The Westerner

Dreams won’t be squashed

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Source: Chris Honnery

Cashmere's Jessica Turnbull recently compete at the junior world championships for squash.

Cashmere's Jessica Turnbull recently compete at the junior world championships for squash.

Having just returned from playing in the Women’s Junior World Championships in the USA, Cashmere squash player Jessica Turnbull now has her eyes set on playing professionally.

Turnbull assures that she won’t be giving up the sport any time soon, aiming to join the Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) pro tour in 2013.

“Squash is my future. I’m still at school and I intend on going to university to study law, but I will always be playing squash,” Turnbull said.

At just 16-years-old, Turnbull was the youngest of six Australian girls to fly to Boston to compete in the world championships, held from 20-30 July.

Playing amongst such a high standard of squash players, Turnbull was sure to feel a little nervous.

“It was scary at first, but I enjoyed every minute of it,” she said.

Her first round match was against Guyana’s Mary Fung-a-Fat, where she went out to squash her in straight sets 11-8, 11-8, 11-6.

“She (Mary) wasn’t a hard opponent, but she wasn’t an easy opponent either,” Turnbull said.

“She just wasn’t up to the standard of everyone else.”

The second round match wasn’t as successful as the first game, as Turnbull lost to Ho Ka Po 11-3, 11-6, 11-2.

It was this loss to Hong Kong’s number one ranked player that was the only disappointment of the tournament for Turnbull.

“It was a great experience for me. I made heaps of new friends from all over the world. When I left, I had so many more Facebook friend requests,” she joked.

Following last month’s world championships, Turnbull is now ranked 139th in the WISPA world rankings.

Coached by her brother Nathan, the teenager says it’s “awesome” to have him there pushing her along.

“He pushes me a lot harder than most people, maybe because he’s my brother,” she said.

“At home if I’m still asleep, he will make sure I get up for training.”

Nathan, who played squash professionally in the past, has high hopes for his sister’s future in squash.

“I’m expecting some good things in two years time as she is still young enough,” he said.

Turnbull, who is sponsored by Stellar Sports, is now in Canberra competing at the Australian Open.

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