Sea­son comes to early close

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Not see­ing Evan Wil­liams’ name in the main draw of the squash na­tion­als took some get­ting used to, and the man him­self ad­mit­ted it was gutwrench­ing.

The Tawa 23-year-old said he had been at­tend­ing a national tour­na­ment – ju­nior or se­nior – since he was 7, so suc­cumb­ing to a wrist in­jury and hav­ing to by­pass last week­end’s event in Auck­land was a tough de­ci­sion.

‘‘It’s [left wrist] been pretty bad since May, when I played three tour­na­ments in Aus­tralia,’’ he said. ‘‘I went to the world teams [in June] and I’ve been hav­ing physio ev­ery time I’m home.

‘‘It was a crappy de­ci­sion I had to make to pull out, but I haven’t had a great cou­ple of months and it had to be done.’’

Wil­liams con­sulted a spe­cial­ist to get a full as­sess­ment. He said he had been play­ing in pain, but was hope­ful surgery was not re­quired. The in­jury cur­tails a so- far suc­cess­ful sea­son for him, with ex­cel­lent re­sults in Aus­tralia and Eng­land.

The Tawa man has lifted his world rank­ing to No 87 this year. He is the third-high­est New Zealan­der in the rank­ings, be­hind Camp­bell Grayson, 41, and Martin Knight, 49.

‘‘I’ve been play­ing the best squash of my life, so to miss my first na­tion­als in 16 years was hard to think about.’’

The only sil­ver lin­ing was that he had been able to sleep in his own bed for more than a few days.

‘‘ I’ve been home for five weeks this whole year. The two weeks I’ve had this time around is the long­est stretch – it sucks to be in­jured, but nice to be home.’’

Wil­liams said he was keep­ing fit and, if the prog­no­sis was good with his wrist, would tar­get a re­turn to the court in Eng­land in Septem­ber.

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