Lloyd-Walter, Latasha, qualify in Cleveland
Feb 1 , 2008, by Nathan Dugan for SquashTalk.com , Independent News; © 2008 SquashTalk LLC
There was disappointment for American squash fans in the qualifying rounds of the Cleveland WISPA Open, as American teenage hopefuls Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford both lost in opening round qualifying action on Friday.
Main draw action begins today in the Cleveland, Ohio, WISPA event. The draw presents considerable intrigue, with Rachael Grinham at the number one seed, and Ireland's Madeline Perry, who has been on fire of late, seeded to meet Grinham in the quarters.
Lurking dangerously at the #3 seed is Alison Waters, seeded to meet Grinham in the semis.
In the bottom half of the draw, a potential rematch of the thrilling final in Greenwich last week, between Natalie Grainger and Omneya Abdel Kawy, is a possible semi final.
American qualifier Latasha Khan meets Rebecca Chiu in the first round.
TWO GO THE DISTANCE AS THE QUALIFIERS ARE DETERMINED
Clevelanders were treated to two fantastic matches as eight became four in day two at the National City Burning River Classic. Joey Chan came from two games down to force a fifth against the top seeded qualifier Dominique Lloyd-Walter. The world number 23 from London was too strong in the first two games attacking her left handed opponent deep to the backhand before finishing the rallies with tight drop shots, but the 2o year old from Hong Kong showed her potential in the third and fourth, retrieving ball after ball waiting for Dominique to make a mistake. At 6-6 in the final game the match could have gone either way but it was maybe the extra experience that Dominique posses that helped her to play the big points well and she reeled of the last five points in a row. The victory set up a repeat of the 2007 and 2008 semi-finals here in Cleveland with defending champion Natalie Grainger in the first round.
Line Hanson had started proceedings for the evening at the Cleveland Skating Club with a relatively straight forward victory against Amelia Pittock. Line took advantage of her opponents five game match the night before and worked Amelia around the corners, often wrong footing the Australian with some deft trickle boasts. The reward for Line may not have been what she hoped for as an audible sigh occurred when pulling top seed Rachael Grinham out of the hat for Sunday.
The third and Fourth matches of the day at the Cleveland Racquet Club produced similar results. The first match between Latasha Khan and Laura Hill was a relatively one sided affair despite a good physical effort from the English player. Latasha was just a little sharper around the center of the court and with her accuracy to the corners. The seven times USA Champion was able to get ahead at the start of each game and maintain a small cushion throughout. Latasha will now have to conquer seventh seed Rebecca Chiu if she is to make it a third straight year into the quarter finals here in Cleveland.
The last match of the day was a hugely entertaining affair between the world number 29 and 31. On paper it looked like it would be close and the crowd were not disappointed as the game seesawed back and forth. Suzie Pierrepont, enjoying her highest world ranking to date started of exceptionally well carving drop winners and taking advantage of a few uncharacteristic errors from her opponent. Sarah Kippax again looked in trouble in the second and at 8-10 down it looked as if Suzie was going to take a commanding two game lead. This was not to be though as the tin saved Sarah and gave her a life line into the match. Suzie made two errors to tie the match at 10-10 before hitting a superb winner to move to third game ball, that shot must have been running through her mind as she tried it again next rally only to tin. The same sequence happened in the next two rallies with Suzie tinning a drop with Sarah going the wrong way! One more error and a winner from Suzie secured we were in for a tough battle. In the third game Suzie once again held a 10-8 lead before making errors to tie the match at 10-10. This time however she was able to win the game 14-12 but it looked to be taking a little more out of the taller player. Sarah won six points without reply to take the fourth game and a wilting giant gave one last push to get within one point at 5-4 in the final game before again Sarah was to go on a run without reply taking the match 11-4. Laura Lengthorn-Massaro is waiting for Sarah on Sunday in the first round of the main draw.
RESULTS: Women's Burning River Open, Cleveland, OH, USA [view Draw/results]
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 5-11, 11-6
Line Hansen (DEN) bt Amelia Pittock (AUS) 11-6, 11-7, 11-4
Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Suzie Pierrepont (ENG) 6-11, 14-12, 12-14, 11-7, 11-4
Latasha Khan (USA) bt Laura Hill (ENG) 11-7, 11-8, 11-4
1st qualifying round:
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) bt Carolyn Russell (CAN) 11-3, 11-3, 11-7
Joey Chan (HKG) bt Alana Miller (CAN) 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7
Line Hansen (DEN) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-9, 11-4, 11-5
Amelia Pittock (AUS) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 12-10
Suzie Pierrepont (ENG) bt Elise Ng (HKG) 11-6, 11-4, 11-8
Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Manuela Manetta (ITA) 11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9
Latasha Khan (USA) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-8, 11-9, 11-6
Laura Hill (ENG) bt Annelize Naude (NED) 12-10, 11-5, 11-6