After some notable results this year, Madibaz squash star Hayley Ward knows that a big test lies ahead of her when she competes in the University Sport South Africa tournament in Port Elizabeth, starting on Sunday.
The event will be hosted by Nelson Mandela University from July 1 to 7 and the 20-year-old Ward will be looking to build on the form she showed by winning the Londt Park Open and the EP Closed this year.
The third-year accounting student acknowledged her good results this year, but knows that some tougher challenges lie ahead.
“I think I will have to wait for USSA and the Kaplan Cup interprovincial [in July] to see how I go against other players to assess if I have improved,” she said.
After ending fourth in the USSA individual tournament last year, Ward said she was not putting any pressure on herself.
“I just want to concentrate on playing the best squash I can and give it my all,” she said.
From a team point of view, Ward said they would like to improve on their fourth position of last year with a place in, at least, the top three.
Once the individual tournament is done, the team event will take place from Wednesday to Friday.
Ward said they were looking forward to competing on familiar territory.
“I think it could be an advantage playing on our home courts as we often train here and will have more support than usual.
“However, some of the other student players also come from PE so they will have an idea of what to expect.”