Court con­queror Alex from Ron­de­bosch hopes to make her mark in the squash world

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE DE BRUYN

“IF you can play like it means noth­ing when it means ev­ery­thing, you will be a cham­pion”. A quote from Scot­land’s six­time world snooker cham­pion Stephen Hendry, one that rings true for South Africa’s num­ber one women’s squash player, Alex Fuller.

It’s the way Fuller goes about her busi­ness and boy, is the blonde bomb­shell driven to suc­ceed.

But the 23- year- old Ron­de­bosch res­i­dent and prod­uct of Rusten­burg Girls’ High School, who first picked a rac­quet at the age of nine after watch­ing her par­ents play, would rel­ish a help­ing hand in the form of a R350 000 spon­sor­ship to re­alise a goal of com­pet­ing reg­u­larly on the in­ter­na­tional cir­cuit and be­com­ing a top-10 player on the Pro­fes­sional Squash As­so­ci­a­tion (PSA) World Rank­ings.

Squash in SA is a sport where money is too tight to men­tion.

For any one of our lead­ing lights to reach the top of their craft re­quires trav­el­ling over­seas to play in the big money events, and that costs plenty; there’s travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion that has to be taken care of, not to men­tion hav­ing your coach along.

For the mo­ment, West­ern Province Cricket Club’s Fuller is cov­er­ing all the costs bar air­fares that have been taken care of by her one spon­sor Lazer Lo­gis­tics.

“Hav­ing them on board def­i­nitely helps my cause,” said Fuller, “but if I can only find more of the same it would set me free to fo­cus my en­er­gies on on-court mat­ters and for sure my re­sults would im­prove as the pres­sure to win at all costs would be much lesser.

“The bet­ter I do would cre­ate a win-win sit­u­a­tion for all.

“But for now I must come to terms with the fact that it’s re­ally up to me to see how far I can go.

“I’m ready to take on the world and the chal­lenge is one I’m rel­ish­ing.

“As things stand I’m 61 in the world in my fifth year on the PSA Tour (made top 100 first year) and my goal is to crack a spot in the top 10.

“The gap from where I am to where I want to be in the next few years isn’t that great in my opin­ion.

“Baby steps now will get me there and for now I just want to sharpen up on cer­tain as­pects of my game with the help of my coach Paul Atkin­son who has been in my cor­ner for the past five years.

We’ve built up a great re­la­tion­ship and do un­der­stand each other’s roles, and my game has ben­e­fit­ted be­cause of it.

“I feel con­fi­dent each and ev­ery time I step onto the court with no trace of ar­ro­gance; I re­spect my op­po­nents but am driven to come out on top.”

Atkin­son be­lieves his charge is on the way to rich re­wards. This young lady wants it badly. She’s a tough cookie who set­tles for noth­ing less than 100 per­cent ef­fort, both in prac­tice and on match day.

“The fact that she’s never ar­rived late to prac­tise is proof enough of her ded­i­ca­tion and I only see her go­ing on to scale even greater heights in the years to come.

“On her game, the fo­cus has been on in­creased speed around the court and move­ment to­wards the ball in or­der to set up the right choice of shot to play be­fore mak­ing im­pact.

“These key in­gre­di­ents are es­sen­tial for her to move up the peck­ing or­der.”

Fuller bagged a maiden PSA ti­tle in 2016 at the Ti­tle at the Sek­isui Open in her finest sea­son.

Last month she con­tested the SA Open and lifted the ti­tle and R21 000 prize money after oust­ing top seed Cheyna Tucker 3-11 11-4 12-10 11-2 in the fi­nal at the Wanderers in Jo­han­nes­burg.

The for­mer SA na­tional cham­pi­onships win­ner and three-time fi­nal­ist will play two over­seas events and then re­turn home to as­sess things.

ALEX FULLER: Wants to make in­roads on the world rank­ings.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.