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Kyme out to upset the odds

Out to cause an upset: Nick Kyme (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

Nick Kyme is aiming to turn back the clock and cause a shock against the best talent from overseas at the Men’s and Women’s Bermuda Open.

A total of 32 professional players from 18 countries will descend on the island from Tuesday for the event — an official stop on the PSA Pro World Tour — at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association in Devonshire.

The experienced Bermuda player, has received a wild card but is well aware of the task in hand after being drawn against No 2 seed Lyell Fuller, of England, in his opening match, for the place in the last eight.

“It’s going to be really tough, that’s for sure,” said the 38-year-old. “He’s a full-time player and probably ten years younger than me, it’s definitely not the best draw I could have hoped for.

“I played on the tour for years, so I know what to expect to a certain extent, but this is different for me. As you get older and don’t play full-time, you lose that sharpness and edge. “I’ll give it a go but I’m up against it from the off.

“I think it’s fair to say I’ll have to play out of my skin and for him to have an off day, but in theory anything is possible. Who knows, I might shock everyone.”

Among those competing for $10,000 in prize money will be Mohamed Nabil, of Egypt, and Ben Coates, of England, who will face Bermuda’s Micah Franklin and Noah Browne, respectively, in the opening round.

Meanwhile, in the women’s competition, top draw Nicole Bunyan, of Canada, the world No 59, will face Rachel Barnes, Bermuda’s national champion, in the first round.

Alex Furtado, Jayne Craig and Juliette Ferrari-McComb will also be representing Bermuda and will take on players from Guyana, Malaysia and Egypt, respectively.

Kyme, who has worked his way back into the game after tearing his calf at the age of 35, has heaped praise on the club and director of squash Patrick Foster, for helping to raise the profile of the sport on island, as he continues his own preparation for the Pan American Games in Lima Peru, in July.

“Patrick and the club have done brilliantly putting these type of events on to help grow the sport in my Bermuda,” he added.

“To have international players coming over here is fantastic and it will great for the spectators to see the high level of players in action.

“I had to have two years off but in the last 18 months or so the younger guys on island convinced me to step up my playing again.

“For me, this is a great chance to play in a strong event in preparation for the Pan American Games. I will get at least one really tough match and so it’s great training for the Pan American Games in the summer; that’s how I see it at the very least.”

“On a personal level, it’s also amazing to be involved. I’m desperate for my kids to see these sort of events and for me it’s like reliving my professional days for a week.

“Even though it will be tough for the local players involved, you have to play against this sort of level of players to improve the game domestically.

“Just having that high level of competition on home soil is brilliant because there is no substitute for match play to get up to speed and progress.

For more details visit www.bermudasquash.com. Tickets are available for $25