The Commonwealth Games were, without a doubt, the most mental two weeks of my life.
It was pretty amazing with all the preparation I went through with my knee before the event and carrying the Team England flag at the Opening Ceremony. I was worried that might be a distraction. I won my 100th England cap at the Games, celebrated my 34th birthday and defended my men’s singles title.
I didn’t really have time to enjoy my singles triumph because the doubles started the following day. After having such a high in the singles, it was tough going straight into the doubles.
Adrian Grant and I came close to doing the double but we lost to David Palmer and Cameron Pilley in the final on Sunday. We were disappointed to miss out on gold. Without making any excuses, we didn’t practice together as much as we would have liked prior to the Games because of my knee injury so to come as close as we did to winning gold is testament to us. One of the first things Adrian said after the final was that we should be proud of ourselves for getting so far and he’s absolutely right.
We didn’t realise until after the doubles final that that was the last gold medal at stake. It would have been great to end the Games with another gold and to have heard Jerusalem one last time on top of the podium but it wasn’t to be.
My friends who are squash coaches in Sheffield have texted me in the last few days saying they have been inundated by parents asking them how do they get their kids into squash. They’ve told me loads of people are coming down to the clubs for lessons. They’ve said people who haven’t played squash for years have dusted off their rackets and are playing again. Hopefully we have inspired the next generation and that will be the legacy of the 2014 Glasgow Games.
I’ve not really had much time to soak all the Games in. Every now and then I drift off and remember what it was like but, for me, the most important thing is to now have a bit of time off. I want to spend some time with the family. My wife Esme and I have got to organise one or two things before the baby comes.
I’m going to have a little break so my next tournament is not going to be until the US Open in October. If my ranking drops because I’ve miss a couple of tournaments then so be it. It is unlikely I will be out of the top four so I will comeback and take it from there.