D Days
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H Hours
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until the 2018 Commonwealth Games commence.
Longines Time
April 4 to 15 2018

Australia's Ryan Cuskelly is looking to double down on squash

Squash
6 Apr 2018 by Hope Kerslake

Australia's Ryan Cuskelly has withdrawn from the singles squash competition after pulling a muscle in his upper leg in the opening day.

Cuskelly entered the competition on Thursday 5 April as the men's number six seed, defeating St Vincent and the Grenadines' Othniel Bailey 3-0.

However, the injury was a big concern for the Northern NSW resident, and he made the decision to pull out of the competition so that he has time to heal for the doubles competition on Tuesday 10 April.

"I've got an adductor strain. I'm trying to get it right. It's still not 100 per cent. I'm gutted and upset but there's not much I can do about it," Cuskelly said.

"I've got the doubles coming up. I've got four days to get ready for my respective partners. The physiotherapists have done the best they can to get me right."

Cuskelly is set to partner with his world champion partner Cameron Pilley as the number one seeds in the men's doubles.

The duo grew up in small northern NSW towns just 40 minutes apart and were regularly pitted against each other as juniors.

Although they are still adversaries in the singles and mixed doubles tournaments, they become a formidable force when competing side-by-side in the men's doubles competitions.

But it wasn't until the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games that the power of their partnership was realised.

“In my first Games, I won a bronze medal in the doubles with Cameron Pilley, which was a big highlight for me,” Cuskelly told GC2018.

“We’re both from similar towns, just 40 minutes apart - he’s from Yamba and I’m from Evan’s Heads – so, we grew up together playing juniors.

“So, to get a medal in my first Games is pretty special, especially because it was with him.”

At 30, Cuskelly is enjoying the best form of his career.

“It’s probably been the last three years where I’ve started to see some big results at the top level,” Cuskelly said.

“I spent probably 10 years in qualifying and around 40th in the world, ranking-wise, so I’ve definitely put the hard yards in.

“I think it’s also all those years of persistence and going through the grind, has finally paid off.

“So, it’s good to finally get there because I was starting to think of doing something else if I didn’t get there.”

The men’s top seed at GC2018 is England’s Nick Matthew, who will be chasing a third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal.

Related: Nick Matthew set to go out in blaze of glory

And although England will have the top seeds in both the men’s and women’s competition, Cuskelly and Pilley have their eyes set on the Scottish Doubles second seeds.

The pair's history with Scotland's duo Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban is like that of a squash ball with the World Doubles Championship titles being bounced between the teams since 2016.

“The Scottish pair will be number two seeds, so they’ll be our toughest [doubles] competitors,” Cuskelly said.

“But we’re looking forward to it.

“They’ve actually got doubles courts in Scotland. There’s not many countries that have permanent doubles courts so, they’ll probably be the strongest team.

“The New Zealand pair are quite good and obviously England, they’re the champs."

Competing in his third consecutive Games, Cuskelly thought a home Games appearance might never have happened.

“My first year I started on tour was the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne,” Cuskelly said.

“I saw that but was obviously too young and not good enough to make the team and thought I would never be able to compete at a home Commonwealth Games ever.

“So, I’m pumped to have one at the Gold Coast, especially being close to home."

You can still show your support for Australia's Word Doubles Champions with tickets the the Squash doubles competition still available.