‘Anything possible’ for Oakville’s Naughton at Canadian Women’s Open squash event

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Published March 24, 2023 at 3:29 pm

Oakville's Hollie Naughton is one of the favourites heading into the Canadian Women's Open squash tournament beginning March 26 at Brookfield Place in Toronto. CANADIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PHOTO

Oakville’s Hollie Naughton is seeded fifth heading into the Canadian Women’s Open squash tournament beginning Sunday (March 26) at Brookfield Place in Toronto.

The 28-year-old professional squash player, who won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games last year and is ranked 18th in the world, is one of the favourites heading into the 24-player women’s tournament which is a bronze-level stop on the PSA World Tour.

The field includes fellow top-20 players Salma Hany of Egypt and Americans Amanda Sobhy, Olivia Clyne and Sabrina Sobhy.

“I think anyone can beat anyone so it should be interesting,” said Naughton, who was born in England, but grew up in Oakville.

“I know that if I can stick to what I want to do, anything is possible. So hopefully it all comes together.”

A two-time national champion, Naughton was the Canadian flag-bearer at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England after becoming the first Canadian women to reach the squash podium.

Naughton upset current world No. 4 Joelle King of New Zealand in the semifinals before losing to England’s Georgina Kennedy in a four-game final.

“It still feels a bit surreal,” she said of her silver medal performance. “Everything that happened in those two weeks was kind of out of a fairy tale really.”

Naughton, who has won three PSA titles over her career and made the semifinals at the Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco this season, will have a first-round bye this weekend. The tournament has a purse of approximately US$55,000.

Competition will continue through next Thursday (March 30).

– With files from The Canadian Press

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