Franklin the man to beat
Micah Franklin, who represented Bermuda at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast this month, will look to defend his title at the Bermuda Squash Open, which starts on Sunday.
The My Bermuda House National Championships will have 94 entries with some keen competition expected in the six divisions, the men’s and women’s open and veterans, men’s classic and junior divisions.
Franklin, who is ranked 212th in the world, will be the top seed while Noah Browne, ranked 265th, is the No 2 seed.
Others hoping to still be in contention for the title include Kristen Johnson, the Court House squash coach, Patrick Foster, the BSRA director of squash, and the experienced Nick Kyme.
“We’ve got two pros back in town battling for the title,” Foster said. “In the men’s division there’s quite a bit of experience across the top eight, which also features Kristen Johnson, who will be looking to make at least semi-finals, maybe even a first national title.
“It’s probably our best turnout for a long time, so we’re very happy to have 94 players taking part.”
Anaya Smith, at 16 the youngest player in the main draw, will meet D’Vario Thompson in the first round on Monday.
In the women’s competition, Rachel Barnes in the No 1 seed in the absence of Susie Lacey, who won a maiden title last year when she beat Maura Doherty in the final. Laura Robinson is the second seed.
“Laura was away for a year so she will be back,” Foster said. “Going down the ladies draw you have Grace Edy, Sarah Nicholson and a bunch of other players who are very strong which should make for an interesting tournament.”
Franklin starts his campaign on Monday evening against Anthony Fellowes, while Browne meets Romar Douglas. Foster plays Mark James and Johnson takes on Stephen Smith. The event is a world-ranking competition for the men.
“Every time nationals come around there is always a hype about it,” Franklin admitted.
“No matter how many events I’ve played all over the world, there’s always an element of nerves that come in hand with this tournament.
“I love being here for it, it makes me play some of my best squash because of the pressure, everyone chasing after me.
‘My main goal is to give it my all and if somebody is going to beat me they’ll have to work for it.”
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