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Amanda Sobhy (right) takes on Tesni Evans

Ciudad de Floridablanca QFs Roundup: Sobhy and Blatchford Set Up All-US Semi-Final


US No.1 Amanda Sobhy will take on US No.2 Olivia Blatchford for a place in the final of the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca, PSA W70 tournament after they moved past World No.19 Tesni Evans and World No.15 Emily Whitlock, respectively, at the Parque el Santisimo.

Sobhy, the World No.6, earned her semi-final berth courtesy of a dominant 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 win over Evans to reach her first PSA World Tour semi-final since October’s U.S. Open.

“I knew that the last couple of times Tesni and I have played, it has been tough and I know she’s in good form,” said Sobhy.

“I tried to implement my fast pace from the beginning and I tried to hold and stop and start her because she’s really good when she gets into a rhythm.

“If you play at a medium pace then she’s deadly. I tried to take that away from her and I’m really pleased that I was able to execute it in three games and that I was able to move well and still be breathing after the match.”

Blatchford will appear in the biggest semi-final of her career after a hip injury to Whitlock forced the Englishwoman to retire.

The scores were locked at one-game apiece until Whitlock pulled up mid-way through the third game. Despite battling through the pain barrier to see out the game, Whitlock was forced to shake hands before the fourth game could get under way, sealing Blatchford’s spot in her biggest ever PSA World Tour semi-final.

Sobhy and Blatchford will meet for the second tournament in a row after Sobhy triumphed in round two of last month’s Windy City Open – and Blatchford is anticipating an exciting match between the two friends.

“All-in-all it’s a massive step in the right direction for my career,” Blatchford said.

“I felt really confident going into it and, while it’s not the way I wanted to win, it’s a step forward.

“We [Blatchford and Sobhy] know each-other very well, inside and out. She’s a teammate, a friend and she’s my roommate here. I have great respect for her and her game. Hopefully tomorrow will see two girls trying to go at it no matter how well they know each-other’s games.”

Meanwhile, legendary Malaysian Nicol David moved to within one win of her first PSA World Tour final since the 2015 Hong Kong Open after she defeated World No.17 Joey Chan in straight games.

David rose to wins on the tie-break in games one and two, before dropping just three points in the third to wrap up a 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 victory.

“I felt good at the start and I think it was a good match,” said David.

“I’m really excited to play in the semis here in Colombia. It’s such a great venue, I’ve been feeling good and I’m going to give it all I’ve got tomorrow.”

Standing between David and a place in a 101st Tour final is England’s World No.10 Alison Waters, who defeated compatriot Victoria Lust in a brutal five-game thriller to reach her biggest semi-final since 2015.

The match saw both players put together spells of dominance and error-strewn periods in equal measure, with Waters overturning two games balls in a tense decider to record an 11-7, 16-18, 11-7, 7-11, 15-13 triumph.

“You train hard in these situations and I was confident in those last couple of points,” said Waters.

“I’ve had some good results recently, I lost to [World No.2] Camille [Serme] in the final of the Cleveland Classic and in Chicago [the Windy City Open], but I’ve been playing well and I’m really pleased to be in the semi-finals. It was a tough match tonight, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s match.”

Results – Quarter-Finals: 2017 Ciudad de Floridablanca
[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [8] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (38m)
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [5] Emily Whitlock: 3-1: 11-4, 10-12, 11-5 ret. (36m)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [6] Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-2: 11-7, 16-18, 11-7, 7-11, 15-13 (73m)
[2] Nicol David (MAS) bt [7] Joey Chan (HKG) 3-0: 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 (31m)

Draw – Semi-Finals: To Be Played March 10th
[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v Olivia Blatchford (USA)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) v [2] Nicol David (MAS)

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