Australia’s top-ranked women’s player Rachael Grinham hopes to get a strong gauge on her Commonwealth Games preparation in the Victorian Open squash championship, starting Wednesday at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
The former world No.1 is one of four members of the Australian women’s team bound for Glasgow competing at the event, which will also host players from more than 14 countries.
Grinham, ranked No.15 in the world, will compete alongside Australian Commonwealth Games teammates Donna Urquhart, Lisa Camilleri and Sarah Cardwell, while the fifth member, Kasey Brown (16), will not be competing at the Open.
“It’s going to be good to get some good competitive matches in before we get to Glasgow to see where we’re all at,’’ said Grinham, competing at her fourth Games in Glasgow.
“It will be good for all of us and there’s a couple of other girls who are stronger as well like from Malaysia and the New Zealand girls.
“We should all get some good matches in and it should be a good practice.’’
Grinham, 37, will compete in three events in Glasgow; singles, the women’s doubles with Brown and the mixed doubles with David Palmer.
A gold medallist in the women’s doubles at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Grinham said her best medal hopes were again in the doubles events.
“Realistically, we don’t expect a medal there. But you never know, if we play well, depending on the draws, we could pull something off.
“Mostly we are just aiming for medals in the doubles, I think. That’s where our main focus is at.
“Following the Vic Open this week, we’ve got a few days where the four of us are going to get together and do some doubles training before we set off on July 17 to Glasgow.’’
Grinham returned to Australia three years ago after spending eight years based in Egypt and another two in England.
She said she was unsure how long she intended to keep playing, but suggested Glasgow was likely to be her Commonwealth Games swansong.
“It’s probably pretty safe to say this is going to be my last Comm Games, but you never know,’’ Grinham said.
“I am just still playing well and still doing all right. I am still in the top 20 in the world, which is pretty good individually, and who knows when it comes to the doubles, I might still be competitive there.
“It just depends who is coming through and how Australian squash is going really and how my body is doing.’’
The Victorian Open semi-finals will be held on Saturday and the finals on Sunday.