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Kaitlyn Watts

CWS Grange Challenger Preview: Watts Ready For The Next Level

One of three tournaments beginning on Wednesday on the Challenger Tour will be the Commercial Water Solutions Grange Challenger in Edinburgh, Scotland, with the event running for five days through to Sunday 5 December.

The Challenger 5 level tournament will be held at the Grange Sports Club, and will feature both a men’s and women’s draw over the five days of competition.

An English quartet lead the way in the men’s draw, with Sam Todd, the victor at last week’s Aston and Fincher Sutton Coldfield International, as the tournament’s top seed.

Curtis Malik, Miles Jenkins and Tom Walsh make up the rest of the top four seeds, while India’s Abhay Singh, Scotland’s Alasdair Prott, Welshman Owan Taylor and Ireland’s Sam Buckley are also amongst the seeded players in the 32-man draw.

World No.70 Lucy Beecroft will be the top seed in the women’s draw, closely followed by the Scottish duo of Georgia Adderley and Alison Thomson and compatriot Grace Gear.

New Zealand’s Kaitlyn Watts is one of four non-Brits in the draw for the tournament, and we spoke to her prior to the event, in only her second tournament away from the Oceanic region.

“I’ve been happy with where my game is right now, but I’m ready to take it to the next level,” she admitted.

“It’s hard to keep improving in New Zealand when I’m playing the same girls every weekend, so the exposure overseas is going to be very beneficial for my game and I’m excited to see it grow.

“I will be based in the UK for up to 6 months. And then will go back to New Zealand for a few tournaments, one being our National Championships. Then the plan is to come back again at the end of 2022. So it’s a pretty permanent move, I will just spend a few months back home each year.”

Watts claimed her maiden title earlier this year at the Royal Oak Open, before going on to also secure both the Waikato Open and the Panmure Tecnifibre Open as well.

“It was pretty special to win my first title on Tour, let alone winning three this year,” the Kiwi explained.

“Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far I’ve come and the success I’ve had this year, so it’s quite nice to take a step back and be proud of it all. I’m now looking forward to gaining this experience overseas to end the year off and bring it forward into 2022 with me.”

Going into this week’s event in Edinburgh, Watts will be the No.6 seed, and she admits there will be no expectations for the tournament, along with improving her World Ranking at the same time.

“I really don’t have any expectations, I still feel as though I’m settling into the UK and getting used to everything. The big thing for me is to really just enjoy being over here and take as many learnings as I can early on,” Watts explained.

“I would obviously like to do well and challenge the girls, which I’ll be doing my best to but [I’m] not putting too much pressure on myself right now.

“I believe I have the game and the physical abilities to be in the top 100 and even higher. I just need to build up my experience, and be playing the top girls day in and day out. With all this match play and valuable training, the results will start coming eventually.”

The event takes place from Wednesday 1 to Sunday 5 December at the the Grange Sports Club in Edinburgh. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

Men’s First Round Draw: Commercial Water Solutions Grange Challenger
[1] Sam Todd (ENG) – [Bye]
[WC] Chris Leiper (SCO) v [10] Hasnaat Farooqi (ENG)
[16] Jordan Warne (ENG) v [WC] James Singh (SCO)
Martin Ross (SCO) v [7] Perry Malik (ENG)
[8] Stuart MacGregor (ENG) v John Meehan (SCO)
Benjamin Sockett (ENG) v [12] Lewis Doughty (ENG)
[9] Alasdair Prott (SCO) v Carlton Oldham (ENG)
Will Salter (ENG) v [3] Miles Jenkins (ENG)
[4] Tom Walsh (ENG) v Finlay Halton (SCO)
Toby Ponting (ENG) v [14] Jack Mitterer (SCO)
[11] Owain Taylor (WAL) v Anoopp Nithiyanandam (ENG)
[WC] Andrew Glen (SCO) v [6] Ben Smith (ENG)
[5] Abhay Singh (IND) v James Wilkinson (ENG)
Zan Farooqi (ENG) v [15] Sam Buckley (IRL)
[13] James Peach (ENG) v [WC] Fraser Steven (SCO)
Kyle Penman (SCO) v [2] Curtis Malik (ENG)

Women’s First Round Draw: Commercial Water Solutions Grange Challenger
[1] Lucy Beecroft (ENG) – [Bye]
[WC] Edith Mackenzie (SCO) v [9/16] Sofia Aveiro Pita (POR)
[9/16] Nour Megahed (EGY) – [Bye]
[7] Katriona Allen (SCO) – [Bye]
[6] Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) – [Bye]
[9/16] Kiera Marshall (ENG) – [Bye]
[9/16] Tashy Baker (ENG) v Megan van Drongelen (NED)
[4] Grace Gear (ENG) – [Bye]
[3] Alison Thomson (SCO) – [Bye]
[WC] Robyn MacAlpine (SCO) v [9/16] Jasmin Kalar (ENG)
[9/16] Chloe Foster (WAL) v Siobhan Wilkins (ENG)
[5] Alicia Mead (ENG) – [Bye]
[8] Katie Wells (ENG) – [Bye]
[WC] Lucy Murchie (SCO) v [9/16] Katie Cox (ENG)
[9/16] Catherine Holland (SCO) v [WC] Beth Moglia (SCO)
[2] Georgia Adderley (SCO) – [Bye]

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