Stafford sets sights on improved world ranking


Professional squash player Cameron Stafford is hoping to climb the international rankings in the upcoming squash season.

Stafford, who won the 2016 EFG Bank National Squash Championship in May, ended last season with a Professional Squash Association World Tour ranking of 146.

“My goal is to break into the top 120 in the world,” Stafford said during a recent interview on The Saturday Sports Show on Star 92.7FM.

Stafford said the goal is one he’s set for himself before but due to tough draws he’s been in had an impact on making that a reality. “I always get drawn against the big guys, which is what I want and I always challenge them. I’ve taken guys in the top 40 the distance,” he noted.

“I think I’m capable of doing it. I’ve beaten like four guys in the top 100 in the world and I know what I’m capable of,” Stafford said, adding that he has not been getting in as much competition as he would have liked due to his coaching role at South Sound Squash Club.

“I think I’m going to change it up and be doing – still coaching – but more focused on myself and try to improve myself and try to get up the rankings as much as I can,” he said.

For the upcoming season, the 24 year-old said while he wants to get better results, he also focusing on having more fun on tour.

“Usually, I’m so focused on trying to get the win. I want to play more with a smile on my face, trying to enjoy my squash game rather than being so focused, just to relax and enjoy playing on the tour,” he said.

After winning the national championships in May, Stafford went on to represent the Cayman Islands at the Caribbean Senior Squash Championships in Trinidad, where he was eliminated in the semifinals after making it to the final the previous three years.

“It wasn’t the result I was looking for. My aim was to try and get back into the top two [but] third is fine,” he said after being bounced by Jamaican Lewis Walters, who is ranked 114 in the world.

Despite that, Stafford got vindication in the team competition when he beat Chris Binnie, who has dominated the Caribbean championships for nearly a decade. This was the first time he beat his Jamaican rival.

“That win was very sweet…I was over the moon with that result…getting a win like that was huge and to help my country get as far as we did in the semifinals was what my goal was.”

Now, the former Caribbean junior champion is fully focused on climbing the international rankings ladder. He headed to San Francisco in early September to refine his skills ahead of the tour. Among his early season stops is the Nash Cup in Ontario, Canada, which attracts several of the world’s best players.

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