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Tested Teran Takes LA Title

Epstein Becker & Green LA Open
25-29 June, LA Athletic Club, $20k
Round One
[1] Samantha Teran (Mex)
9/2, 9/4, 9/0 (28m)
Tara Mullins (Can)
Samantha Teran
9/5, 6/9, 9/2, 10/9 (49m)
Donna Urquhart
Samantha Teran
8-10, 9-0, 9-7, 6-9, 9-6 (99m)

Manuela Manetta
Samantha Teran
9-3, 9-4, 5-9, 9-2 (70m)
Louise Crome
[6] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
9/1, 9/1, 9/1 (20m)
[Q] Stephanie Edmison (Can)
[4] Manuela Manetta (Ita)
10/8, 9/5, 9/2 (34m)
[Q] Thaisa Serafini (Bra)
Manuela Manetta
9/7, 10/9, 8/10, 9/3 (69m)
Suzie Pierrepont
[7] Suzie Pierrepont (Eng)
9/4, 9/0, 9/4 (24m)
[Q] Tina Rix (Eng)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
9/2, 5/9, 9/1, 9/2 (43m)
[8] Alana Miller (Can)
Alana Miller
10/8, 9/1, 9/1 (42m)
Louise Crome
Louise Crome
9-0, 9-5, 9-0 (32m)

Aisling Blake
[Q] Eman El Amir (Egy)
9/0, 9/5, 9/6 (36m)
[3] Louise Crome (Nzl)
Karina Herrera Zuniga (Mex)
9/3, 9/1, 9/4 (26m)
[5] Aisling Blake (Irl)
Aisling Blake
10/8, 6/9, 9/6, 9/7 (75m)
Latasha Khan
Deon Saffery (Wal)
9/2, 9/1, 9/1 (26m)
[2] Latasha Khan (Usa)

Tested Teran Takes LA Title

Despite enduring a 99-minute semi-final in the Women's Epstein Becker & Green Los Angeles Open, top-seeded Mexican Samantha Teran survived a 70-minute final to win the $20,000 WISPA World Tour squash event in its second year at Los Angeles Athletic Club in Los Angeles.

Opponent Louise Crome, the third seed from New Zealand, tried to mix it up during the match - but Teran maintained her characteristic hard-driving game-plan, putting the Kiwi under relentless pressure.

Teran got off to an excellent start, quickly going 8-1 up.  But Crome battled to stay in the game, and only after 12 game balls did the 27-year-old from Mexico City take the lead.

The favourite again took a quick lead in the second before taking the game - but Crome achieved the same in the third to reduce the deficit.  Teran survived several brutal rallies in the fourth before eventually celebrating her 9-3, 9-4, 5-9, 9-2 victory - the 11th Tour title of her career and the fourth this year.

"Louise is difficult to play, she has very good technique and hits the ball hard so I had to really work to win that one," Teran said.  "I think I played better than I did yesterday, I had to think more, otherwise it would have been even longer.

"This is my favourite event - it's not too far from home and there's lots of Mexicans here to support me.  We even went out for some Mexican food last night!"

Crome conceded that Teran played well:  "I knew that Samantha would be driving the ball hard and low, that's her game, so I changed my game plan for today and I was trying to slow it down and control it, but it's so hot on there and it was hard not to get drawn into that game."

The triumph seals Teran's status as the top twenty player with the best win average on the WISPA World Tour:  With only two losses in her 13 final appearances, the world No20 boasts an 85% success rate - ahead of Malaysia's world No1 Nicol David at 67%; Dutch star Vanessa Atkinson (61%); Australian Rachael Grinham (59%); USA's Natalie Grainger (50%) and world No2 Natalie Grinham (41%).

Teran and Crome now head to Pachuca for the Women's Harrow Mexican Open which gets underway on Thursday (3 July).  Aucklander Louise Crome, the third seed, and top seed Teran could again meet in the final.

Teran & Crome To Meet In LA Final

Mexico's top seed Samantha Teran and third-seeded New Zealander Louise Crome will meet in the final of the Women's Epstein Becker & Green Los Angeles Open after coming through highly contrasting semi-finals of the $20,000 WISPA World Tour squash event in its second year at Los Angeles Athletic Club in Los Angeles.

Teran avenged last year's quarter-final when she beat fourth seed Manuela Manetta. While Manetta needed 70 minutes to achieve her 2007 upset, it took 99 minutes this time for the 27-year-old from Mexico City to overcome the top-ranked Italian 8-10, 9-0, 9-7, 6-9, 9-6.

Whilst Teran survived a 120-minute battle on the WISPA Tour earlier this year (beating USA's Latasha Khan in the Liberty Bell Open), the LA semi was the longest match of Manetta's career.

"I wanted to set a record time before we go to 11 scoring!" Teran said afterwards. "No, seriously, I tried everything and she tried everything - it was a very close match. When I was up I knew I couldn't relax as she would be coming back, and when I was down I became more determined not to let her get away.

"I'm used to playing very long matches, since in Mexico I play a lot with the men and the courts are very hot there too.

"It's nice to win, but I never thought about revenge for last year. It was just a good match, and I'm really pleased to be in the final."

The other semi-final was wrapped up in less than a third of the time! Louise Crome was in scintillating form as she despatched Ireland's fifth seed Aisling Blake 9-0, 9-5, 9-0 in just 32 minutes.

Blake had claimed her unexpected place in the last four after upsetting second seed Latasha Khan in the previous round.

"I felt really focused today, I don't really know how it happened but the basis of my game was to drive it low and hard and pin her in the back corners, and it was working really well," explained the 30-year-old from Auckland.

"I lost to her 3/2 in February, and when we train together it's always close, we always give 100% even in training, so I'm really pleased to make the final - it's one of my biggest.

"I lost to Samantha the only time I played her, a couple of years ago, so I'm looking forward to meeting her again."

Samantha Teran is celebrating her 13th appearance in a WISPA final - and her fourth this year - while it is the 12th of Crome's career and her third of the year. But both arrived in LA fresh from Tour victories - the Kiwi after winning the Welsh Open earlier in the month and the Mexican victorious in the Goshen Open in Indiana in May.

Blake Beats Khan In LA Upset

Fifth seed Aisling Blake produced a stunning upset in the quarter-finals of the Women's Epstein Becker & Green Los Angeles Open when she beat US star Latasha Khan, the No2 seed, to reach the semi-finals of the $20,000 WISPA World Tour squash event in its second year at Los Angeles Athletic Club in Los Angeles.

It was their third meeting in North America this year - the most recent of which, in the Atwater Cup in Canada, was won by Blake after just a single game when Khan retired injured.

But the 26-year-old from Sligo in Ireland was keen to achieve a more conventional victory this time - and battled for 75 minutes to overcome the seven-time US National champion from Seattle 10-8, 6-9, 9-6, 9-7.

"The first was all her for the best part of the game - I was hitting loose and she just pounced on it," Blake said afterwards. "I settled and started to get a better length and got into it towards the end of the game and was getting more opportunities.

"It was the same pattern for the next three games. She played well to get 7-1 up in the second, and I got leads in the third and fourth and squandered them.

"I'm very pleased, I haven't beaten her before but I like playing her, she's a good competitor.

The surprise semi-finalist will now face Louise Crome, the No3 seed from New Zealand who defeated Canadian Alana Miller 10-8, 9-1, 9-1.

"I'd never played Alana before, but Aisling and I play all the time and know each other's games so well it's good for both of us to be in the semis," said the 30-year-old Kiwi from Auckland.

Top seed Samantha Teran will line up against fourth-seeded Italian Manuela Manetta in the other semi. Mexican Teran beat Australia's Donna Urquhart 9-5, 6-9, 9-2, 10-9, while Manetta survived a tough four-game battle against US-based English opponent Suzie Pierrepont, winning 9-7, 10-9, 8-10, 9-3 in 69 minutes.

Teran Takes Tara In LA Opener

On course to win her fourth WISPA World Tour squash title in the USA this year, top seed Samantha Teran beat Canadian Tara Mullins in the first round of the Women's Epstein Becker & Green Los Angeles Open to claim a place in the last eight of the $20,000 event in its second year at Los Angeles Athletic Club in Los Angeles.

The world No20 from Mexico took just 28 minutes to overcome Mullins 9-2, 9-4, 9-0 and will now face Australian Donna Urquhart, the No6 seed, for a place in the semi-finals.

"It's very hard to finish the ball off on there and she likes to run - so that made it a hard game," Teran said. "We've played each other so many times - whenever we're in a tournament together we always seem to be playing, but thankfully I usually win!"

US hopes are being led by second seed Latasha Khan. The seven-time US National champion from Seattle beat Welsh opponent Deon Saffery 9-2, 9-1, 9-1 - and now faces a quarter-final clash with Ireland's fifth seed Aisling Blake.