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Nicola Wealth Open 2016
Jericho Tennis Club, Vancouver, Canada, $10k

Naughton takes Jericho title
Richard Yendell reports

Hollie Naughton is the winner of the Nicola Wealth Open 2016. The crowd swelled close to 5:30pm in anticipation of the final match of the week. Two players who looked very close on paper but as always it is what happens on court that matters most.

Hollie showed put on a professional performance today and totally controlled the match. Nada, perhaps happy to make it to the final, didn’t have the same commitment that she displayed in the two previous matches as she battled through her two fellow countrymen.

I would like to thank our title sponsor Nicola Wealth Management for making this week possible as well as our other sponsors, Salming, Garnett & Wilson, Hermione & Eugenie Foundation and Lush for their support this week. All of our Patrons , Billets and Volunteers here at Jericho Tennis Club who have supported this event . To the players for their great squash and inspiration for our club, thank you for playing and making this event what it was.



Match Report by Mitchell Kahnert

The match started off with a questionable let which Hollie didn’t like but she kept her focus and won the next two points. Nada then came back to level at two all. Hollie hit some great length early on which dragged Nada deep into the back. Nada left a lot of shots loose which allowed Hollie to get a large lead. Nada gave up at the end, not running for any of Hollie’s shots.

Hollie continued her rampage in the second and Nada seemed uncomfortable on the court. After several lets in a row, Hollie pressed hard, upping the pace to get several points. The rallies grew longer as Nada started to find her way into the match. Nada could not stop going short early in the rally and Hollie punished her. Late in the game, Hollie lost her focus and Nada drew within two points. Hollie regained focus and had a strong finish to the game and won 11-7.

Nada was not able to move to her fullest abilities which gave Hollie the advantage in the front corners. Nada’s frustration grew as she made several errors in a row. Nada showed signs of an injury late in the third and was not able to move well. She hit several tins to finish the third and give the match to Hollie.
 

Nicola Wealth Open 2016
31-Oct to 05 Nov, Vancouver, Canada, $10k
Round One
02 Nov
Quarters
03 Nov
Semis
04 Nov
Final
05 Nov
[1] Hollie Naughton (Can)
11-9, 11-4, 11-1
Reyna Pacheco (Usa)
[1] Hollie Naughton

 2-11, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4

[5] Chloe Mesic
[1] Hollie Naughton

 11-7, 11-7, 11-2

[Q] Nicole Bunyan

2nd PSA title for Hollie

[1] Hollie Naughton

 

 11-2, 11-7, 11-5

 

[8] Nada Abbas

 

[5] Chloe Mesic (Fra)
11-6, 5-11, 11-4, 11-4
[Q] Giselle Delgado (Chi)
[6] Maria Toor Pakay (Pak)
 12-10, 11-9, 11-9
Alison Thomson (Eng)
Alison Thomson

 12-10, 11-5, 11-6

[Q] Nicole Bunyan
[4] Nikki Todd (Can)
7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-6
[Q] Nicole Bunyan (Can)
[wc] Grace Thomas (Can)
11-8, 11-6, 11-3
[3] Nouran El Torky (Egy)
[3] Nouran El Torky

11-8, 11-4, 10-12, 4-11, 11-5

[8] Nada Abbas
[8] Nada Abbas

 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7

[Q] Zeina Mickawy

Diana Garcia (Mex)
11-7, 11-9, 11-6
[8] Nada Abbas (Egy)
[Q] Zeina Mickawy (Egy)
11-3, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6
[7] Danielle Letourneau (Can)
[Q] Zeina Mickawy

13-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-13, 11-8

[2] Sam Cornett
[Q] Melina Turk (Can)
11-7, 11-0, 11-4
[2] Sam Cornett (Can)
Qualifying:

Finals, 01-Nov:

Melina Turk (Can) bt Josephine Adams (Can)           11-1, 11-3, 11-1
Giselle Delgado (Chi) bt Nour Elhendawi (Can)    11-6, 8-11, 11-1, 11-5
Nicole Bunyan (Can) bt Karla Urrutia (Mex)        11-4, 11-2, 8-11, 11-7
Zeina Mickawy (Egy) bt Janet Vidhi (Ind)                  11-2, 11-2, 11-3

Round One, 31-Oct:

Nour Elhendawi (Can) 3-0 Cynthia Cao (Can)          11-4, 11-8, 11-7
Nicole Bunyan (Can) 3-0 Andrea Toth (Can)          13-11, 11-3, 11-5
Karla Urrutia (Mex) 3-1 Carolyn Russell (Can) 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9
Zeina Mickawy (Egy) 3-0 Megan Picken (Can)         11-3, 11-5, 11-3
Semis in Vancouver
Richard Yendell reports

It was a packed house again tonight for the semi-finals of the Nicola Wealth Open. The venue was bursting with squash players as the amateur event also got underway but there was no doubt about the main attraction this evening.

There were two great semi-final matches played which witnessed the end of two qualifiers. Both have gallantly fought their way through five days of squash. The crowd was the largest of the week and certainly appreciative of the great squash they saw.

Hollie Naughton v Nicole Bunyan

Nicole has done so well this tournament. I have been really impressed with her play and her movement throughout the week. She looks fit and has played some great squash. On this day however I felt that Hollies experience really came through. She was much more confident on the ball today and was able to go short with a bit more consistency.

Nicole was perhaps too eager and tended to rush her rallies. She went short from poor positions and allowed Hollie to take command of the rallies. Its always going to be hard to be a great player when you are making unforced errors.

Naughton played the sort of squash I would try to teach our Juniors hear at the club. Be patient, play positional shots that allow you to keep control of the middle of the court and wait for your openings. A good player is always able to win as many points in the back of the court versus having to attack short and risk hitting the tin.

Today that is what Nicole did and Hollie benefited. Bunyan can look back at this week and take a lot of positives and I’m sure she will be better prepared the next time she ends up in the semi-finals.

Nada Abbas v Zeina Mickawy

After yesterdays all Egyptian encounter there was a little wonder whether we would witness another ragged affair of blocking and lets. But this was not the case. Both ladies came to play the ball today and it was a great match for the club to watch.

Both Egyptians really attack the ball and play with a desire that you don’t see in most players. There was a pool of sweat drops on the service box which clearly indicated how hard both girls were working today, they left it all out on the court.

Similar to the first semi-final I feel that experience was the winner today. Zeina has done so well this event but perhaps the additional matches have taken their toll on her body. Her grit and determination were still has a high as ever as she fought for every point. But with tired legs come a few more unforced errors and the difference was the consistency of Abbas.

Nada worked Zeina around the court and allowed her to chase the ball, eventually it just kept getting away from her. A great match for two girls who have billeted together all week, their spirit and commitment to play clean squash was appreciated by everyone in attendance.

So it all comes down to this, Canada vs. Egypt for the Nicola Wealth Open 2016 title. I can’t wait to watch the match I think it is a great match-up with two players who have shown the most consistent performance this week.
 

Round One in Vancouver
Richard Yendell reports

There was a palpable buzz in the air last night at Jericho Tennis Club as the main draw of the Nicola Wealth Open 2016 got underway. The quality of squash certainly made a jump as all of the top seeds got their tournament campaigns underway. The crowd swelled in size from the qualifying rounds with Patrons, Billets and VIPs enjoying the hospitality of our VIP Players Lounge.

A special thank you to Goose Island for providing the FREE beer! Fitting that we have a Chicago based brew on the same night the Cubs win the World Series.

The top three seeds, Hollie Naughton, Sam Cornett and Nouran El Torky, all cruised through their first round matches. Top BC Junior Grace Thomas made her PSA 10k debut and played valiantly in defeat to the third seeded Egyptian.

Chloe Mesic and Giselle Delgado captivated the crowd with an engaging encounter. They were deadlocked at 1-1 before Chloe pulled away and took the match in four games.

Perhaps the match of the night was between Alison Thomson and Maria Toorpakay Wazir. The match was physical and contentious at times, and as indicated by the score line VERY close. It could easily have been 3-0 the other way. In the end Alison was just that little bit more, Maria struggling with her movement and couldn’t quite beat her opponent to the finish line.

In an all Canadian battle Nicole Bunyan upset forth seeded Nikki Todd in a great display of squash. Both girls with smiles on their faces for the majority of the match this was certainly not a tough one to referee! After the match it was discovered that Nikki had suffered a quad injury in the first game, you wouldn’t have noticed by her continued effort and commitment to the match. But hats off to Bunyan, she is looking strong, moving well and will try to keep her tournament going through the quarterfinals.

The other key match of the evening was Egyptian qualifier Zeina Mickawy against seventh seeded Danielle Letourneau.
 
Qualifying under way in Vancouver
Richard Yendell reports

The first day of qualifying is complete here at the Nicola Wealth Open 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the great benefits of hosting a PSA event is not only the opportunity for members and spectators to watch world class squash but also for some of our local players to have the opportunity to compete against some of these players.

Cynthia Cao (Vancouver) vs. Nour Elhendawi (Shawnigan Lake)

This was a matchup of two local juniors who have crossed paths a few times within BC. It’s a great example of how the tournament will build from some of the best local players upwards into the professional ranks. Nour is a student at Shawnigan Lake School but originally grew up playing squash in Egypt. Her strong pace and determination was a bit too much for Cynthia on the night. It will be a great opportunity for her to challenge the current BC #1 Giselle Delgado tomorrow night for a place in the main round.

Elhendawi wins 11-4, 11-8, 11-7

Nicole Bunyan (Can) vs. Andrea Toth (Vancouver)

Andrea is fresh off her win this weekend at the BC Junior open held at Evergreen. Nicole is a couple of years ahead of Andrea in her development having just graduated from Princeton in the spring and now starting full time on tour. Those couple of years experience were definitely the difference in this match. After a close first game Nicole put it on cruise control and showed great movement and preparation to chase down anything Andrea could put together. Nicole just missed out on making Canada’s World Women’s Team at the recent trials in Ontario and looks determined to make a statement this week at Jericho.

Bunyan wins 13-11, 11-3, 11-5

Carolyn Russell (Jericho) vs. Karla Urrutia (Mex)

Match of the night here saw Jericho’s own 12 time Club Champion Carolyn Russell doing battle with a very strong Mexican opponent. I remember watching Urrutia win the Canadian Junior Open a couple of years back , she is very fast and crafty on court. Carolyn came out strong and took the match to Karla with a collection of soft backhand volley drops and drops. You can never underestimate Carolyn’s determination and years of experience playing on the PSA tour.

Urruita battled back and took the next two games as she started to figure out some of Carolyn’s strengths and patterns of play. The fourth was anyone’s game with Carolyn up 9-4 and looking like she was going to take the Mexican to five. But Urruita showed her grit and battled back to finish Russell in a tight four game match.

Urrutia wins 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-9

Zeina Farid Mickawy (Egy) vs. Megan Picken (Jericho)

The last match this evening saw up Jericho’s own Megan Picken in action against Egyptian Zeina Farid Mickawy. One of the first things that strike you when you watch these young Egyptians is the intensity and focus that they have for squash. It is so competitive in Egypt they have learned to fight hard and battle to get where they are and it shows.

When asked after the match what stood out most about her opponent Megan said ‘the speed of the game’. Mickawy was always applying pressure and keeping the pace of the game high. Hopefully Megan will take away a lot from her experience and apply it to her own game in the future.

Mickawy wins 11-3, 11-5, 11-3

Day 2 – Qualifying Finals

On tap for Tuesday evening we have eight players looking to battle for only four places in Wednesday’s main round. Day 1 was good day 2 will be even better. We hope to see you down at the JTC to watch some of the action!
  

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