R1: Cindy Merlo 3-2 Danielle Ray

Cindy Merlo (SUI) 3-2 Danielle Ray (CAN)  4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 12-14, 11-7 (46m)

Personally, I haven’t seen Cindy play that well. She was incredibly confident, let the arm go beautifully. Danielle, supported by her husband Javier – you might have seen EXPRESSION on a few players, that’s his company – and coach Greg Gaultier, who is actually sponsored by Javier, produced a solid match but her knee heavily taped, she might have lacked a bit of confidence in her body.

Still as gifted as ever, Danielle found some exquisite winners, but Cindy today had all the answers and none of the pressure…

Cindy : You know I think it’s just coming out of the Europeans, having all those tough matches, good matches all in one week that prepared me. It’s a completely different mentality when you play the top 10 players all in one week.

I’m so happy with being here, I’m enjoying it, really finding the joy again, hanging loose.

I knew it was a good draw for me I could have had so much worse, while I am NOT SAYING she is not good. So I am grateful. But I went into it like any other match, not putting too much pressure in myself, and it’s much easier for me to play when I’m like that.

Next round, I’m playing SJ or Jaz, and it’s going to be tough either way. For me those are solid, SOLID players, I watched their matches and I’m like that is amazing squash. I look up to them, I am so happy to play those guys, thinking, how much can I do, could I even turn it, not that I don’t believe it… I’m just looking forward to the challenge.