World squash champion Amanda Landers-Murphy’s comeback to chase another gold – Stuff
After hanging up her racket, Amanda Landers-Murphy has been convinced to return to the squash court by her great mate and doubles partner, Joelle King, aiming for a second Commonwealth Games gold. Sarah Cowley Ross of LockerRoom reports.
Back in 2019, Amanda Landers-Murphy retired from her beloved game of squash.
After nine years as a professional, it was becoming increasingly difficult to fund playing on the Northern Hemisphere-based world tour. And the two-time world doubles champion and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist made the difficult decision to call time on her career.
“I didn’t pick up a squash racket for at least a year after that,” the Rotorua local says.
Kiwi squash ace Joelle King holds her nerve in the final to capture her second Manchester Open title.
Landers-Murphy started working full-time as an environmental forester for Timberlands, while studying environmental science, but itching away in the back of her mind was some unfinished business on the squash court.
* Squash stars Paul Coll and Joelle King dominate at national championships
* Squash-playing Chileshe brothers out to make impact at first Commonwealth Games
* Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy win women’s doubles squash gold medal
When her good friend, doubles partner and current world No.5, Joelle King, planted the seed for her to return to the court for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July, it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.
“When I finished, I wasn’t ready to be done,” the 31-year-old Landers-Murphy says. “I saw the Comm Games as an opportunity to get back out there and enjoy it.”
She returned to training and in December 2020, entered a squash tournament. It was, she says, a definite “shock to the system”.
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Amanda Landers-Murphy of New Zealand during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Last weekend, it was Landers-Murphy giving King a shock at the New Zealand squash championships in Tauranga, when the close friends went head-to-head in the women’s final on the Devoy Club’s glass court.
Landers-Murphy stuck close to King in the first game, and won the second, before King claimed up her ninth national title, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-1.
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