Managed to catch up with Megan Phillips who is part of the Welsh Commonwealth Games team to see what she thinks of her Sussex Open group.
Out of the three players in my group, I’ve only played against Joanne Drinkhall before and being the only other player in the group from the UK she’s definitely the player I’m more familiar with. I’ve never played competitively against Sarah, but I’ve trained with her and seen her play at various tournaments so I have some idea of what to expect when I play against her. With Jo and Sarah both being defensive players, I will have to bear this in mind in my preparations for the tournament. I’m not familiar with how Malin plays, but hopefully I will have an opportunity to observe some of her games before I play against her, in order to form some basic tactics
The last time I played against Jo, I felt I played some of my best table tennis to be able to win a set against her so I’m aware that this match will be a tough one. However, it’s more important for me to think about how I can play against her and which tactics I will use, rather than focusing on the end result. I will be involved in a Welsh training camp in the week leading up to the Sussex Open and so I will make a conscious effort to practise against defensive shots.
The Sussex Open will be my last tournament before the Commonwealth Games so it will be a big opportunity to gain last minute competitive match practise before the Games. I hope after the Sussex Open, I will be able to reflect on what’s going well in my game and use this as confidence going into the Games, or spot any weak areas that I have the capability to work on before leaving for Glasgow.
In the build up to the Commonwealth Games I was fortunate enough to be selected to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay and with many children and young people turning out to be involved with this event, I could definitely sense a general excitement towards sport. I’ve also attended assemblies in both Primary and High school to talk about table tennis and the Commonwealth Games and I hope that this, along with the coverage that Welsh sport is receiving recently, may have inspired other young people to become involved in sport.
With the Sussex Open having so many strong entries, it would be really hard to predict who will make the finals. Each round will have some really strong and competitive games so I think most players will be thinking about each round at a time, rather than looking ahead too much. The highest ranked Welsh competitors in this tournament are seeded 10th and 12th, so no Welsh player is seeded to make the final, but of course, this doesn’t mean to say that a Welsh player can’t make the final!
Angharad’s interview will be later in the week. Megan and Angharad are both touring Wales this summer to inspire the next generation of Welsh table tennis players, you can read about it here on their execellent blog: www.meganandangharad.com