There were many great storylines to come out of the CH London Open. Perhaps none were more captivating than the racketlon debut of Alison Waters.
The PSA Squash World No.11 made a splendid start to her racketlon career, defeating top seed Zuzana Severinova on her way to the Women’s A singles final.
Waters eventually lost the final to Amke Fischer but drew plenty of support from around the squash and racketlon communities. She also reached another final, the Mixed B alongside Paul Lindsay.
We caught up with Alison after her singles final to find out her thoughts on racketlon after her first experience of the growing sport.
Congratulations on playing your first final today Alison. How did you find the whole racketlon experience?
Yeah, I really had a great weekend. It was my first experience playing racketlon [and] I didn’t really know what to expect coming into it. Obviously, I was banking on my squash being strong which luckily it was. I had obviously played a bit of badminton and tennis but table tennis was my one that I think was the hardest to get used to because the girls were using a lot of spin and it was quite hard to get the service back.
But overall really delighted to even win my first round so to get to the final was great. I love playing all sports so it’s a great event for me.
How did you find the transition between different sports because it’s something totally new for you?
Not too bad actually. I don’t know, I think because obviously you start with the lightest racket and move up I found it okay and having squash as the third sport was good because if I knew I could get 10 points in table tennis and badminton or as many as I could then that would put me in a good position for squash.
But yeah, the final was a tough one. Close match and a shame to lose but obviously delighted to make the final.
Where in particular was it you felt you could have got a few more points and given yourself a slightly better chance in the tennis?
I mean squash I gave away five points whereas in the previous matches It’d been ones or twos so that was a bit disappointing. My strongest sport let me down. I think if I’d got a couple more points in all the games that would have helped.
It’s a great idea and the every point counts makes you really fight for every point. And in the squash, there’s a lot of pressure because obviously, I didn’t want to lose any points so that’s the sport you put the most pressure on yourself.
I think the girls found that in their strong sports because they bank on winning easily and when you’re not it makes you nervous because you bank on those points. But yeah, great weekend on the whole.
Do you plan on coming back to play more racketlon in the future?
I hope so. Obviously, I’m still focusing on my squash at the minute but if the Roehampton Club had this again next year I’d definitely play and post-squash I’d like to because obviously I’d like to keep active and it’s great to play all the sports. And if I can improve my table tennis a bit and all the other sports then I might do alright.
In terms of the racketlon players and racketlon community, how have you found it this weekend?
It’s been great. Everyone’s been really friendly and welcoming. As I said, I didn’t really know what to expect but everyone’s been friendly and nice and it’s all been really good. It’s been a great weekend.
You’re the third pro-squash player to play racketlon in the last 12 months after Henrik Mustonen and Dimitri Steinmann. Are there any other squash players you think should give it a go?
I know Sarah Jane-Perry played when she was younger. She’s got a good tennis serve so she’d be pretty handy at that. I think it would be quite close with some of the squash girls. Perhaps we’ll have to set one up on tour as we go around. I’ll get the girls going and that would be fun to get more of them playing.
The tournament report featuring the final between Alison Waters and Amke Fischer is available here.
The full FIR World Tour is available here.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Amke Fischer