Women’s $6k PSA Challenger, 10-12 Sep, Greenwich, USA
 Wen Li Lai (Mas) 3-0  Marie Stephan (Fra) 11-9, 11-8, 12-10
The final of the Squash House Challenger event didn’t disappoint – both players looked fresh from their semifinal matches the day before and played their characteristic attacking squash from the off.
Towards the end of the first game, the lower seeded Wei Li Lai cut out the errors and became more severe into the front of the court – winning three points in quick succession into the front left corner to take the first game.
The second game was very even until 8-8 when Marie Stephan let her discipline slip and made a few costly errors to let the second game get away from her.
The third game went quickly in the young Malaysian’s favor going 8-4 up, before making four unforced errors to allow Marie to get back to parity. However, Wei Li dug deep to take the third and claim her second PSA title of her career in front of a great crowd.
Big thank you to VS Asset Management, Fairfield County Laser Vision and Palm Energy Systems for their support in getting this tournament off the ground. Also, a big thank you to Greenwich Water Club for their assistance in helping us making this event go smoothly and a HUGE thank you to the billets for letting the players stay with them and in looking after them so well.
Another amazing session of squash tonight with two of the four quarter final matches going the full distance, all in front of a very enthusiastic Squash House crowd.
Marie Stephan 3-0 Lucy Beecroft 12/10, 12/10, 12/10
Beecroft came out firing at the start of the first and second games, surprising Stephan with some quick short balls but Stephan gradually found her consistency and movement as the games progressed, Stephan came from behind to play the important points well, winning the first two games 12-10.
A good start from Stephan in the third but this time it was her turn to lose some focus as Beecroft crept back into the game, creating a great chance at 10-8 but played the ball onto the racket of Stephan who dispatched the ball and finished the match 3-0.
Diana Garcia 3-2 Alina Bushma 11/9, 11/9, 9/11, 9/11, 11/9
Both players played at a fast pace in the first two games which always favoured Garcia who was making Bushma use her speed to defend way too often and tiring her out.
In the third, Bushma started to slow the pace down with hold and height whilst keeping it straighter, this allowed her more time on the T and ultimately control rallies, Garcia had now lost control of proceedings and was pegged back to 2 games all.
Bushma was up in the fifth continuing the pattern of good straight play but got ahead of herself to make 3 errors at crucial times allowing Garcia to fight back and win the last game.
Wen Li Lai 3-2 Alicia Mead 11/13, 11/9, 12/14, 1/-5, 11/9
The match of the night! Nip and tuck all the way with lots of high quality rallies.
Alicia started strongly, hitting crisply and moving well. She took a close first with some attacking play at the end of the game. Wen stepped up in the 2nd and got in front, attacking more and forcing errors.
The 3rd was huge, Alicia did a good job of switching the play to the left side to create more pressure. This could have gone either way with lots of tough rallies.
Wen reacted well and shortened the rallies – to her favour – in the 4th to set up a tense deciding game. Both players showed their athleticism and court coverage in what was a 75+ minute match. Wen curically took her chances and forced a few errors to edge home and into the semi finals.
Karina Tyma 3-0 Lucie Stefanoni 11/4, 11/7, 12/10
Both players were eager to take the ball into the front of the court early in the rallies which led to Tyma capitalising on some loose balls from Stefanoni to go 2-0 up. The quality from both players went up in the third as Stefanoni extended the rallies and moved Tyma into the back of the court with some positive length, giving her better opportunities to attack “at the right time”. Tyma was never far behind in the score though and used her experience to force Stefanoni into some errors at crucial times to win the game and the match 3-0
We have two semifinal matches tomorrow – starting at 2pm and the other following on at 3pm which we would love to see a similar sized crowd supporting the ladies.
We will also be streaming the matches on Facebook page @squashed.training or Instagram @squash_ed
Round One :
The first PSA tournament to be held in Greenwich CT in nearly five years saw a truly International turnout. Sixteen players saw eleven countries being represented and some incredible squash played during the early afternoon of a sunny day near the water at the newly opened GWC Squash House.
Karina Tyma 3-0 Lara Varma 11/7, 11/5, 11/9
Varma’s first ever professional tour match and an excellent display against a top 60 player. Varma used her movement and positive length to put Tyma under pressure, even going well up in the third game with some fantastic boasts and attacking length from the front corners. Tyma was just able to create a few more openings at important moments to close each game out.
Alicia Mead 3-0 Akanksha Salunkhe 11/9, 11/1, 11/6
The first game is closely contested. Both players attacking and vying for control. Alicia manages to pull ahead and close out the first. From there its one way traffic as Alicia finds a good length and plenty of attacking options. Akanksha seems to tire and make unforced errors as the match progresses. Alicia goes on to play Wen Lai which should be a cracker.
Wen Li Lai 3-2 Julia Le Coq 7/11, 7/11, 11/7, 11/5, 11/5
Le Coq’s tactics were excellent in the first two games, slowing and speeding up the game by varying high, accurate length and mixing in clinical short balls when she had the opportunity. After an injury time out for Li Lai in the third game things slowly started to turn in her favor as fatigue set into Le Coq’s game, Li Lai’s accuracy and pace took ascendancy enabling her to win the last three games to complete a fantastic comeback.
Diana Garcia 3-0 Madeline Hylland 11/3, 11/9, 11/3
Garcia used the boast and hold to control the pace early in the match moving her tall opponent around the court well but Hylland kept fighting and pushed the pace by volleying and using her physical presence around the middle forcing a close second game which she perhaps deserved more. The mental and physical effort of the second game took its toll on Hylland and Garcia re-established control, closing out with a comfortable third game.
Alina Bushma 3-0 Kincso Szasz 11/4, 11/3, 11/2
Alina moved the ball around very well in a match of good spirits. Kinczo hit the ball nicely but struggled to keep up with the pace imposed upon her. Alina was clinical and kept the rallies short to ensure she’s fresh for the next round.
Lucy Beecroft 3-0 Hannah Blatt 11/1, 11/5, 11/2
Both players looked to play at a high pace with some well contested rallies but it was Beecrofts quality of shot and ability to take the ball in short with margin for error that was the main difference between the two players. Beecroft won 3-0 with a confident display.
Marie Stephan 3-0 Catherine Giachino 11/5, 11/2, 11/0
Marie took control from the start, hitting aggressively and finding rewarding length.
Catherine mixed the pace but couldnt apply enough pressure to worry the 2nd seed.