The Challenge Trophies sponsored young professional squash player Neal Brooker, continues on his journey up the World Rankings and hopefully towards the chance to pick up a few trophies!! Since his last update he has gone from having broken into the Top 400 to reaching 324th in the World. He’s still got a fair way to go, but it’s interesting to get a feel for the struggles of an emerging professional sportsman. Here’s his latest update:
The first blog I wrote back in November provided you with the background information regarding my professional squash career. The blog concluded, with information on my next tournament which was The Lee-on-Solent Classic, which is where I shall start this blog.
I had to play a tough qualification match to earn a place in the main draw. I was drawn against Tom Chitty a very competent 19 year old player from Essex. I won the match 3/0 however this score did not really reflect how close the match was. I was chuffed to make the main draw, looking forward to challenging against Jamie Matthews the World Deaf Squash Champion. It was another closely contested match which I unfortunately lost 3/1. Overall, it was a good tournament as I qualified for the main draw and performed well under pressure.
Following a well-earned rest over the Christmas period, I resumed training in the second week of January. I competed in the annual Surrey County Closed tournament at the end of January where I made the quarter finals, which was a good achievement considering I was unseeded. Following this tournament I competed in the London U23s event held at the prestigious Roehampton club. I made the last 16 of this event losing to a 5/8 seed in a close fought tie. After this tournament I only had a few days of training before I travelled to Nottingham where I competed in another BSPA event. Unfortunately I lost in qualifying 3/0, in a tight match which could have gone either way, which was disappointing. This period of tournaments has provided me with valuable experience of tour life and performing under pressure. Next stop for me is Colwyn Bay, North Wales for a PSA World Tour Event at the end of February.