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Ciudad de Floridablanca 2017


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 Ciudad de Floridablanca  2017
07 - 11 Mar
Floridablanca, Colombia, $70k
Round One
11 Mar
[1] Amanda Sobhy (USA)
11-6, 11-1, 11-2 (23m)
[Q] Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
Amanda Sobhy
11-7, 11-4, 11-6 (38m)
Tesni Evans
Amanda Sobhy
1-11, 6-11, 5-10 ret. (32m)
Olivia Blatchford
Olivia Blatchford
11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (70m)
Nicol David
Heba El Torky (EGY)
9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-3 (56m)
Tesni Evans (WAL)
[5] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
11-4, 11-8, 11-5 (28m)
[WC] Catalina Pelaez (COL)
Emily Whitlock
11-4, 10-12, 11-5 ret. (36m)
Olivia Blatchford
Olivia Blatchford (USA)
13-11, 6-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-2 (65m)
[4] Annie Au (HKG)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG)
12-10, 11-6, 11-7 (31m)
Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY)
Alison Waters
11-7, 16-18, 11-7, 7-11, 15-13 (73m)
Victoria Lust
Alison Waters
8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 (49m)
Nicol David
[Q] Coline Aumard (FRA)
5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (46m)
Victoria Lust (ENG)
[7] Joey Chan (HKG)
3-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 (41m)
[Q] Hollie Naughton (CAN)
Joey Chan
12-10, 12-10, 11-3 (31m)
Nicol David
[Q] Samantha Teran (MEX)
11-2, 11-7, 11-3 (25m)
Nicol David (MAS)

Qualifying finals:
[1] Coline Aumard (FRA) bt Laura Tovar (COL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 (28m)
[4] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Diana Garcia (MEX) 3-1: 11-8, 10-12, 13-11, 11-5 (20m)
[3] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Haley Mendez (USA) 3-0: 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (27m)
[2] Millie Tomlinson (ENG) bt [L] Karol Gonzalez (COL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-7, 11-2 (24m)

David Beats Blatchford In To Win First Title Since 2015

Malaysiaís eight-time World Champion Nicol David lifted her first PSA World Tour title since December 2015 after a dominant display against World No.27 Olivia Blatchford in the final of the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca, PSA W70 tournament held at the Parque el Santisimo, Colombia.

Playing in the shadow of the stunning El Santisimo statue, World No.7 David Ė who topped the World Rankings for nine years between 2006-2015 Ė stormed out of the blocks to take a two-game lead amidst a nervy start from Blatchford, who was appearing in her biggest ever final.

Play was then suspended for 40-minutes at 6-6 in the third game after a sudden period of rainfall plunged the completion of the final into doubt, but the sky cleared and David returned to court in a determined mood as she closed out the win to wrap up an 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 victory in 70 minutes.

Davidís win sees her take a share of the $70,000 prize fund, the most lucrative purse ever to be offered at a womenís squash tournament in South America, in addition to claiming the 81st Tour title of her glittering career Ė and her first since the 2015 Hong Kong Open.

ďIt feels great to win a tournament again,Ē admitted David.

ďItís been quite a while and I think this is really special to have my first title here in Floridablanca. Itís going to have a special place in my heart.

ďThank you so much to the people in Floridablanca for hosting us here at the El Santisimo, itís been such a special week for all of us girls here.

ďThere was so much support from the mayor and everyone here, who put so much effort into making this happen.

ďItís such a team effort, and everyone has worked so hard to make this happen for womenís squash.Ē

Blatchford paid tribute to the experience of playing one of the sportís greatest ever players, saying: ďThis whole trip has been crazy. It's amazing to be here and get the experience, I don't really get to spend too much time on glass courts, especially glass courts like this.

ďTo play Nicol, who is an idol in the game, is incredible.Ē

Blatchford to Meet David in Ciudad de Floridablanca Final After Sobhy Halted by Injury

Top seed Amanda Sobhyís tournament at the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca came to an abrupt end after the United States No.1 tore her achilles while match ball up during her semi-final clash with compatriot Olivia Blatchford at the Parque el Santisimo.


Sobhy (left) had been putting in an imperious display against her Team USA teammate as she powered two games ahead, taking them 11-1, 11-6 as she controlled the íTí and unleashed some crashing winners to the back of the court.

But, at 10-5 up and on the verge of securing her place in the final, Sobhyís achilles on her left leg gave way as she set off to chase down a drop, leaving the World No.6 crumpled on the floor, and she was forced to retire from the match and the tournament in what is the latest fitness issue in an injury-hit 2017 after a partially torn fascia impeded her during Januaryís Tournament of Champions.

"She was outplaying me completely, she was 100 per cent the better squash player," said an emotional Blatchford, with whom Sobhy is close friends.

"I was five match balls down so I thought I would do some different things, I just sent her the wrong way and, when she moved, she went down. Iím praying for her, all I can do now is be the best teammate I can for her now and take her strength by doing my best tomorrow.

"I know I donít deserve to be out there tomorrow, she does, so the best thing I can do is honour her by giving my best on court tomorrow. I need to really show up tomorrow for Amanda."

Blatchford will appear in her biggest ever PSA W70 final against legendary Malaysian Nicol David, who recovered from a game down to beat Englandís Alison Waters - reaching her 101st Tour final in the process.

Waters controlled the early stages of the match after a slow start from David, but the eight-time World Champion soon found her rhythm, and she took the last three games in succession to wrap up an 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 triumph - sealing a place in her first Tour final since the 2015 Hong Kong Open.

"I was just a bit reactive in some parts of the match and she was free-flowing," David said.

"I wasnít fully comfortable hitting my shots or finding my lines. I managed to settle into the game and started hitting my targets well and putting her under pressure. I was really pleased to enforce my game and pull it through to win 3-1.

"Iím glad to get to the finals here, itís been such a special tournament, Iím just really enjoying it. Iíll give it a good go. When youíre in a final, youíre both there to just go for it and Iíll be doing just that."

Sobhy and Blatchford Set Up All-US Semi-Final

US No.1 Amanda Sobhy will take on US No.2 Olivia Blatchford for a place in the final of the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca, PSA W70 tournament after they moved past World No.19 Tesni Evans and World No.15 Emily Whitlock, respectively, at the Parque el Santisimo.

Sobhy, the World No.6, earned her semi-final berth courtesy of a dominant 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 win over Evans to reach her first PSA World Tour semi-final since Octoberís U.S. Open.

ďI knew that the last couple of times Tesni and I have played, it has been tough and I know sheís in good form,Ē said Sobhy.

ďI tried to implement my fast pace from the beginning and I tried to hold and stop and start her because sheís really good when she gets into a rhythm.

ďIf you play at a medium pace then sheís deadly. I tried to take that away from her and Iím really pleased that I was able to execute it in three games and that I was able to move well and still be breathing after the match.Ē

Blatchford will appear in the biggest semi-final of her career after a hip injury to Whitlock forced the Englishwoman to retire.

The scores were locked at one-game apiece until Whitlock pulled up mid-way through the third game. Despite battling through the pain barrier to see out the game, Whitlock was forced to shake hands before the fourth game could get under way, sealing Blatchfordís spot in her biggest ever PSA World Tour semi-final.

Sobhy and Blatchford will meet for the second tournament in a row after Sobhy triumphed in round two of last monthís Windy City Open - and Blatchford is anticipating an exciting match between the two friends.

ďAll-in-all itís a massive step in the right direction for my career," Blatchford said.

"I felt really confident going into it and, while itís not the way I wanted to win, itís a step forward.

"We [Blatchford and Sobhy] know each-other very well, inside and out. Sheís a teammate, a friend and sheís my roommate here. I have great respect for her and her game. Hopefully tomorrow will see two girls trying to go at it no matter how well they know each-otherís games."

Meanwhile, legendary Malaysian Nicol David moved to within one win of her first PSA World Tour final since the 2015 Hong Kong Open after she defeated World No.17 Joey Chan in straight games.

David rose to wins on the tie-break in games one and two, before dropping just three points in the third to wrap up a 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 victory.

ďI felt good at the start and I think it was a good match,Ē said David.

ďIím really excited to play in the semis here in Colombia. Itís such a great venue, Iíve been feeling good and Iím going to give it all Iíve got tomorrow.Ē

Standing between David and a place in a 101st Tour final is Englandís World No.10 Alison Waters, who defeated compatriot Victoria Lust in a brutal five-game thriller to reach her biggest semi-final since 2015.

The match saw both players put together spells of dominance and error-strewn periods in equal measure, with Waters overturning two games balls in a tense decider to record an 11-7, 16-18, 11-7, 7-11, 15-13 triumph.

ďYou train hard in these situations and I was confident in those last couple of points,Ē said Waters.

ďIíve had some good results recently, I lost to [World No.2] Camille [Serme] in the final of the Cleveland Classic and in Chicago [the Windy City Open], but Iíve been playing well and Iím really pleased to be in the semi-finals. It was a tough match tonight, but Iím looking forward to tomorrowís match.Ē

Sobhy and David Get Off to Winning Starts on Day One

Top seeds Amanda Sobhy and Nicol David both moved through to the last eight of the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca, PSA W70 tournament after claiming respective wins over Englandís Millie Tomlinson and Mexicoís Samantha Teran on the opening day of action.

Coinciding with the 2017 International Womenís Day, the first round saw three matches take place at the stunning Parque el Santisimo, with Sobhy putting in a fine display to see off Tomlinson in just 23 minutes by an 11-6, 11-1, 11-2 margin of victory.

Due to prolonged rainfall, the matches were delayed by an hour, and Sobhy admitted it was important to remain focused despite the delay, saying: "I prepared myself figuring that there would be a delay, and itís just something you canít control, itís just a funny situation.

"The only thing you can do is laugh about it, stay relaxed and try to be as focused as you can be when you get on.

"I feel like a kid in a candy shop here, the venue is awesome. Itís an amazing venue regardless of the weather and Iím so thankful that the mayor of Floridablanca [Hector Mantilla] and Squash Colombia have been able to put this event on for us."

Malaysiaís eight-time World Champion David also put in a strong showing, beating training partner and close friend Samantha Teran in straight games.

The duo, who both train under the legendary coach Liz Irving, played out the last match of the evening at the Parque el Santisimo, with David taking it 11-2, 11-7, 11-3 to set up a quarter-final meeting with number seven seed Joey Chan.

"Itís always difficult to play a good friend of yours, but I knew I had to go in really strong," said David.

"I know sheís been playing pretty well, so I came into the match pretty focused to make sure that I took control straight away. Today I really kept on top of my task. I knew I had to be sharp today, so I was pleased to perform the way I did.

"It gives you so much energy on court when you play here with the Santisimo giving you its blessing. Itís remarkable how they have put this court up here and you canít really replicate this feeling."

Englandís Emily Whitlock was the other victor at the Parque el Santisimo and she defeated tournament wildcard and home hero Catalina Pelaez 3-0.

Pelaez, who suffered with knee tendonitis for much of last year, asked questions of Whitlock at the outset of the second and third games, but ultimately fell to a clinical display from the Englishwoman.

ďI really enjoyed playing Catalina," Whitlock said.

"I know she has had a knee injury, I just hope she can get that fixed soon and start playing at her very best.Ē

The rest of the matches took place on the traditional courts at the Club Campestre Bucaramanga, with United States No.2 Olivia Blatchford causing the dayís big upset against Hong Kongís Annie Au.

ďI tried really hard and thatís why I do all this fitness work because, when I have these games, I know that I can go for it 100 per cent," said Blatchford, who will take on Whitlock in the next round.

ďI wanted to get a good start, which I did, but she came back and she is really clever, so my goal was to make it physical and up the pace. I managed to do that, so I canít wait to get on the glass court now, Iím super excited.Ē

Elsewhere, Welsh World No.19 Tesni Evans beat Egyptís Heba El Torky to set up a meeting with Sobhy, while World No.10 Alison Waters and World No.16 Victoria Lust also claimed wins against Salma Hany Ibrahim and Coline Aumard, respectively.

Waters and Lust will go head-to-head in the next round.
Aumard and Tomlinson Axe Home Hopes in Qualifying


Top qualifying seeds Coline Aumard and Millie Tomlinson advanced to the main draw of the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca, PSA W70 tournament after they defeated home opposition in Laura Tovar and Karol Gonzalez, respectively.

Aumard, the French World No.32, was in fine form to record a straight games win over Bogota-based World No.200 Tovar, with an 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 win seeing the 26-year-old secure her place in the main draw of the most lucrative womenís squash tournament ever to take place in South America.

Aumardís reward is a meeting with Englandís World No.16 Victoria Lust, against whom she will be aiming to end a four-match winless streak.

Meanwhile, Tomlinson earned her main draw berth after a similarly impressive showing against local player Karol Gonzalez, claiming an 11-4, 11-7, 11-2 victory to set up a main draw meeting with tournament top seed Amanda Sobhy in round one.

The other two players to emerge victorious from the qualification stage were experienced Mexican Samantha Teran and Canadaís Hollie Naughton, with the pair recording respective wins over Haley Mendez and Diana Garcia.

Teran, the 35-year-old World No.49, will take on number two seed Nicol David for a place in the quarter-finals of the main draw, while Naughton will line up against Hong Kongís Joey Chan in the opening round.

The main draw of the Ciudad de Floridablanca takes place between March 8-11 and it is the first standalone womenís tournament outside of a World Championship to be broadcast live on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player - while the opening day of the tournament coincides with International Women's Day.

Sobhy Delighted to Start on International Womenís Day

United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy is looking forward to showcasing womenís squash at the upcoming Ciudad de Floridablanca, the first round of which coincides with the 2017 International Womenís Day on March 8.

Taking place on a specially constructed all-glass show court on the stunning Parque el Santisimo in Colombia, the Ciudad de Floridablanca is the most lucrative womenís South American squash tournament of all time with $70,000 up for grabs, and sees Sobhy seeded first in the 16-woman draw.

Sobhy, who takes on a qualifier in round one, is excited to take part in the tournament, and the charismatic World No.6 hopes that the tournament beginning on International Womenís Day will help to encourage women to get involved in the sport.

"The fact that the first round of the tournament coincides with International Women's Day is brilliant because it showcases women's squash, which will increase the visibility of the sport in this region of the world and encourage more females to get on court," said Sobhy.

"Squash is such an amazing sport that we want to continue to grow. The goal is to get as many people involved and females to play, so it is such a benefit to start the tournament on International Women's Day."

The official campaign for the 2017 International Womenís Day is to #BeBoldForChange, which is calling on the masses to help forge a more inclusive, gender equal world.

Since the historic merger between the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and Womenís Squash Association (WSA) on January 1, 2015, the number of World Series tournaments offering equal prize money has increased to five - including the PSA Dubai World Series Finals - while the 2017 Menís and Womenís PSA World Championships will be held side-by-side in December, with equal prize money on offer.

And Sobhy is fully behind the steps being made to achieve gender equality across the professional ranks, saying: "Gender equality is unbelievably important nowadays because women are working just as hard as men, so why do women have to settle for anything less?

"This movement for gender equality is a major topic of issue in the world at the moment, so to have squash tournaments and promoters push for equal prize money between the women and men is fantastic to see.

"The trend for equality is growing among tournaments with multiple World Series events having equal prize money and the World Championships in Manchester offering equal prize money, so it's great to be associated with an organisation that promotes this movement."

Sobhy will be appearing in Colombia for the first time in her career and is seeded to meet Malaysiaís eight-time World Champion Nicol David in a blockbuster final on March 11.

The 23-year-old is eagerly anticipating the tournament as she looks to claim her first PSA World Tour title since September 2015.

"I have been wanting to go to Colombia ever since I was a junior in squash because I've heard so many great things about the country, so I cannot tell you how excited I am to play in the Ciudad de Floridablanca," she said.

"Thank you to the promoters and Squash Colombia for making this event happen. They have had a few men's tournaments in Colombia before, so it is amazing to see that they are now having such a lucrative women's event."

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: "The fact that the Ciudad de Floridablanca is the first standalone womenís tournament outside of a World Championship to be broadcast live on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player is a huge boost for the womenís game.

"We are also delighted that the Ciudad de Floridablanca will take place on International Womenís Day and feel that the campaignís goal for a gender equal world is in line with our efforts to enhance the standing and earning opportunities of the womenís game.

"Since the merger with the WSA over two years ago, the PSA have made great strides in reducing gender inequality and we remain committed to achieving parity."

The Ciudad de Floridablanca take place between March 8-11 and fans can get involved in the conversation by using the official tournament hashtag: #PSAFloridablanca