Women’s $6k PSA Challenger, 07-10 Apr, Downtown Club, Houston
Final: Karina Tyma claims a first PSA title
Both players came out of the gates quickly, not bothering to feel each other’s game out, but rather start shooting and counter-attacking right from the first few points. Julia Le Coq was able to soak up the pressure applied by Karima Tyma, and with fewer errors she took the opening game 11-8.
Tyma, who had been showing exceptional strength the whole week leading up to the finals fought back hard in the following game, focused on taking the ball often well in front of the short line to really test Le Coq’s movement. This forced the game into a faster pace, which seemed to suit Tyma as she took the second game 11-7.
By the third game both players had settled into their rhythm and the points started getting more physical. At 9-9, everyone in the crowd was on the edge of their seat. Excellent retrieving and percentage squash was what allowed Tyma the first opportunity at game-ball, and she did not let the chance slip away taking the third game 11-9.
In what proved to be the championship deciding game Le Coq seemed to lift off the gas just enough for Tyma to take an early 6-1 lead, before showing off some magnificent nicks to pull the game back to 6-4. This however was not enough as Tyma kept with the game plan and patiently wore down her opponent, ultimately defeating Le Coq in the fourth 11-6.
The match was a pleasure to watch as it contained a vast repertoire of both shot-making and retrieving. All those watching from the side-lines learnt a lot from these two strong competitors, certainly inspiring the juniors with their dedication and creativity on the court. We could not have hoped for a more exhilarating final, and congratulations to both of our finalists.
— Karina Tyma (@KarinaTyma) April 10, 2021
Upsets continue in semi-finals
A surprise final is in store in Houston as fourth and fifth seeds Karina Tyma and Julia Lecoq overcame top seed Haley Mende and Margot Prow, both in five games
Tyma came out of the gates fast, showing exceptional strength and agility on her way to take an early 2-0 lead (11-4, 11-8). That’s where the match really began, as Mendez showed her experience to fight back strong in the third game, taking it comfortably (3-11). Tyma looked a little rattled by Mendez’s composure, with a few too many unforced errors in the fourth game.
Ultimately Tyma accepted her fourth game fate(5-11) and decided to go all out in the 5th, showing a fierce attitude and shots to back it up. The final game was dictated by Tyma’s pace and retrieving ability, with a clear all or nothing strategy. This paid off, as Tyma took the deciding game (11-3) and progressed onto the finals.
There were certainly lots of nerves coming into the second semi-final for both players, as the first game had a few shaky shots, but Le Coq managed to find her groove first taking it (11-5). Prow fought back in the second game, using a powerful forehand and forcing errors from her opponent. Le Coq showed some excellent retrieving, but it wasn’t enough as Prow took it (3-11). The third game was similar to the first, as a few too many unforced errors allowed Le Coq to take an early lead which she held onto to win (11-8).
Prow’s determined attitude in the fourth game, coupled with some unbelievable touch forced the match to a decider(8-11). In the end it came down to experience, where Le Coq was able grind out a win against a tough opponent(11-5).
Le Coq is to face Tyma in what is expected to be a closely contested match, both players have won over local support en route to the finals. We cannot wait for tomorrow’s final match up against these two.