HALEY MENDEZ EAGER TO USE FRUSTRATING LOSSES TO HER ADVANTAGE MOVING FORWARD
As we look ahead to another season, the PSA's Matt Coles has been talking to the stars of the PSA World Tour about their 2019-20 campaigns. Here he catches up with Haley Mendez.
World No.42 Haley Mendez has admitted that some of her best performances from last season were actually losses, but that they will spur her on for the new campaign.
The American is eager to make things right over the course of the 2019-20 term, though, and she is looking to use those “frustrating” losses to her advantage.
“There are a few performances that really stand out to me from last season,” she explained.
“The first was losing out to Hania [El Hammamy] in a very close 3-1 battle at the Carol Weymuller Open in the fall. Not only did I feel that I played well and pushed a top 20 player to the limits, I got to do it in front of a home crowd, on the court that I hit my first ever squash ball, 15 years earlier.
“Another performance that I am proud of was a long battle against Danielle [Letourneau] at the Cleveland Classic in January. Somehow I managed to get bagelled in the middle there and I certainly seemed down and out, but mentally I was able to turn it around despite a couple unfortunate circumstances and fight all the way until the end, losing 13-11 in the fifth.
“Lastly, getting to play Nicol [David], on the glass court in Manchester in one of her last ever professional matches was a huge highlight and something that I will remember forever. Nicol first stayed with my family during the Carol Weymuller in 2004, and to get to play her on the PSA World Tour, 14 years later, is so unbelievably special.”
“All my three highlights and best performances were losses – another ‘frustrating’ aspect to my season. However, I truly believe that I am a better all around squash player than I was last season, and I have learned so much from these losses that I can look back on them fondly and am eager to use them to my advantage moving forward.”
Mendez is looking forward to getting going again for the start of the new PSA World Tour campaign, and she has a couple of goals in mind, namely moving up the rankings, and going further in the major tournaments.
“I am looking forward to next season and hopefully building on all of the work I have done this past year and will put in over the summer. As long as my game is improving, I am happy,” Mendez explained.
“And while I did not reach my outcome goals from last season, I achieved all of my performance goals and that is all I can really hope for. That being said, I am using some of the frustration from this past season to drive me even harder and I am hungrier than ever looking forward to next season.
“I hope to crack the top 40 once and for all, and continue climbing up from there. I would also love to make it to the second and third rounds of some of the bigger tournaments, despite coming up again higher ranked players.”
The American gets her 2019-20 campaign underway in the first event of the PSAWorld Tour season, at the J.P. Morgan China Open, which takes place between 4-8 September.