From Yale student to WSA Tour pro, Millie makes her mark in New York
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Successive upsets over seeds – including the top two – in the inaugural Women’s LiveStuff Open in the USA led England’s Millie Tomlinson to her maiden title on the Women’s Squash Association World Tour after victory over second seed Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy in the final of the WSA Tour 5 event at LiveTechnology Holdings in Tuxedo Park, New York.
With her studies at Yale University now behind her, the recently-crowned World University Champion from Derbyshire is now focussed on her professional squash career.
The unseeded 22-year-old defeated Mexico’s No4 seed Ivonne Diaz, then sixth seed Nayelly Hernandez, also from Mexico, before lining up against event favourite Sabrina Sobhy, the US number four, in the semi-final.
The English underdog downed the top seed in four games to reach the first final of her career – while, in the other semi, Egyptian El-Defrawy despatched Canada’s third string Nikki Todd in straight games to claim her sixth final appearance.
The climax was a marathon encounter – with both players experiencing the longest matches of their careers. Tomlinson took a two-game lead, but El-Defrawy, the 20-year-old world No74, struck back to draw level.
Tomlinson, ranked 119 in the world, refused to buckle and found second wind to reclaim the initiative in the decider to close out the match 11-7, 11-9, 2-11, 10-12, 11-8 to become a WSA Tour title winner for the first time after 90 minutes.
RESULTS: Women’s LiveStuff Open, Tuxedo Park, New York, USA:
 Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Larissa Stephenson (NZL) 11-3, 7-0 ret.
 Fernanda Rocha (ARG) bt Melina Turk (CAN) 6-11, 11-5, 11-4, 12-10
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt  Ivonne Diaz (MEX) 11-7, 11-5, 11-8
 Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) bt Salma El Defrawy (EGY) 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5
 Menna Nasser (EGY) bt Chloe Chemtob (CAN) 11-7, 11-3, 11-6
 Nikki Todd (CAN) bt Alicia Rodriguez Acosta (MEX) 11-9, 11-5, 11-5
 Alexandra Fuller (RSA) bt [Q] Jennifer Pelletier (CAN) 11-5, 11-5, 11-2
 Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Colette Sultana (MLT) 11-2, 11-4, 11-3
 Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt  Fernanda Rocha (ARG) 11-4, 11-3, 11-4
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt  Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) 11-3, 11-4, 11-6
 Nikki Todd (CAN) bt  Menna Nasser (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9
 Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt  Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt  Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11-4, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9
 Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt  Nikki Todd (CAN) 11-2, 11-8, 11-7
Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt  Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) 11-7, 11-9, 2-11, 10-12, 11-8 (90m)
Picture courtesy of WSA