Friday, July 19, 2024

Olivia Blatchford wins her first European title

Olivia Blatchford (right) and runner-up Cyrielle Peltier
Olivia Blatchford (right) and runner-up Cyrielle Peltier

American top seed takes Paderborn title
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent

Top-seeded American Olivia Blatchford denied Cyrielle Peltier title success in her maiden appearance in a WSA World Tour final when she beat the second seed from France in four games in the climax of the Women’s Paderborn Open, the WSA Challenger 5 squash event in its second year at Ahorn-Squash in the German town of Paderborn.

After honours were shared over the first two games, world No.73 Peltier started well in the third – but unforced errors let New Yorker Blatchford, ranked more than 30 places higher, back into the game.

The French underdog tried to slow the pace down, but Blatchford kept speeding it up, forcing a growing error factor from Peltier which led to the US favourite moving 2-1 ahead.

“At 11-7 in the fourth it was over – but both players gave a magnificent display of high quality squash,” explained Tournament Promoter Norman Farthing. “Furious attacking play dashed with deadly slow-play tactics, to brilliant shot-making from both girls!”

The 22-year-old Blatchford was full of praise for her opponent after her 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7 victory: “Cyrielle has played an excellent match and kept trying to break my game. I do not like to play slowly, so I had to attack. Luckily I managed to do what I set out to do.”

Le Mans-born Peltier added: “I was being stretched too much with the pace in the first game and had to change my tactics to counteract her fierce play. It worked well but sadly not long enough. Olivia has more than earned the victory, she played fantastically.”

The Paderborn City marketing manager Bernd Schaefers-Maiwald commented in his speech that he had witnessed the World Men’s Team Championships in 2011 and thought the physical effort shown by the men was outstanding – but what he had seen at the women’s final “was simply amazing”.

The Paderborn title triumph brings up the fifth WSA Tour title of Blatchford’s career, and her first in Europe. 

Women’s Paderborn Open, Paderborn, Germany

1st round:

[1] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Tinne Gilis (BEL) 11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3
[6] Chloe Mesic (FRA) bt Enora Villard (FRA) 11-6, 11-7, 11-3
[4] Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt [Q] Marina de Juan Gallach (ESP) 11-5, 12-10, 11-3
[8] Alison Thomson (ENG) bt [WC] Annika Wiese (GER) 7-11, 11-2, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8
[5] Sina Wall (GER) bt [Q] Nicole Fries (GER) w/o
[3] Thaisa Serafini (BRA) bt [Q] Tessa ter Sluis (NED) 11-4, 12-14, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6
[7] Leonie Holt (ENG) bt [Q] Sharon Sinclair (GER) 11-8, 13-11, 4-11, 11-7
[2] Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) bt Ekaterina Marusan (RUS) 11-3, 11-6, 11-2
[1] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [6] Chloe Mesic (FRA) 11-8, 11-6, 11-3
[4] Fiona Moverley (ENG) bt [8] Alison Thomson (ENG) 11-3, 11-9, 11-2 (25m)
[5] Sina Wall (GER) bt [3] Thaisa Serafini (BRA) 11-3, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7
[2] Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) bt [7] Leonie Holt (ENG) 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 (37m)
[1] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [4] Fiona Moverley (ENG) 11-9, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10 (56m)
[2] Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) bt [5] Sina Wall (GER) 11-8, 15-13, 10-12, 11-5 (52m)
[1] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [2] Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7 

Picture courtesy of WSA 


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