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Jenny Preece (fore) in action at the 2018 Growthpoint SA Open

Western Province Open Preview: Preece Looking Forward To Return

The first event of a busy week on the PSA Challenger Tour will be the Western Province Open, which will take place from Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 April in Cape Town, South Africa.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been limited to domestic-only entrants, with just two non-South Africans across the men’s and women’s draws.

The men’s draw features both of those international players, with Zimbabwe’s Blessing Muhwati and Zambia’s Kundanji Kalengo in action. The former will be the No.2 seed, behind only World No.135 Jean-Pierre Brits, who will head the field.

Christo Potgieter and Gary Wheadon, members of the South African squad at the 2019 WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championships, will both also be in action at the Western Province Cricket Club this week.

The women’s draw features 16 players on home soil, with Teagan Leigh Roux, the World No.150, the top seed for the tournament. Tayla Diepenbroek, Bongi Seroto and Jenny Preece, all members of the top 200 in the World Rankings, will be the other members of the top four seeds.

We spoke to Preece ahead of the event, as she returns to the Tour for the first time since the summer of 2018, and she is ready to get back out there once again.

“Unfortunately the higher-level ranking tournaments have often clashed with my University academic commitments making it difficult to travel outside of Johannesburg,” she explained.

“Recently after writing my first board exam, a lot of my academic commitments have reduced, allowing for more time to focus on training.

“I am very excited and ready to play another tournament and to play at the coast again. I am feeling positive and ready for the upcoming week ahead.”

As the No.2 seed for the tournament, Preece is expected to reach the final of the Challenger 3 level event in Cape Town, but she is wanting more from the tournament.

“I think every player’s goal going into a tournament is to finish victorious. However, in saying that, my goal for the week ahead is to play my best squash. I want to focus on one game at a time and execute my game plan,” the South African admitted.

Currently at World No.158, the 22-year-old knows that she can now use more time to focus on squash, as she attempts to make a move up the World Rankings.

“I have started working this year and as mentioned I recently have a reduced academic commitment. I plan to be spending more time on court, focusing more on areas of improvement and hopefully will be able to continue travelling to the tournaments,” she said.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to increase my ranking and I am going to be pushing hard to challenge myself to reach new levels.”

The event takes place from Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 at the Western Province Cricket Club in Cape Town. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

Men’s Draw: Western Province Open
[1] Jean-Pierre Brits (RSA) v Jean-Pierre Van Der Merwe (RSA)
Tristen Worth (RSA) v [7] Makho Ntuli (RSA)
[5] Ruan Olivier (RSA) v Reuel Videler (RSA)
Kundanji Kalengo (ZAM) v [4] Dewald van Niekerk (RSA)
[3] Christo Potgieter (RSA) v Hayden Worth (RSA)
Sipho Ncube (RSA) v [6] Gary Wheadon (RSA)
[8] Joshua van der Wath (RSA) v Sandile Masondo (RSA)
Jonty Matthys (RSA) v [2] Blessing Muhwati (ZIM)

Women’s Draw: Western Province Open
[1] Teagan Leigh Roux (RSA) – [Bye]
Jordan Campbell (RSA) v [7] Makgosi Peloakgosi (RSA)
[5] Lizelle Muller (RSA) v Shelomi Truter (RSA)
Megan Shannon (RSA) v [4] Bongi Seroto (RSA)
[3] Tayla Diepenbroek (RSA) v Elske Garbers (RSA)
[8] Mariska Wiese (RSA) v Jess McDonald (RSA)
Juanette Le Roux (RSA) v [2] Jenny Preece (RSA)

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