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Hollie Naughton

Canadian Open Preview: Naughton Looking Forward To Playing On Home Soil

There is just one event on the Challenger Tour this week, with the Oxford Properties Canadian Open – Presented by AirSprint Private Aviation taking place from Monday, April 11 to Friday, April 15.

The Bow Valley Athletic Club will play host to the Challenger 10 level men’s and Challenger 30 level women’s tournaments, with a total of $42,000 in prize money on offer for the event, the third competition on Canadian soil in 2022.

The women’s event will feature three of the world’s top 25, all hailing from North America. USA’s World No.11 Olivia Fiechter will be the top seed for the tournament, with the Canadian duo of Hollie Naughton and Danielle Letourneau making up the rest of the top three seeds.

We spoke to the Canadian No.1 prior to the event starting, and she is aiming to implement some things that she has worked on in training into her matches, as she aims to break into the top ten of the World Rankings for the first time in her career.

“I’m just trying to enjoy my squash and I’m wanting to play more. I’m feeling good in practice and want to start implementing into matches back to back. Hopefully  this week I can do that,” Naughton explained.

“The tour is extremely competitive right now. Everyone is vying for the top spots and I think there really isn’t much separating any of us. The consistency on the big stages is all that is the difference from cracking the top ten. I just need to focus on myself and what I’m wanting to improve. I believe if I do that the wins will come and ranking to follow.”

Naughton comes into the tournament after featuring for her country at the WSF World Doubles Squash Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, something she really enjoyed ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth Games, which will be in Birmingham, England.

She also believes that the Commonwealth Games, along with more events being played on Canadian soil, can only help to grow the game in her home nation.

“It’s always great representing your country. It’s been quite the week! We don’t do much doubles practice so this week is a great place to start building from for the Commonwealth Games. It feels like it’s been a long time since putting on a Canada top!” she admitted.

“It is always great to play on home soil! I think Squash Canada is doing a great job at showcasing squash in our country. We have a few more events over here and the addition of the glass court will only help to promote squash to a wider audience.

“Hopefully I can take advantage of having the support of the Canadian squash community during the week!”

Nicole Bunyan will be another Canadian to feature inside the top seeds, along with Switzerland’s Nadia Pfister, Australia’s Sarah Cardwell, Polish No.1 Karina Tyma and USA’s Marina Stefanoni. The likes of Germany, Hong Kong, England and Mexico will also be represented.

The men’s Challenger 10 level draw will be led by the Hong Kong duo of Henry Leung and Tsz Kwan Lau, with Canadian No.1 David Baillargeon as the No.3 seed for the competition. England’s Nick Wall is also amongst the top four seeds, as he aims to build on his second round result at the Allam British Open at the start of the month.

After two finals, including a victory, to start April, Daniel Mekbib will also be among the top eight seeds, along with fellow Czech player Martin Svec. Max Lee and Chi Him Wong make it four Hongkongers inside the top eight seeds for the men’s draw in Calgary.

The event takes place from Monday, April 11 to Friday, April 15 at the Bow Valley Athletic Club in Calgary, where Hollie Naughton will be the leading Canadian on home soil for the tournament. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

Men’s First Round Draw: Oxford Properties Canadian Open – Presented by AirSprint Private Aviation
[1] Henry Leung (HKG) – [Bye]
[WC] Noel Heaton (CAN) v [9/16] Owain Taylor (WAL)
[9/16] Diego Gobbi (BRA) v Liam Marrison (CAN)
[6] Chi Him Wong (HKG) – [Bye]
[7] Martin Svec (CZE) – [Bye]
Salah Eltorgman (CAN) v [9/16] Tom Walsh (ENG)
[9/16] Nick Sachvie (CAN) v [WC] Brett Schille (CAN)
[3] David Baillargeon (CAN) – [Bye]
[4] Nick Wall (ENG) – [Bye]
Andrew Douglas (USA) v [9/16] Tang Ming Hong (HKG)
[9/16] Nicholas Calvert (AUS) v Tobias Weggen (GER)
[8] Daniel Mekbib (CZE) – [Bye]
[5] Max Lee (HKG) – [Bye]
Maximilien Godbout (CAN) v [9/16] Harley Lam (HKG)
[9/16] Joseph White (AUS) v [WC] Andrew Schnell (CAN)
[2] Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) – [Bye]

Women’s First Round Draw: Oxford Properties Canadian Open – Presented by AirSprint Private Aviation
[1] Olivia Fiechter (USA) – [Bye]
Sara Khan (CAN) v [9/16] Ali Loke (WAL)
[9/16] Alex Haydon (AUS) v Maddison Laine (CAN)
[7] Karina Tyma (POL) – [Bye]
[5] Nadia Pfister (SUI) – [Bye]
Sofia Mateos (ESP) v [9/16] Nikki Todd (CAN)
[9/16] Cheng Nga Ching (HKG) v Diana Garcia (MEX)
[3] Danielle Letourneau (CAN) – [Bye]
[4] Nicole Bunyan (CAN) – [Bye]
Iman Shaheen (CAN) v [9/16] Lucie Stefanoni (USA)
[9/16] Saskia Beinhard (GER) v Hannah Blatt (GER)
[6] Sarah Cardwell (AUS) – [Bye]
[8] Marina Stefanoni (USA) – [Bye]
Margot Prow (ENG) v [9/16] Jessica Turnbull (AUS)
[9/16] Nadeen Kotb (EGY) v Emilia Korhonen (FIN)
[2] Hollie Naughton (CAN) – [Bye]

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