Grinham takes it in her stride
RACHAEL Grinham has seen a lot of great players and squash courts in her 35 years as a player.
The 2007 world champion and four-time British Open champion is in Darwin for this week’s Australian Open, Grinham won the world junior title as a 16-year-old in 1993.
The top seed in the Australian Open at the Marrara Squash Centre, 40-year-old Grinham is taking nothing for granted.
Ironically, her second round opponent is likely to be Darwin’s Jessica Osborne, in only her second professional tournament at 18.
“I’m up here to do as well as I can in the Australian Open, but there are a lot of quality players in the competition and it won’t be easy,’’ Grinham said when asked if she was in Darwin to win the title.
“The facilities here in Darwin are the best I’ve seen in the country, so hopefully I can get a bit of success.’’
Grinham has walked and hit balls on squash courts in Australia and around the world since she could walk.
“There’s been a lot of changes, including the scoring system and I can even remember when they used to have two serves,’’ she laughed.
Grinham has put a circle around the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast as decision time on her career.
“I’m still a favourite to win a doubles medal after winning a couple of gold medals in doubles and silver and bronze in singles,” she said.
“I won’t have any real goals after the Games, it will depend on where life is taking me because I still enjoy travelling around and playing squash – maybe I’ll go to events in places I want to see.”
Grinham said the game in Australia was moving into an upward spiral after a numbers drop-off in recent years.
“It’s on the rise again, which is good because we don’t have the same depth, the competition is dying a little and that affects the standard you want to get to,” she said.
“On top of that in other places in the world the sport is booming, especially in places like Egypt that is producing juniors at 15 who are beating top rated players.
“Europe is going well and England in the last 10 to 15 years, while France is strong and even in the US they’re getting stronger in the universities.’’
Rachael is top seed for the Australian Open taking place in Darwin