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By Nicole Bunyan on May 18, 2024

Honesty Hour - Nicole Bunyan

Nicole Bunyan is a name we mention a lot in our content, and there are two reasons for that...

First, she's a sponsored player of Team CT, meaning that we support her in all of her squash endeavours!

Secondly, she's a world-class squash professional.

The Canadian is currently ranked at World No.48 and she's had an exciting season so far. On top of that, you may have also recently seen or heard Nicole commentating on recent tournaments on SquashTV (so she's living the squash dream).

Anyway, if you don't already follow Nicole on social media (@nicolebunyan on Instagram and @SquashNic on X), we'd highly recommend doing so, plus, you should also check out her unique squash platform Squashletic on which she provides tailored squash coaching tips, plans, and advice!

Nicole knows a thing or two about creating squash-related content, whether it's coaching-related or more about her experiences on the PSA World Tour, so, we're thrilled to announce that she's guest-written this blog post!

In this article, Nicole talks a bit about her current squash situation as well as her experience at the Richardson Wealth Van Lawn Open 2024 in Vancouver last month in which she was 2 seed.

Just a note, this article was written a couple of months ago, however, we haven't had the chance to share it with you all until now, anyway, let's dive in...

Hello everyone!

It's been a minute since I've popped in with a match recap!

Since my good spell in January (Florida, Tournament of Champions), I've had a bit of a downturn.

I had a very unfortunate knee injury right after my match at ToC where I smashed my kneecap into a metal ladder and suffered a brutal bone bruise that set me back 2 weeks.

Unfortunately, this was followed up by a resurgence of my chronic hip injury, which reared its ugly head due to poor training management. I talk a lot about the importance of not doing too much too soon when returning from injury or time off, and unfortunately, my excitement got the better of me.

I was able to get my hip right for my next big event in mid/late February, Windy City Open in Chicago, but unfortunately at these big events, if you are the lower seed and not sharp enough, you are going to struggle.

This happened to me, and felt that although I was pain-free, I was rusty and unable to keep up the pace needed to put pressure on my opponent.

After Windy City, my hip was a bit touch-and-go, which, combined with some personal issues, certainly affected my preparation for my next event in Vancouver.

I felt a bit of pressure in Vancouver, being the #2 seed and a home favourite. However, I have enough experience not to overthink this and let it get to me. I've been through it before.

Given the topsy turvy form I'd been experiencing recently, I felt I really could have benefitted from an easier match to work my way into the tournament and settle the nerves and feel out the court.

Sometimes the draws go your way- sometimes they don't. I didn't have that chance in Vancouver.

I drew a young, aggressive Egyptian (aren't they all?), and narrowly lost out in a close 4-gamer. I really needed just an extra 5-10% to get through, but unfortunately didn't have enough on the day.


Photo credit: Steve Cubbins

I did, however, learn that I needed to counter her attacks by being proactive on the volley to take time away from her. My length was also falling too short, which gave her opportunities to hit deadly boasts and kills from behind me.

When I pushed up my T position, I was able to cover these shots, and also volley more, which helped me make the court bigger for my opponent and give myself a better position to attack short as well.

The silver lining: if I had not lost this match, I might not have quite realized the importance of volleying in my game. We tend to overlook what we do well when we win, whether it's a close win or a stomping.

Perspective: I was also aware not to be too harsh on myself. I knew I had a tough draw coming in, and wanted to get the most out of this match- win or lose.

I hadn't been training very well leading up to this match and felt a little lost and quite fatigued most days on court prior.

I know that the good form I reached earlier in the year is there somewhere... I just need to be able to have a good period of time to train and regain it.


Photo credit: Steve Cubbins

Was I disappointed in the result? Yes. However, it made it slightly better being in Vancouver surrounded by a good support system of friends and family. Also, I competed hard the whole match.

I could have adjusted my tactics quicker and problem-solved better, but I did attempt to. This is a skill in itself that needs to improve.

Next up: I'm now in Calgary for a 20k event, where I'm the #4 seed. Hoping to get some more back-to-back matches in this week and gain a lot from each of them! It's not so much the result I'm focused on as the process, as I know this will help me for the rest of the season. 

I'll be back in touch soon with the recap of my experience in Calgary...

I also hope your season is going well,


This article was taken from our 'Control the Kitchen' Newsletter, if you're interested in receiving more content like this, please feel free to sign up using the subscribe section located at the bottom left of this page (or underneath the article if you're on mobile), thanks!

Published by Nicole Bunyan May 18, 2024