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New England Open 2010
07-10 May, Natick, MA Usa, $5k
10-May, Final:
Sobhy Prevails in All-American Final
By Sarah Cortes

World-ranked #39 Amanda Sobhy, 16, had to dig deep tonight to defeat #57 Olivia Blatchford, 17, in their fifth final this season.

Sobhy came back from 0-2 down to win a hard-fought 3-2 match. These two American players are inspiring great US interest in WISPA matches.

Blatchford displayed an error-free style as she took the first game 11-5. In the second, the scrappy players used up most of their 5 lets, with many strokes awarded and many calls appealed.

 In the end, Blatchford’s superior depth prevailed over an unfocused Sobhy, 11-8.

But Sobhy deepened her intensity in the third and resolved the 9-all tiebreak into an 11-9 win. Blatchford was quick to the ball, but was unable to turn back Sobhy in the fourth, who prevailed, 11-6. Finally, after 45 minutes of fine squash, Sobhy took match ball, 11-6 in the fifth game.

Meet Amanda - Stargazer interview on SquashStars

WISPA advance in the US

Tournament director Joe McManus noted that 32 players from 17 countries have participated in the New England Open in Boston, Massachusetts, USA this weekend. Players hailed from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana Guatemala, Mexico and Ecuador in the Americas, from England, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands in Europe, plus Jordan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Japan.

The New England Open has recently joined an increasing roster of WISPA events in the US. As American colleges have made an increasing number of squash team slots available to women, graduating women squash players have then begun to fill pro teaching positions in the US. These women are joining the tour while teaching in increasing numbers, and inspiring their clubs to support WISPA events.

It’s thrilling to observe the multiplicity of nations now spawning WISPA pros, to reflect on the progress WISPA professional athletes have made in the past decade. That so many young women from so many countries would consider the option of becoming a professional athlete, and choose squash, reflects the benefit of an opportunity increasingly available to young women. It is encouraging to watch the high caliber of women’s professional squash and the enjoyment so many derive from attending these events.

Men join the fun

As a warm-up before the women’s final, Daniel Sharplin USA #1 took on Kush Mahan, a Floridian originally from Kenya 11-4, 11-4, 11-3. Sharplin displayed his classic anticipation and shot selection, while Mahan, currently Maine champion, relied on speed in the match.

In the men’s draw, the four New England champions from Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, will compete with pros including Wael el Hindi and Shahier Razik in events organized as part of Joe McManus’s new Pro Squash tour.


New England Open 2010
07-10 May, Natick, MA Usa, $5k
Round One
08 May
09 May
09 May
10 May
[1] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
11/5, 11/5, 11/5
Nayelly Hernandez (Mex)
[1] Amanda Sobhy
11/4, 11/7, 9/11, 11/1
[7] Karen Kronemeyer
[1] Amanda Sobhy

11/8, 11/8, 9/11, 11/7

[3] Nicolette Fernandes

[1] Amanda Sobhy

5/11, 8/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/6 (45m)

[2] Olivia Blatchford

[7] Karen Kronemeyer (Ned)
11/6, 11/9, 11/9
[Q] Niki Clement
[3] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
Zoya Khalid (Pak)
[3] Nicolette Fernandes
 11/4, 11/3, 11/4
[LL] Julianne Chu
[LL] Julianne Chu
9/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/5
Fernanda Rocha (Arg)
[Q] Hope Prockop (Usa)
6/11, 14/12, 11/2, 14/12
[6] Carrie Hastings (Eng)
[Q] Hope Prockop
6/11, 14/12, 11/6, 13/11
[4] Thaisa Serafini
[4] Thaisa Serafini

11/5, 11/6, 11/5

[2] Olivia Blatchford

[Q] Cece Cortes
12/10, 11/1, 7/11, 14/12
[4] Thaisa Serafini (Bra)
[Q] Larissa Stephensen (Nzl)
11/3, 11/6, 11/4
[5] Belkys Magaly Velez (Ecu)
[Q] Larissa Stephensen
11/7,11/9, 11/9
[2] Olivia Blatchford
Catalina Pelaez (Col)
11/9, 11/7, 11/3
[2] Olivia Blatchford (Usa)

Qualifying Finals
Hope Prockop bt Maria Elena Ubina               11/7, 11/5, 12/10
Cece Cortes bt Katja Amir                             11/8, 11/3, 11/4
Larissa Stephenson bt Wendy Ansdell     11/5, 11/6, 9/11, 11/5
Niki Clement bt Julianne Chu                          11/8, 11/9, 11/8

Qualifying Round 1
Hope Prockop bt Szilvi Szombati                   11/5, 11/7, 13/11
Wendy Andsell bt Kim Palterman                    11/6, 11/2, 11/8
09-May, Quarters & Semis:
Two Americans through to the final
Sarah Cortes reports

The four top seeds made it past two qualifiers and a lucky loser, inlcuding another two Americans, Chu and Prockop. With four Americans in the quarter-finals, crowds spilled out of the bleachers and into the aisles.at Cross Courts Club in Natick, just outside Boston, MA.

Once again, Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford make it an all-American final tomorrow.

Boston is thrilled to welcome 32 of the top women in the world. Top seeds Fernandes, Serafini, Velez, and Hastings drew crowds and load of local interest.

Joe McManus, tournament director, noted the tremendous interest Boston has consistently expressed in recent years in bringing women back to the Boston squash scene.

First up today was Blatchford vs. Stevenson. Blatchford, 16, now a full-time player continuing her studies while dedicated full-time to the tour, dispatched Stevenson 3-0 in 35 minutes.

Next up Serafina overcame Prockop, einding the American's remarkable run from the qualis, 3-1, 14/12 in the 4th.

In the third quarter-final, lucky loser Chu put up a good fight but succumbed 4,3and 4 to Fernandes.

Finally, Sobhy defeated Kronemeyer 3-1.

After a short break, Blatchford was back on court and dispatched Serafina 3-0 in 23 minutes.

In the final match of the day, Sobhy dispatched an in-form but recovering Fernandes 3-0.

Tomorrrow, Sobhy, also 16 and world ranked #36, faces off against world #57 Blatchford.


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