Top seed Farida foils home hopes
Finals day. A full crowd eagerly anticipated a great contest between two great players with contrasting styles and personalities in the form of Farida Mohammed and Marina Stefanoni. Top seed and Columbia #1 Farida dominated the first game taking it 11/6. The Harvard #1 Stefanoni however, adapted her tactics a wee bit and got herself into a commanding position only for Farida to claw her way back and sneak the game 11/9. Something Marina may reflect on as an opportunity created not capitalized.
The all important third had the crowd on edge of their seats with both players bringing the best out of each other, showcasing their broad array of skillsets it was nip and tuck all the way. The crowd invested as ever desperate for the match the continue beyond the third didn’t get their wish but did witness an extraordinary third that had just about everything including a super intense tiebreaker with many a critical point and both players having multiple game/ match balls it was Farida who stole the game 20/18 and with it the championship. A super entertaining and incredible match – big shout out to both players for providing great entertainment. Congrats to Marina on a great week and to Farida on becoming the PVD Squash Rhode Island Champion.
Overall it was an amazing week of squash and we can’t thank all players who made the draw enough for showcasing our wonderful sport in the positive way that they did. We’re already excited for next year where we hope to grow the level of event .
Semis : It’s top seed Farida v Marina
A busy day at PVD Squash started with a junior tournament, a lightning tournament for the adults with plenty member activity in the build up to the semi finals.
First up was Marina Stefanoni up against Lucy Beecroft and they did not disappoint. Free flowing squash from the get go with plenty of variety from both players. Despite the nip and tuck it was Marina’s quality that was slightly better and a deserved winner of the 1st game. The second was all Marina who’s quality didnt drop, but it was the third that had the crowd on the edge of their seats in disbelief from the quality, shotmaking and retrieving from both players.
As ever in these circumstances the crowd invested as they were were Roy Keane for the match to continue and that it did with Lucy keeping herself in the match courtesy of some sublime shot making clinching the 3rd in a tiebreaker and saving a match ball along the way. The 4th had a similar feel to the second the opposite way round with Lucy hitting multiple winners to bring it to a 5th.
But it was the Harvard #1 Stefanoni who played the better 5th and overall proved to be the more consistent player on the day. The crowd were super appreciative of the squash witnessed and so the players left the court to a deserved huge applause.
Next up Farida Mohammed was up against unseeded Akansha Salunkhe. Farida was as relentless as ever showing why she is the current world # 15 – Demonstrating not only her ferocious hitting to the back but also how severe and deft her play can be to the front.
Akansha, who had taken out the #3 & 5 seed en route to the semis, may be disappointed with today’s result but overall will be happy with her week.
The final will be interesting with both players current #1s for their respective college teams adding an extra layer.
Quarters : Marina keeps home hopes alive
The day started off with a junior clinic and a huge thank you to Hana Moataz, Emilia korhonen and Menna Nasser for being so good with their time and inspiring the juniors.
Onto the quarters – Lucies Turmel and Beecroft were up first, producing hight aquality, attacking, free flowing display of squash that was very easy on the eye and appreciated by all those who watched. Local, Lucy Turmel had her chances to close the match in four but unfortunately didn’t quite get the job done. The fifth started well for Turmel but Beecroft managed to put together some great combinations to win & book her place into the semi finals. The home crowd felt for Lucy Turmel but also appreciated the high quality encounter.
Next up Marina Stefanoni kept US interest by upsetting the seedings again, beating Georgia Adderley of Scotland in 4.
Akansha Salunkhe showed a lot of resilience and followed in the footsteps of Marina by overcoming anoter hugher ranked player. Losing the first two games in tiebreakers. Akansha showed tremendous character to pull back the lead take the 5th comfortably to send her into the si finals.
Lastly we had the top seed up against Milie Tomlinson. Milie had her chances in game three to bring it to a 4th but it wasn’t to be.
Round Two : Quarter-Finalists settled
Up first, second and local favorite Lucy Turmel was up against recent Harvard grad Hana Moataz, whom has tasted success in her most recent events. A packed crowd were not disappointed. The quality of squash high, the crowd were appreciative of the world class squash on display as both players showcased their expansive skill sets and much to the delight of the home crowd, Lucy got the win in four games.
Next up, Marina Stefanoni and Akansha Salunkhe upset the apple cart with victories over the third and fourth seeds. Following this, we had the eagerly anticipated match between the top seed and world #15 Farida Mohamed against fellow Egyptian Fayrouz Aboelkheir, with Farida coming out on top in a physical battle.
Elsewhere Lucy Beecroft and Millie Tomlinson showed their experience and class with both winning in three. They are joined by in the quarters by a fourth Englishwoman in Grace Gear who came out on top 12-10 in fifth against Wen Li Lai. And lastly Georgia Adderley came from two games down against the very talented Menna Nasser to book her place into the quarters.
Round One : Arthur Gaskin reports
The PVD Squash Rhode Island Open got underway today with recent Harvard grad Hana Moataz up against top US junior Caroline Fouts. Caroline showed her promise in a quality encounter showing some Yorkshire grit to take the third. Hana’s experience however was evident in the fourth, & a cool 11-4 match to Hana.
Elise Romba beat Emilia Korhonen in another four game battle with both players exchanging blows in the first two games the third, as ever, proved crucial in the outcome.
Elsewhere Rachel Mashek and Lily Seckendorf provided local interest and gave the crowd plenty to cheer in their first PSA and showed they are both well equipped to play at this level.
It was a great first night, matches were well attended, the juniors were inspired and the Rhode Island squash community is excited for tomorrow’s matches when the top eight seeds begin their campaign against tonight’s winners.