Welsh queen Emily claims ninth WSA title with victory in California
It was second time lucky for Emily Whitlock in the final of the Women’s Equinox Orange County Open in the USA when the England squash star beat South African Siyoli Waters in straight games to win the WSA Tour 10 event in its fourth straight year at Equinox Sports Club Irvine in Irvine, California.
Runner-up in 2013, Whitlock was seeded to triumph on her return – and the 20-year-old from Colwyn Bay in Wales did not disappoint. Whitlock reached the 14th Tour final of her career to date after seeing off Egypt’s sixth seed Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy in a four-game semi-final.
Second seed Waters, the South African champion from Cape Town, also recorded her 14th WSA Tour final appearance after winning the other semi-final, against fourth-seeded New Zealander Amanda Landers-Murphy.
The climax marked Whitlock and Waters’ third Tour meeting – remarkably, all in finals!
“All seats were full and there was not a spot left to stand,” reported Jessica Helal, the club’s Squash Manager & Head Coach. “The crowd were excited to see Emily return and compete in her second final at the club.
“With a three nil defeat, Siyoli never truly settled in to her game and Emily stormed to victory.”
The 11-2, 11-7, 11-9 victory led Whitlock (pictured above, left, with Waters) to the ninth Tour title of her career: “When I saw the tournament was up on the calendar again, I put my name in it straight away as I really like coming here,” commented world No31 Whitlock on receiving her trophy.
“Everyone is really nice and it’s a really nice environment to be in. We all seem to get on, I think it’s the weather that does it! It puts everyone in a good mood!”
Helal added: “We are proud to be a tour stop for the WSA on the West Coast. As the newly-appointed Program Manager for Equinox Irvine, I look forward to increasing our involvement with the professional squash affiliations and facilitating the growth of what is one of America’s fastest growing sports.”
For all the latest WSA Tour news: wsaworldtour.com
RESULTS: Women’s Equinox Orange County Open, Irvine, California, USA
 Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) bt Sally Norgate (USA) 11-3, 11-3, 11-4
 Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 11-1, 11-5, 11-9
 Tamika Saxby (AUS) bt Manuela Manetta (ITA) 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4
Victoria Temple Murray (ENG) bt  Linda Hruzikova (SVK) 11-3, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt  Cyrielle Peltier (FRA) 11-7, 11-6, 11-3
 Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt  Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 11-2, 11-4, 11-9
 Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt  Tamika Saxby (AUS) 12-10, 11-5, 11-7
 Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt Victoria Temple Murray (ENG) 13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt  Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6
 Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt  Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 11-9, 3-11, 11-8, 11-8
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt  Siyoli Waters (RSA) 11-2, 11-7, 11-9