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Danielle Letourneau

London Open Preview: Letourneau Finding Her Identity On Court

The London Open is the second of two Challenger 20 level tournament taking place in Europe this week, with the action coming from the Cumberland Squash Club in London, beginning on Wednesday 17 November.

The tournament will feature an international draw, with 13 nationalities represented across the 48 players in action at the tournament over the next five days.

Seven of the eight seeds in the men’s event are English, with three of those, in Adrian Waller, James Willstrop and George Parker all having competed at the Canary Wharf Classic just 10 miles west of the Cumberland Squash Club.

Tom Richards, Patrick Rooney, Nathan Lake and Richie Fallows make p the rest of the top seeds, along with Hong Kong’s Tsz Fung Yip, one of 11 players from the Asian nation in action across the two draws.

The English trio of Lucy Turmel, Julianne Courtice and Jasmine Hutton, the latter of which is coming off a victory at the Capra Baerum Open, are all inside the top five seeds, while compatriot Georgina Kennedy will be aiming to join Egypt’s Moustafa El Sirty in winning an eighth Tour title in 2021.

South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller, Egypt’s Jana Shiha and the Hong Kong pairing of Liu Tsz-Ling and Tze Lok Ho will all be action as well, with Canadian No.2 Danielle Letourneau as the women’s top seed.

We spoke to the World No.19 prior to the event starting, and she feels like she is getting back to her best on court once again.

“I feel like I’m finding my identity on court again. I’ve made so many changes over the past year so I’ve had a few set backs, but it’s starting to come together and I am confident in how I’m playing,” she explained.

Letourneau’s last event on Tour came at the Oxford Properties Canadian Senior Championships, where she was crowned her country’s National Champion, something she is proud of.

This week’s event could see her claim a fourth consecutive Challenger Tour title, having also won the Calgary CFO Consulting Services PSA Women’s Squash Week and the Queen City Open prior to the enforced suspension of the Tour in 2020.

“It feels amazing. National Championships is always an important event for me as there is added pressure to prove yourself on court. While I love the title, I’m more proud of myself for showing up and playing strong squash when it mattered,” the Canadian admitted. 

“In each of those tournaments [Calgary and Queen City] I had to overcome a variety of challenges— both mentally and physically. Those wins helped me learn how to deal with tough situations and push through to the end.”

Letourneau is one of two Canadian women inside the top 20 in the World Rankings, along with Hollie Naughton. She currently sits just two places below her compatriot, and although she would love to take the Canadian No.1 position, she knows that if she performs to the best of her abilities, then that ranking will come.

“Ego wise, I’d love to take that Canadian No. 1 spot and am confident I can. However, it’s not my main focus. I’m trying to be the best player I can be and let the rankings take care of themselves. I wouldn’t say I’m focused on jumping above any particular player,” Letourneau said.

“Ranking wise my next goal is to break into the top 10. To do that I want to start making it to the quarterfinals at the Platinum events, and especially at the World Championships at the end of the season.” 

The event takes place from Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 November at the Cumberland Squash Club in London, where Danielle Letourneau is the top seed for the women’s event. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

Men’s First Round Draw: London Open
[1] Adrian Waller (ENG) – [Bye]
[WC] Ayaan Vaziralli (IND) v [9/16] Joe Lee (ENG)
[9/16] Ben Coleman (ENG) v Lwamba Chileshe (NZL)
[8] Richie Fallows (ENG) – [Bye]
[7] Tsz Fung Yip (HKG) – [Bye]
[WC] Anthony Rogal (ENG) v [9/16] Rui Soares (POR)
[9/16] Henry Leung (HKG) v Chi Him Wong (HKG)
[4] Tom Richards (ENG) – [Bye]
[3] George Parker (ENG) – [Bye]
Rory Stewart (SCO) v [9/16] Syed Azlan Amjad (QAT)
[9/16] Sam Todd (ENG) v Tang Ming Hong (HKG)
[5] Patrick Rooney (ENG) – [Bye]
[6] Nathan Lake (ENG) – [Bye]
Nick Wall (ENG) v [9/16] Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG)
[9/16] Max Lee (HKG) v Jakub Solnicky (CZE)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG) – [Bye]

Women’s First Round Draw: London Open
[2] Lucy Turmel (ENG) – [Bye]
[WC} Sanne Veldkamp (NED) v [9/16] Tsz-Wing Tong (HKG)
[9/16] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) v Kace Bartley (ENG)
[5] Jasmine Hutton (ENG) – [Bye]
[6] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) – [Bye]
Torrie Malik (ENG) v [9/16] Ka Yi Lee (HKG)
[9/16] Alicia Mead (ENG) v Katriona Allen (SCO)
[4] Alexandra Fuller (RSA) – [Bye]
[3] Julianne Courtice (ENG) – [Bye]
Rana Ismail (EGY) v [9/16] Georgia Adderley (SCO)
[9/16] Alison Thomson (SCO) v Saran Nghiem (ENG)
[8] Jana Shiha (EGY) – [Bye]
[7] Tze Lok Ho (HKG) – [Bye]
Katie Wells (ENG) v [9/16] Madina Zafar (PAK)
[9/16] Vanessa Chu (HKG) v Emilia Korhonen (FIN)
[1] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) – [Bye]

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