which I lost, I still feel proud of myself for taking that step in the right direction.”

Merlo admits that she has changed her thought process when it comes to being her nation’s best female player right now.

“If you would have asked me before that Sihltal Classic, I would have said yes no doubt. However, now I am trying to change my mindset and am working on that pressure,” she said.

“I love pressure, that’s a fact, but it isn’t the kind of pressure of the home soil I focus on. It is more the pressure which I make myself to push harder and longer. Therefore, being the Swiss No.1 now is a bonus for sure, but playing the Swiss Open on home soil does not build the pressure in a negative way.”

The event takes place from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 at the Squash Uster in Switzerland. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

All the action from the glass court will be live-streamed, and you will be able to watch live action on the Challenger Tour YouTube channel.

First Round Draw: Swiss Open
[1] Enora Villard (FRA) – [Bye]
[WC] Monika Bettoni (SUI) v [9/16] Aylin Gunsav (GER)
[9/16] Yuna Loaec (FRA) v [WC] Caroline Bachem (SUI)
[5] Elise Romba (FRA) – [Bye]
[7] Taba Taghavi – [Bye]
[WC] Prisca Nufer (SUI) v [9/16] Stella Kaufmann (SUI)
[9/16] Saskia Beinhard (GER) v [WC] Jacqueline Eggimann (SUI)
[3] Nadia Pfister (SUI) – [Bye]
[4] Marie Stephan (FRA) – [Bye]
[WC] Judith Egli (SUI) v [9/16] Katerina Tycova (GER)
[9/16] Alina Poessl (SUI) v [WC] Patricia Bernet (SUI)
[6] Lea Barbeau (FRA) – [Bye]
[8] Jacqueline Peychar (AUT) – [Bye]
[WC} Barbara Zatti (SUI) v [9/16] Kate Gadola (SUI)
[9/16] Stephanie Muller (SUI) v [WC] Evelyne Matzinger (SUI)
[2] Cindy Merlo (SUI)

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