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Richmond Open 2014
15-19 Apr, Virginia, Usa, $10k
Chinappa takes Richmond title
Kristen Lange reports

It was a thrilling week of matches as both Rachel Grinham and Joshana Chinappa  fought hard to make it to the final of the first ever Richmond WSA Open.

Today’s match was a battle as Rachel and Joshna both played amazing squash during the course of the week. The final was Rachel's 65th tour final of her career, a number most players would feel extremely lucky to have next to their name, and Joshana's 16th tour final, also a very impressive number. Head to head Rachel had a 5-0 lead over her opponent, however statistics and head to heads mean nothing once the players entered the court let their racquets do the talking!

Starting the first game Grinham came out swinging, firing her way to a 6-2 lead, however Chinappa surged back through consistent play to level the game off at 6-6. From here it was a battle to 11, with the lead oscillating between the two players until a couple unfortunate mistakes gave Chinappa the first game 11-9. Continuing to ride the momentum Chinappa, in a matter of minutes created a 6-1 lead over Grinham.

She continued the fast pace that gave her this lead and even though Grinham scored a few more points she was not able to counter the pace and accuracy of Chinappa as she won the 2nd game 11-5. The start of the 3rd game was once again all Chinappa as she quickly sailed to an 8-2 lead over Grinham. Never one to be counted out Grinham fought her way back to 8-8, however it was a case of too little too late as Grinham made three critical errors to give Joshana her first win over the courageous Australian in a stunning 3-0 shocker of a match.

This week displayed some amazing squash and the crowd at The Country Club of Virginia certainly got their fill of women’s squash. On behalf of WSA and the players thank you to CCV for the amazing venue and hospitality. WSA showed some of their best squash this week, and truly inspired the audience, empowered all involved and entertained.

Kristen Lange

Richmond Open 2014
15-19 Apr, Virginia, Usa, $10k
Round One
16 Apr
17 Apr
18 Apr
19 Apr
[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
 11-5, 11-3, 11-3
Belen Etchechoury (Arg)
[1] Rachael Grinham
10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5
[5] Sabrina Sobhy
[1] Rachael Grinham

8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (45m)

[4] Siyoli Waters

[1] Rachael Grinham

11-9, 11-5,
11-8 (40m

[2] Joshana Chinappa

9th WSA title for Chinappa

[5] Sabrina Sobhy (Usa)
11-8, 11-5, 11-3
Alicia Rodriguez (Mex)
[7] Kristin Lange (Usa)
11-7, 11-9, 11-3
Ivonne Diaz (Mex)
[7] Kristin Lange
4-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-13, 11-3
[4] Siyoli Waters
[4] Siyoli Waters (Rsa)
11-2, 11-5, 11-5
Diana Garcia (Mex)
Larissa Stephenson (Nzl)
 11-8, 11-7, 11-4
[3] Latasha Khan (Usa)
[3] Latasha Khan
11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-4
[6] Sarah Cardwell
[3] Latasha Khan

11-7, 11-8, 11-5 (27m)

[2] Joshana Chinappa

Colette Sultana (Mlt)
11-4, 11-9, 11-6
[6] Sarah Cardwell (Aus)
Catalina Pelaez (Col)
11-8, 11-6, 11-5
[8] Cecilia Cortes (Usa)
Catalina Pelaez
11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7
[2] Joshana Chinappa
Fernanda Roicha (Arg)
 11-2, 11-8, 11-6
[2] Joshana Chinappa (Ind)

Top seeds through to Richmond final
Kristen Lange reports

After the high intensity and excitement of yesterday's matches a full house packed into the bleachers at the Country Club of Virginia ready for the top 4 seeds to battle it out for the special chance to take one of the two final positions in the first ever WSA Richmond Squash Open.

The first match on court featured the crowd favorite Siyoli Waters of South Africa versus the speedy Rachel Grinham of Australia, this match was followed by the only remaining American in the draw from Seattle and truly a tour veteran Latasha Khan versus the lengthy Joshana Chinappa of India. Both matches lived up to the hype, producing yet again another spectacular evening of squash.
In the first match of the evening, Waters came out strong, hitting her targets and finding her depth. Grinham struggled to get the ball past the far reach of Waters, allowing for Waters to sneak by and win the first game 11-8. However Grinham came out strong in the second, misdirecting Waters finding her nicks and forcing the ball wider and thus out of her reach.

At 7-8 Waters serving a small change in momentum came as Waters hit some deft cross court drops from deep in the forehand corner to give herself a 9-8 lead, however after some killer length and an unfortunate but fair stroke Grinham took the second game 11-9. The third game was all Grinham, as she moved Waters around the court this way and that, leaving her flat footed through some amazing holding and hitting. Unfortunately for Waters she found the bottom of the tin a few too many times, aiding Grinham to an 11-4 win in the 3rd game.

The fourth started out a dog fight with both players pushing the ball to the front and lifting it to the back to create good position. However at 3-3 Grinham took charge and surged to an 8-4 lead over Waters. Even though Waters fought till the end there was nothing she could do to abate the onslaught of incredible shots executed by Grinham as she went on the win 11-7 in the 4th

Grinham bt Waters 8-11 11-9 11-4 11-7 45min

The first game between Chinappa and Khan was an exhibition on how to use the boast, and at times overuse the boast as both players hit their fair share. However it was due to the more consistent depth and front court deception that Chinappa took the first game over Khan 11-7.

The second game saw a continuation of the accurate depth followed by front court decision making out of Chinappa. Khan to her credit never stopped moving and pushing for every shot, forcing Chinappa to work for each point. A few sketchy stroke situations brought Chinappa to a 10-5 lead over Khan, after a short comeback Chinappa took the second game 11-8.

The 3rd game was all Chinappa as Khan was playing a risky game of taking the ball in early and fast, unfortunately Chinappa was all over the shots which were not finding their respective targets and falling short. Off of two unfortunate shots into the tin by Khan, Chinappa took the third and final game of the evening 11-5.

Chinappa bt Khan 11-7 11-8 11-5 27min

Tomorrow will be an exciting matchup between the first and second seeds of the tournament Rachel Grinham and Joshana Chinappa. Once again everyone in the crowd was awed and exhilarated by the amazing squash exhibited by all the athletes in the tournament thus far.

Kristen Lange

Quarters in Richmond
Kristen Lange reports

It was a great day of matches in Richmond as all the seeds were stretched to their limits by the respective 7, 6, and 5 seeds as well as the Columbian.

Starting off the day was the imposing South African Siyoli Waters and the feisty American Kristen Lange. Lange started out the match strong, going for shots, finding her targets and aiming for some great nicks, she took the game 11-4. However in the second game Waters struck back imposing her will and aggressive style of play taking the game 11-4. The third game was much the same as the 2nd with Waters taking the loose cross courts thrown over by Lange and forcing the ball down.

The fourth game saw an epic battle with Lange finally straightening out her shots and finding the proper length followed by accurate drops to take the game in a tight 13-11. However, in the fifth game it was all over for Lange as the more experienced Waters took control, volleyed everything into the front corners or pounded the ball to the back thus taking the 5th game 11-3, earning Lange the opportunity to ref the next match also going to 5 and surpassing the one hour mark.

Waters bt Lange 4-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-13, 11-3

Up next was Latasha Khan the experienced and wily veteran of the game vs the young jack rabbit who flies and throws herself across the court Sarah Cardwell. The match was close from the beginning with both players playing a steady paced game not wanting to make the error first, at 9-9 Latasha squeaked by to take the game 11-9.

However in the 2nd with both players sprinting and making some amazing gets Cardwell was the one to just squeak ahead winning 11-9. The 3rd game saw the experienced Khan create some amazing opportunities for herself going for some incredible winners that even the speedy Cardwell could not return. She took that game 11-3.

Cardwell never one to back down continued to fly across the court, wowing the crowd with hip breaking splits, pushing Khan to her limits once again and won the 4th 11-9. Sadly the 5th game was all Khan, she once again opened up the court beautifully and created the opportunity to use her experience and incredible hands to push some amazing winners into the front two corners. Cardwell never stopped fighting and had a last minute comeback to gain a couple more points, however the accuracy of Khans shots were too much and she won 11-4 in the fifth.

Khan bt Cardwell 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-4

The evening continued in spectacular fashion as the former world number one Rachel Grinham took centre court vs the reigning US National Champion Sabrina Sobhy. The first game saw a lot of amazing retrievals from both players and incredibly accurate shots from Grinham, however Sobhy never giving up kept pushing, forcing a few crucial errors out of Grinham and taking the game 12-10.

The next game saw Grinham come out shooting, taking everything in short or throwing in deadly lobs which Sobhy could simply not return. She took the game 11-4. In the 3rd game both players came out moving amazingly well across the court with Sobhy pushing forward and pounding Grinham’s shots back or holding and misdirecting the extremely agile Grinham. However, holding steadier in the latter stages of the game, the veteran took it 11-8.

To start the 4th both players came out shooting and sprinting around the court, keeping the first few points tight, but at 4-4 the experienced Grinham pulled ahead with her ability to move the ball around the court whilst disguising the shot so well that at times Sobhy seemed stuck in place. After some incredible squash and a last minute dive by Grinham she goes on to win the match 11-5 in the 4th.

Grinham bt Sobhy 10-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-5

The fourth and final match of the night saw the senior attending Trinity and hailing from Columbia Catalina Palaez take on the number 2 seed Joshna Chinappa from India. As expected this was a match showcasing both woman’s abilities to take the ball into the front court as well as an extraordinary amount of holding and hitting.

The cat like Catalina took pace off the ball to bring her shots in short, however the long and tricky Joshna did well at counter attacking her shots, and pushing the pace of the game to a level where Palaez could not play her game as much as she willed. Chinappa took the first and second games in similar form 11-5 and 11-5. Starting the third the young Columbian came out strong taking a 4-2 lead mainly built on tight drop shots and some amazing cross court nicks. She maintained her lead the entire game through very smart changing of pace and some beautiful shot making, putting Chinappa on the run.

Off of an unforced error brought on by a beautiful backhand drop shot Palaez took the 3rd game 11-9. The fourth game started out with both players moving the ball around the court, at 3-3 Chinappa moved ahead briefly to a 5-3 lead. After that Palaez fought hard but the more consistent Chinappa went on a run winning the next 6 of 8 points and earning herself 6 match balls. After saving three match balls, and another dive at the front court by Palaez, Chinappa closed off the match 11-7.

Chinappa bt Palaez 11-5 11-5 9-11 11-7

The sheer athleticism displayed in all the games today made for quite an amazing day of squash for both the players watching and the members. Excited to see the matches tomorrow as this has been some of the

Kristen Lange

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