Meet SA’s hotshot female squash player
Siyoli Waters is South Africa’s finest female squash player, currently ranked 48th in the world.
Rodney Durbach, South African men’s captain, analyses her strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and explains why she has the potential to reach the top.
Siyoli plays at a very high skill level. Some players are super talented but make a lot of mistakes – Siyoli is different.
She controls her shots and makes few errors. She strikes the ball very well, and is more of a shot maker than a mere ball retriever. She can hit any shot in the book.
She’s also very fit and has great stamina.
She is determined and committed to do well, despite logistical challenges. South Africans have to travel to Europe to play in top tournaments.
This means Siyoli spends long hours on a plane before playing a match overseas.
She enters at least 10 international events per year, and it takes a lot of commitment and discipline to do all the travelling and still be successful.
On the squash circuit, there are three types of players.
You have the super attackers, like world number one Nicol David from Malaysia.
Then you have defensive players, who wear down their opponents by retrieving everything, but slowing the game down, like Rachael Grinham, ranked 18th in the world.
A third type is Kasey Brown, who is an extremely powerful hitter of the ball. She can hit you off the court. Siyoli is an all-rounder.
Her only weakness is that she might not adapt quickly enough against an opponent who outguns her.
She trusts her ability and backs her own game plan, which is something to be saluted, but she tends not to analyse a tricky opponent in order to work out a counter-offensive.
When she comes up against someone who overpowers her, she should be adapting and employing a different tactic to unsettle her opponent.
Siyoli plays with guts and determination and won’t quit. She believes in her game and trusts her ability – if she plays well, she knows her game will take care of any opponent, no matter their ranking.
In the off-season, she works very hard to prepare for the international circuit.
She has been within the top 40 in the world, and has the talent and tenacity to be a top-20 player.
» Get your iMag with City Press on Sunday