Sunday, July 14, 2024

American trio on track in Charlottesville

Youngsters shine in WSA Tour event at impressive Boar’s Head venue
By Squash Mad Reporter

Cece Cortes winds up a big backhand
Cece Cortes winds up a big backhand

Americans Cece Cortes, Sabrina Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford all notched victories in the opening round of the $10,000 Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Boar’s Head Sports Club Open, which is being concurrently hosted with the Howe Cup at the McArthur Squash Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Yale graduate Millie Tomlinson produced the first upset of the main draw in the second match of the day as the English qualifier defeated sixth-seeded Canadian Nikki Todd 11-8, 11-5, 11-6. Tomlinson now faces top-seeded world No. 28 Emily Whitlock.

Cortes, world No. 64, was the only player who needed five games to advance against Philadelphia-based qualifier Nabilla Ariffin. Ariffin held a 2-1 advantage after three close opening games 11-8, 12-14, 15-13, but Cortes stormed back to win the fourth 11-1, and edged out the fifth and match 12-10. Cortes will play unseeded Egyptian Menna Nasser in the quarter-finals.

Playing on the same court where she became the youngest U.S. national champion in March, third-seeded Sabrina Sobhy continued her good form on the blue and orange glass box against Mexican Nayelly Hernandez with a three-game victory 11-6, 11-6, 11-9. Fifth-seeded Canadian Hollie Naughton awaits Sobhy in the quarterfinals.

Blatchford, seeded second, closed out the evening with a clinical three-game victory over qualifier Colette Sultana 11-8, 11-6, 11-5. Colombian Trinity graduate Catalina Pelaez will attempt to upset the American in the quarter-finals. 


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