Final: Sam Cornett victorious in Ottawa again!
Heather Wallace reports
Sam was impeccable in her game plan today, keeping Farida behind her, controlling the pace of the match & taking her opportunities to attack short. The only times Sam got into trouble was when she lost some patience shooting too early & making the errors.
Sam however regained her composure to steady the ship & get back to the game plan. This saved Sam in the third when she saved 2 game balls to tie the game 10-10, then finished 12-10 to take the match 3-0. Great squash enjoyed by the locals!
Semis : Top seeds advance to final in contrasting styles
Heather Wallace reports
Sam Cornett had a relatively easy 3-0 win over a subdued Alison Thomson today. Alison could not find the intensity she had yesterday in her upset win & Sam did not give her a chance to play her way into the match. Sam controlled the match right from the start & attacked at every opportunity to not allow Alison to develop any rhythm.
Sam afterwards: “I just focused on hitting the right shot throughout the match.”
Farida Mohamed however had to work hard to come from behind 1-2, to win her semi final. Nikki took the lead winning a tight first game, Farida responded taking the second game. Nikki was brilliant in the third game, catching Farida off guard with taking the ball really early, with an array of shots to the front court.
In the fourth & fifth games, Farida regained control of the match by picking up the pace of her play, with some great volleys & short shots forcing Nikki into more errors, shots now just clipping the tin. This can be a game of fine margins!
Farida afterwards: “Nikki is a great player, it was tough, now I look forward to the final.”
Cornett on course to defend her JC Women’s Open title on a good night for the Canadians
Heather Wallace reports
Sam Cornett moves into the semi finals on course to defend her 2018 title, but it was a very close victory tonight over Lily Taylor.
Lily surprised Sam in the first game with her very precise & methodical play, always in front in this game, winning 11-8. Sam in the second picked up the pace of her shots, getting onto balls more quickly & aggressively which got her back more in control of the rallies. This was a close game & the crowd could feel that Sam really needed to win this game, to stay in the match, which she did, only just 12-10.
Sam played a perfect game in the 3rd, staying in front of Lily, pushing her really deep in the court & then finishing nicely into the front court, winning 11-4. Lily changed her tactics in the 4th game, hitting high balls on to Sam’s forehand which worked. Sam lost her volley in this game, let the balls drop & then had to dig out of the corners. Lily punished these digs with some deceptive forehand winners.
Lily tied the match 2-2. In the 5th game, Sam regained her volley, volleying all of Lily’s high shots which put her back in control in the 5th game, leading from the front to win the game 11-7, & the match 3-2. Sam’s comments after the match were “It was really hard to keep my focus on the game plan, I am happy to be through to the semis”
The crowd tonight were treated to another closely contested 5 set match with Alison Thomson, No.7 seed upsetting Salma Youssef, No. 4 seed , 3-2. Salma won the first game handily with some deft play into the front court.
Alison in the 2nd & 3rd game, moving well was now reading & counter attacking Salma’s short game, winning both games. Salma in the 4th game started to mix up her game more, hitting more balls with pace which worked as she won it easily 11-3.
In the 5th game, Alison seemed the more determined of the 2 players, perhaps sensing the chance for the upset win. Alison played very tight, kept the pressure on which forced some costly errors from Salma, running out the game 11-5 & the match 3-2. Afterwards Alison on the match, ” That was a mentally tough match”.
In the two remaining quarter final matches, both Nikki Todd & Farida Mohamed both put on dominant displays of squash to win 3-0 over their opponents & advance to a meeting in the semis.
Round One : Top seeds advance in Ottawa
The top 4 seeds comfortably advanced to quarter finals at JC Women’s Open in Ottawa, Canada. Samantha Cornett, Farida Mohamed won 3-0, Ineta Mackevica won 3-1, while Salma Youssef had a walkover win.
The match of the day was Nikki Todd versus Grace Gear. The match went the distance, 5 games, Nikki winning 3-2. Both players, had runs of multiple points in the latter half of each of the 2 games they won, to win by comfortable margins.
The 5th game was a closer contest with the players now trading points, it seemed as if the intensity ramped up. Nikki took a 9-6 lead, however Grace came back to tie the game 9-9 with some timely working boasts, before Nikki finished the match with a great low crosscourt winner, followed by a drop winner into the open court, taking the 5th, 11-9.
There were 2 upsets today, Hana Ramadan beat No. 8 seed Ali Loke and Lily Taylor beat No. 6 seed Christina Gomez, both in straight games.