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Blatchford on the attack

Blatchford Delights To Double US Interest In Carol Weymuller

American number two Olivia Blatchford, the World No.32, made it fifth time lucky at the Carol Weymuller Open as she came through the final round of qualification to join compatriot, and tournament wildcard, Haley Mendez in the main draw and double home interest in the W50 event taking place at The Heights Casino, Brooklyn.

Blatchford, second only to World No.6 Amanda Sobhy on the US standings, failed to progress through the two-day qualification battle on her previous four attempts – 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2011 – but produced an impressive come from behind victory to down England’s Millie Tomlinson 3-2.

It was the No.39 who started strongest, playing patient, aggressive squash to deny Blatchford time on the ball and it paid dividends as she took the first two games 12-10, 11-3. But the tenacious Blatchford fought back, coming from 8-5 down in the third to turn the game, and the match, around – going from strength to strength and eventually sealing the match courtesy of a dominant 11-1 fifth game.

“I was thinking ‘she is going to have to pry this from my fingers tips if she wants to win’,” said Blatchford afterwards.

“On these types of courts when it’s hot, it’s really a free for all. After the first two games I thought I would try to make it more about the squash and less about the conditions – I guess it worked.”

Blatchford will now face England’s former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf in the main draw, where she will be eyeing an upset win, while she is joined by a trio of Egyptians as it was Kanzy Emad El Defrawy, Mariam Metwally and Salma Hany Ibrahim who came through the remaining three qualification battles to upset the odds and take out the two top ranked qualifiers.

Defrway secured an impressive win as she got past the experienced Nicolette Fernandes, the top seeded player in qualification, 3-1 while Metwally and Ibrahim secured impressive 3-0 wins over Samatha Teran and Tesni Evans, respectively.

Ibrahim in particular impressed as she held the dangerous Evans, number two seeded qualifier, to love and set up a first round match with India’s Joshna Chinappa.

Results – Qualifying Finals:
[7] Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY) bt [1] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 3-1: 5-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9
[4] Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt [5] Samantha Teran (MEX) 3-0: 12-10, 16-14, 11-8
[3] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [8]Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-2: 10-12, 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-1
[6] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) bt [2] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-7, 13-11, 11-9

2016 Carol Weymuller Open – First Round Draw
[1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El Defrawy (EGY)
[Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) v [8] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
[7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY)
[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) v [4] Joshna Chinappa (IND)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) v Delia Arnold (MAS)
Donna Urquhart (AUS) v [5] Joelle King (NZL)
[6] Annie Au (HKG) v [WC] Haley Mendez (USA)
Dipika Pallikal Karthik (IND) v [2] Camille Serme (FRA)

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