Sunday, July 14, 2024

Donna Urquhart dazzles again in Seattle

Donna Urquhart (left) and  Liu Tsz-Ling after the Seattle final
Donna Urquhart (left) and Liu Tsz-Ling after the Stratos Seattle final

Comeback queen Donna Urquhart celebrates Seattle success
By HOWARD HARDING  – Squash Mad Correspondent

Australia’s Donna Urquhart, a former world No.13 plagued by injuries for the past two years, marked her comeback in sensational style in the USA by winning the Women’s Stratos Seattle Open, the WSA Challenger 5 squash event at Seattle Athletic Club.

Competing in only her fourth WSA World Tour event since undergoing foot surgery in September, the 28-year-old from New South Wales survived a five-game quarter-final battle against England’s Fiona Moverley before overcoming Germany’s Sina Wall in four games in the semis to reach the 15th Tour final of her career.

The top seed’s opponent in the final was second seed Liu Tsz-Ling, the world No.57 from Hong Kong making only her first Tour appearance this year. 23-year-old Liu cruised through to the final without dropping a game, despatching Norway’s No.3 seed Lotte Eriksen in the semis to reach the ninth Tour final of her career.

Donna stretches into the back left corner
Donna stretches into the back left corner

The final marked the pair’s third Tour meeting since April 2011 – and it took the Australian left-hander 50 minutes to extend her unbeaten record over Liu to win the title by an 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 scoreline.

“It feels awesome to be in the final since my foot operation and to actually win the tournament,” said the jubilant Urquhart, currently ranked 36 in the world, later. “I’m so happy to be back on track and so much enjoying playing squash again.

“Liu played very well and put me under a lot of pressure today – every time I was putting the ball loose she was putting it away, so I had to find the right game plan.

“I’m taking confidence from this and hopefully will keep playing well next week in Calgary.”

Urquhart faced a tough battle in the quarter-finals but finally overcame England’s Fiona Moverley 14-12 in the fifth game. She then beat fourth seed Sina Wall of Germany in the semi-finals.

The Australian is the fourth seed in the Calgary CFO Consulting Services WSA Women’s Squash Week Championship which gets under way in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday.

Women’s Stratos Seattle Open, Seattle, USA

1st round:

[1] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Julia Lecoq (FRA) 11-1, 11-7, 11-8
[6] Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt [WC] Manuela Manetta (ITA) 11-5, 12-10, 11-6
[4] Sina Wall (GER) bt [Q] Elena Wagenmans (NED) 11-5, 11-5, 11-9
[8] Sachika Ingale (IND) bt [Q] Kelsey Engman (USA) 10-12, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 15-13
Lee Ka Yi (HKG) bt [5] Diana Garcia (MEX) 11-7, 11-7, 11-8
[3] Lotte Eriksen (NOR) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 12-10, 11-5, 11-5
[7] Milnay Louw (RSA) bt [Q] Giselle Delgado (CHI) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6
[2] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt [Q] Majd Alkhateeb (JOR) 11-1, 11-3, 11-6
[1] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [6] Fiona Moverley (ENG) 11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 8-11, 14-12
[4] Sina Wall (GER) bt [8] Sachika Ingale (IND) 11-5, 11-8, 11-4
[3] Lotte Eriksen (NOR) bt Lee Ka Yi (HKG) 11-6, 11-3, 7-11, 11-5
[2] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt [7] Milnay Louw (RSA) 11-2, 11-4, 11-8
[1] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [4] Sina Wall (GER) 11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8
[2] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) bt [3] Lotte Eriksen (NOR) 11-5, 11-2, 11-3
[1] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [2] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 (50m)

Picture courtesy of WSA 


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