The Challenger Tour moves to Spain this week for the first of two events in a two week spell, with the Open Costa Del Sol taking place over Friday 10 and Saturday 11 December.
The Complejo Polideportivo Municipal Elola in Fuengirola plays host to the Challenger 3 level tournament, which has been regionally restricted on entrants due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The majority of the field will be Spaniard playing on home soil, including five of the top eight seeds. World No.101 Hugo Varela will be the top seed for the tournament, with Sergio Garcia Pollan, Augusto Ortigosa, Nilo Vidal and Javier Martin all in action.
Dutchman Rowan Damming and the English duo of Tom Walsh and Jordan Warne make up the rest of the top eight seeds for the tournament.
We spoke to Walsh, the World No.114, ahead of the tournament, and he believes that is he ready both mentally and physically to challenge for the title this week.
“I’m feeling pretty good at the moment. Things off court have been going well putting me in a good head space,” he explained.
“I’ve been playing quite well for a couple of months now. I’m certainly match sharp which counts for a lot and I’m enjoying competing again which is the main reason behind it.”
The Englishman secured his first PSA Tour title earlier this year at the Exeter Golf and Country Club Open, in what was his 42nd tournament. It was “special” for Walsh, who is now even hungrier for more!
“Winning in Exeter was a special moment. A first title was always going to mean a lot. So much work had gone into my squash over so many years,” he said.
“I had many a conversation with my coaches over the last few months reassuring me I was doing all the right things on a day to day but, it hadn’t quite translated into a win on the Tour. So to finally get that win was great. It’s made me hungry for more moments like this.”
Currently at World No.114, Walsh is very close to breaking into the top 100 of the World Rankings for the first time in his career, but it is not his main focus moving forward.
“Being ranked top 100 in the world is a big milestone for all the players. Certainly for me, it will mean a lot to get there as it shows consistency over a sustained period of time,” the Englishman admitted.
“I’m within touching distance now being World No.114 but it’s just a number at the end of the day. As long as I continue to do the right things in my training, I hope it’s only a matter of time as the results and rankings will take care of themselves.”