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Ciudad de Floridablanca 2017
07-11 Mar, Floridablanca, Colombia, $70k

11-Mar,Final:
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 Santisimo, Colombia.

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
Round One
08 Mar
Quarters
09 Mar
Semis
10 Mar
Final
11 Mar
[1] Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
11/6, 11/1, 11/2 (23m)
[Q] Millie Tomlinson (Eng)
[1] Amanda Sobhy

11/7, 11/4, 11/6 (38m)

[8] Tesni Evans
[1] Amanda Sobhy

1/11, 6/11, 5/10 rtd (32m)

Olivia Blatchford

 

Olivia Blatchford

 

11/3, 11/4, 11/8 (30m)

 

[2] Nicol David

81st title
 for Nicol

[8] Tesni Evans (Wal)
9/11, 12/10, 11/9, 11/3 (56m)
Heba El Torky (Egy)
[5] Emily Whitlock (Eng)
11/4, 11/8, 11/5 (28m)
[wc] Catalina Pelaez (Col)
[5] Emily Whitlock

11/4, 10/12, 11/5 rtd (36m)

Olivia Blatchford
[4] 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)
[3] Alison Waters (Eng)
[3] Alison Waters

11/7, 16/18, 11/7, 15/13 (73m)

[6] Victoria Lust
[3] Alison Waters

8/11, 11/9, 11/6, 11/2 (49m)

[2] Nicol David

[Q] Coline Aumard (Fra)
5/11, 11/6, 11/7, 11/8 (40m)
[6] Victoria Lust (Eng)
[Q] Hollie Naughton ((Can)
3/11, 11/6, 11/7, 118 (41m)
[7] Joey Chan (Hkg)
[7] Joey Chan

12/10, 12/10, 11/3 (31m)

[2] Nicol David
[Q] Samantha Teran (Mex)
11/2, 11/7, 11/2 (25m)
[2] Nicol David (Mas)
Qualifying, single round on 7th:

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)

10-Mar, Semis:
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.

Sobhy 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 match .

"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 process.

Waters 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."

 

09-Mar, Quarters:
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 forward.

"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 2015.

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 in Colombia.

Coinciding 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."


Malaysiaís eight-time World Champion David also put in a strong showing, beating training partner and close friend Samantha Teran in straight games.

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 feeling."


Englandís 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 Englishwoman.

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 Coline Aumard.
 

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.

Taking 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.

"Squash 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 Women's Day."


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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