Saturday, April 13, 2024

WSA: Hansen lines up tilt at Aussie Open

Line Hansen and Emily Whitlock

Hansen happy with win ahead of Australian Open

Denmark’s Line Hansen says she is in top form heading into a tough first round clash at next week’s Australian Open squash tournament after a straight games win over rising English star Emily Whitlock in the final of the Black Knight Open in Melbourne on Sunday.

Hansen saw off the 18-year-old Whitlock 11-7, 11-4, 12-10 to claim her second title in a row following her win at last week’s NSW Open in Sydney.

The top seeded Dane was in control throughout as she took advantage of some early nerves from Whitlock to stamp her authority on the final.

Hansen, 29, now heads to the Australian Open in Canberra, where a first round clash with former champion and world number 10 Kasey Brown awaits.

“I’m really happy with my form,” she said. “I’ve got no pressure on me against Kasey. I played her earlier in the year and although she beat me three-love the match went over an hour and I think I was in with a chance of winning it.”

Hansen gave Whitlock, who finished fourth at the recent world junior championships, no chance of an upset on Sunday.

She won the first two games comfortably then raced to a 6-1 lead in the third.

“I think my intensity dropped at that point and she played really well to come back to six-all, then we went point for point until the tiebreak,” Hansen said.

“I played well, but I don’t think she would have been that happy with how she went.”

Whitlock is also playing in Canberra and will take on 13th seeded New Zealand Jaclyn Hawkes in the first round.

Final result – prefix denotes seeding:

1-Line Hansen (DEN) bt 2-Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 12-10

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