07-11 Mar, Floridablanca, Colombia, $70k
David claims the title in Colombia
Malaysiaís eight-time World Champion Nicol David lifted
her first PSA title since December 2015 after a dominant display
against Olivia Blatchford in the final of the inaugural Ciudad
de Floridablanca, PSA W70 tournament held at the Parque el
Playing in the shadow of the stunning El Santisimo statue, World
#7 David - who topped the World Rankings for nine years between
2006-2015 - stormed out of the blocks to take a two-game lead
amidst a nervy start from Blatchford, who was appearing in her
biggest ever final.
Play was then suspended for 40-minutes at 6-6 in the third game
after a sudden period of rainfall plunged the completion of the
final into doubt, but the sky cleared and David returned to
court in a determined mood as she closed out the win to wrap up
an 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 victory.
Davidís win sees her take a share of the $70,000 prize fund, and
claiming the 81st Tour title of her career - but her first since
the 2015 Hong Kong Open.
"It feels great to win a tournament again," admitted David.
"Itís been quite a while and I think this is really special to
have my first title here in Floridablanca. It's going to have a
special place in my heart.
"Thank you so much to the people in Floridablanca for hosting us
here at the El Santisimo, it's been such a special week for all
of us girls here. There was so much support from the mayor and
everyone here, who put so much effort into making this happen.
It's such a team effort, and everyone has worked so hard to make
this happen for women's squash."
Blatchford paid tribute to the experience of playing one of the
sportís greatest ever players, saying: "This whole trip has been
crazy. It's amazing to be here and get the experience, I don't
really get to spend too much time on glass courts, especially
glass courts like this.
"To play Nicol, who is an idol in the game, is incredible."
Ciudad de Floridablanca 2017
07-11 Mar, Floridablanca, Colombia, $70k
 Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
11/6, 11/1, 11/2 (23m)
[Q] Millie Tomlinson (Eng)
 Amanda Sobhy
11/7, 11/4, 11/6 (38m)
 Tesni Evans
 Amanda Sobhy
1/11, 6/11, 5/10 rtd (32m)
11/3, 11/4, 11/8 (30m)
 Nicol David
 Tesni Evans (Wal)
9/11, 12/10, 11/9, 11/3 (56m)
Heba El Torky (Egy)
 Emily Whitlock (Eng)
11/4, 11/8, 11/5 (28m)
[wc] Catalina Pelaez (Col)
 Emily Whitlock
11/4, 10/12, 11/5 rtd (36m)
 Annie Au (Hkg)
13/11, 6/11, 9/11, 11/7, 11/2 (65m)
Olivia Blatchford (Usa)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (Egy)
12/10, 11/6, 11/7 (31m)
 Alison Waters (Eng)
 Alison Waters
11/7, 16/18, 11/7, 15/13 (73m)
 Victoria Lust
 Alison Waters
8/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/2 (49m)
 Nicol David
[Q] Coline Aumard (Fra)
5/11, 11/6, 11/7, 11/8 (40m)
 Victoria Lust (Eng)
[Q] Hollie Naughton ((Can)
3/11, 11/6, 11/7, 118 (41m)
 Joey Chan (Hkg)
 Joey Chan
12/10, 12/10, 11/3 (31m)
 Nicol David
[Q] Samantha Teran (Mex)
11/2, 11/7, 11/2 (25m)
 Nicol David (Mas)
Qualifying, single round on
Coline Aumard (Fra) 3-0 Laura Tovar (Col)
11/4, 11/5, 11/3 (28m)
Hollie Naughton (Can) 3-1 Diana Garcia (Mex) 11/8,
10/12, 13/11, 11/5 (20m)
Samantha Teran (Mex) 3-0 Haley Mendez (Usa)
11/7, 11/5, 11/7 (27m)
Millie Tomlinson (Eng) 3-0 Karol Gonzalez (Col)
11/4, 11/7, 11/2 (22m)
Blatchford to face David in final after
Sobhy limps out on match ball
Top seed Amanda Sobhyís tournament at the inaugural Ciudad de
Floridablanca came to an abrupt end after the American #1 tore
her achilles while match ball up during her semi-final clash
with compatriot Olivia Blatchford at the Parque el Santisimo.
led 11-1, 11-6, but at 10-5 in the third Sobhyís achilles on her
left leg gave way as she set off to chase down a drop, leaving
her crumpled on the floor, and she was forced to retire from the
"She was outplaying me completely," said an emotional
Blatchford. "I was five match balls down so I thought I would
do some different things, I just sent her the wrong way and,
when she moved, she went down. Iím praying for her, all I can do
now is be the best teammate I can for her now and take her
strength by doing my best tomorrow."
Blatchford will appear in her biggest ever PSA final against
Malaysian Nicol David, who recovered from a game down to beat
Englandís Alison Waters - reaching her 101st PSA final in the
controlled the early stages of the match but David took the last
three games to claim a place in her first final since the 2015
Hong Kong Open.
"I was just a bit reactive in some parts of the match and she
was free-flowing," David said. "I managed to settle into the
game and started hitting my targets well and putting her under
pressure. I was really pleased to enforce my game and pull it
through to win 3-1.
"Iím glad to get to the final here, Iíll give it a good go. When
youíre in a final, youíre both there to just go for it and Iíll
be doing just that."
Sobhy and Blatchford set up all-US semi
Amanda Sobhy will take on Olivia Blatchford in an all-USA
semifinal moved past Tesni Evans and Emily Whitlock at the
Parque el Santisimo.
Sobhy earned her semi-final berth with a dominant win over Evans
to reach her first PSA semi since Octoberís U.S. Open.
ďI knew that the last couple of times Tesni and I have played,
it has been tough and I know sheís in good form,Ē said Sobhy. ďI
tried to implement my fast pace from the beginning and I tried
to hold and stop and start her because sheís really good when
she gets into a rhythm."
Blatchford will appear in the biggest semi-final of her career
after a hip injury forced Whitlock Englishwoman to retire with
Blatchford leading two-one.
"All-in-all itís a massive step in the right direction for my
career," Blatchford said. "I felt really confident going into it
and, while itís not the way I wanted to win, itís a step
"Amanda and I know each-other very well, inside and out. Sheís a
teammate, a friend and sheís my roommate here. Hopefully
tomorrow will see two girls trying to go at it no matter how
well they know each-otherís games."
Legendary Malaysian Nicol David moved to within one win of her
first PSA final since 2015 in Hong Kong as she defeated Joey
Chan in straight games.
ďI felt good at the start and I think it was a good match,Ē said
David. ďIím really excited to play in the semis here in
Colombia. Itís such a great venue, Iíve been feeling good and
Iím going to give it all Iíve got tomorrow.Ē
Standing between David and a place in a 101st PSA final is
Englandís Alison Waters, who defeated compatriot Victoria Lust
in a five-game thriller to reach her biggest semi-final since
ďYou train hard in these situations and I was confident in those
last couple of points,Ē said Waters. ďIíve had some good results
recently, I lost to Camille in the final of the Cleveland
Classic and in Chicago, but Iíve been playing well and Iím
really pleased to be in the semi-finals.Ē
Top seeds off to winning
starts in Floridablanca
Top seeds Amanda Sobhy and Nicol David both moved
through to the last eight of the inaugural Ciudad de
Floridablanca tournament after claiming wins over Englandís
Millie Tomlinson and Mexicoís Samantha Teran on the opening day
with the 2017 International Womenís Day, the first round saw
three matches take place at the stunning Parque el Santisimo,
with Sobhy putting in a fine display to see off Tomlinson in
just 23 minutes by an 11-6, 11-1, 11-2 margin of victory.
Due to prolonged rainfall, the matches were delayed by an hour,
and Sobhy admitted it was important to remain focused despite
the delay, saying: "I prepared myself figuring that there
would be a delay, and itís just something you canít control,
itís just a funny situation.
"The only thing you can do is laugh about it, stay relaxed and
try to be as focused as you can be when you get on.
"I feel like a kid in a candy shop here, the venue is awesome.
Itís an amazing venue regardless of the weather and Iím so
thankful that the mayor of Floridablanca [Hector Mantilla] and
Squash Colombia have been able to put this event on for us."
eight-time World Champion David also put in a strong showing,
beating training partner and close friend Samantha Teran in
The duo, who both train under the legendary coach Liz Irving,
played out the last match of the evening at the Parque el
Santisimo, with David taking it 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 to set up a
quarter-final meeting with number seven seed Joey Chan.
"Itís always difficult to play a good friend of yours, but I
knew I had to go in really strong," said David.
"I know sheís been playing pretty well, so I came into the match
pretty focused to make sure that I took control straight away.
Today I really kept on top of my task. I knew I had to be sharp
today, so I was pleased to perform the way I did.
"It gives you so much energy on court when you play here with
the Santisimo giving you its blessing. Itís remarkable how they
have put this court up here and you canít really replicate this
Emily Whitlock was the other victor at the Parque el
Santisimo and she defeated tournament wildcard and home hero
Catalina Pelaez three-nil.
Pelaez, who suffered with knee tendonitis for much of last year,
asked questions of Whitlock at the outset of the second and
third games, but ultimately fell to a clinical display from the
ďI really enjoyed playing Catalina," Whitlock said.
"I know she has had a knee injury, I just hope she can get that
fixed soon and start playing at her very best.Ē
The rest of the matches took place on the traditional courts at
the Club Campestre Bucaramanga, with USA #2 Olivia Blatchford
causing the dayís big upset against Hong Kongís Annie Au.
ďI tried really hard and thatís why I do all this fitness
work because, when I have these games, I know that I can go for
it 100 per cent," said Blatchford, who will take on Whitlock in
the next round.
ďI wanted to get a good start, which I did, but she came back
and she is really clever, so my goal was to make it physical and
up the pace. I managed to do that, so I canít wait to get on the
glass court now, Iím super excited.Ē
Welsh World #19 Tesni Evans beat Egyptís Heba El Torky to
set up a meeting with Sobhy, while England's Alison Waters and
Victoria Lust also claimed wins, against Salma Hany Ibrahim and
Sobhy delighted to start campaign
on International Womenís Day ...
US #1 Amanda Sobhy is looking forward to showcasing
womenís squash at the upcoming Ciudad de Floridablanca, the
first round of which coincides with the 2017 International
Womenís Day on March 8th.
place on a specially constructed all-glass show court on the
stunning Parque el Santisimo in Colombia, the Ciudad de
Floridablanca is the most lucrative womenís South American
squash tournament of all time with $70k up for grabs, and sees
Sobhy seeded first in the 16-woman draw.
Sobhy, who takes on a qualifier in round one, is excited to take
part in the tournament, and the charismatic World No.6 hopes
that the tournament beginning on International Womenís Day will
help to encourage women to get involved in the sport.
"The fact that the first round of the tournament coincides
with International Women's Day is brilliant because it showcases
women's squash, which will increase the visibility of the sport
in this region of the world and encourage more females to get on
court," said Sobhy.
is such an amazing sport that we want to continue to grow. The
goal is to get as many people involved and females to play, so
it is such a benefit to start the tournament on International
Sobhy will be appearing in Colombia for the first time in her
career and is seeded to meet Malaysiaís eight-time World
Champion Nicol David in a blockbuster final on March 11.
The 23-year-old is eagerly anticipating the tournament as she
looks to claim her first PSA title since September 2015.
"I have been wanting to go to Colombia ever since I was a
junior in squash because I've heard so many great things about
the country, so I cannot tell you how excited I am to play in
the Ciudad de Floridablanca," she said.
"Thank you to the promoters and Squash Colombia for making this
event happen. They have had a few men's tournaments in Colombia
before, so it is amazing to see that they are now having such a
lucrative women's event."
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