Binnie aims at top 100
After battling back from injury to chalk up big wins last year, All Jamaica and Caribbean men's squash champion Chris Binnie is aiming to break into the top 100 on the professional circuit in 2015.
Although 2014 started on an uncertain note, the squash ace rebounded from a nine-month layoff after surgery and rehab to successfully defend his national and regional titles.
On the international scene, Binnie helped Jamaica win bronze in the men's team competition at the Caribbean and Central American Games and continued to perform on the Professional Squash Association circuit where he beat players ranked as high as the top 50.
"It's been a long, hard road coming back from injury and being out of competition for nine months, but now I'm training hard because this year I want to crack the top 100," he said.
Currently at 160 in the PSA rankings, Binnie is determined to recover the form that saw him reach as high as 115 before undergoing an operation on his hip. So far, the five-time national and regional champion has made impressive progress as he was ranked 300 when he initially returned after surgery.
"I'm getting back up there again and I'm trying to play as many tournaments as possible to improve my ranking," he said.
Next up, the All Jamaica champion has the Atlanta Open in February, then tournaments in Houston, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and New Zealand. In addition, the player is seeking sponsorship to help cover the cost of travel and other expenses which are incurred by young players trying to get established on the professional circuit.
"There is a perception that as a professional player you automatically make money, but that's not the case until you crack the top rankings, and the only way to reach that level is to play continuously. So you basically have to finance yourself to build your career," Binnie explained.
"I am hoping I can secure enough sponsorship and funding to travel to all these tournaments to get the experience I need and climb the rankings," he added.
While he has his sights set on success in the international arena, Binnie is not taking his eyes off the competition at home. This summer he will look to successfully defend his All Jamaica and Caribbean titles and lift both trophies for the sixth time.
"The competition is still stiff in the Caribbean, so I have to continue to improve, because when you're the best you always have a target on your back."