Arthur Curran lives in Manchester, England and is an avid squash fan, traveling to places like Belfast, Madrid, Monte Carlo, New York, Connecticut, Dublin and Kuala Lumpur to watch major tournaments, as well as extensively in the UK, and have on several occasions reported tournaments for squashsite.co.uk. Although too old and too ill to be able to play the game he is fascinated by the athleticism and skill involved in the game and with the friendliness shown by all the players.
It’s Natalie vs. Samantha in the Finals!
Women’s semi final results:-
 Natalie Grinham (NED) beat  Aisling Blake (IRL) 10/12, 11/6, 11/6, 13/11 (60 mins)
Into the Quarter Finals
 Joey Chan (HKG) beat  Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11/9, 11/5, 11/8 (25 mins)
 Aisling Blake (IRL) beat  Thaisa Serifini (BRA) 11/8, 11/2, 11/1 (32 mins)
 Samantha Teran (MEX) beat  Latasha Khan (USA) 11/2, 11/4, 11/8 (31 mins)
 Natalie Grinham (NED) beat  Olivia Blatchford (USA) 12/14,11/8, 11/6,11/6 (58 mins)
All top four seeds in the women’s tournament got through to the semi finals to be played tomorrow, with players from Hong Kong, Ireland, the Netherlands and of course the home nation’s favourite. First up on the ladies court was No 3 seed Joey Chan from Hong Kong against No 7 seed Milou van der Heijden from Holland. With more than 40 places difference in the rankings in Joey’s favour it was expected to go her way and so it did, but not without some great battling from Milou.Joey took the initiative from the start to lead 4/2 then 8/3, but Milou fought back bravely to take the lead 9/ 8, however Joey then served out to tae the game 11/9. Again Joey took an 8/3 leadin the second and although Milou grabbed a coup-le more points Joey again served out to win 11/5. Milou really fought hard in the third game to stay in the match, taking early leads of 2/0 and then 5/3 but then Joey’s experience started to take effect as she got to match ball at 10/6 then despite Milou saving two Joey took the game 11/8 and the match 3 – 0.Next up on the ladies court brought No 4 seed Aisling Blake from Ireland to face No 8 seed Thaisa Serafini from Brazil, with another difference of over 40 places in the rankings, this time in Aisling’s favour. Aisling started well taking an early lead 4/1, but Thaisa pulled back slowly to within one point at 5/6, then Aisling scored two, Thaisa scored two, Aisling scored another two to take game ball at 10/7, Thaisa saved one but not the next as Aisling took the game 11/8. Aisling took control of the court from here onwards, using all her experience and great shot making to slightly overpower Thaisa, taking the next two games 11/2 and 11/1 to gain her place in tomorrow’s semi final.
Third match up saw the nation’s favourite player No 2 seed Samantha Teran, ranked at #21, against No 5 seed American Latasha Khan, ranked #30. To the delight of the local crowd Samantha, playing some fabulous shots and moving so well around the court, soared through to take the first game 11/2. Latasha took the first 2 points of the next game but once again Samantha took control of the game, allowing Latasha only two more points before taking the game 11/4. In the third Latasha started much more determined and took an early 5/1 lead, but again Samantha came right back to take the lead at 8/5 and to the delight of the partisan crowd took the game 11/8 and the match 3 – 0.
Last up was the No 1 seed, former World Champion Natalie Grinham from the Netherlands, currently ranked at #18, against the 18 year old American Olivia Blatchford, the No 6 seed and already ranked at #37.
Young Olivia started off very strong and determined which I felt caught Natalie by surprise, keeping Natalie pinned in the back of the court with some really strong drives. She has certainly improved her strength and determination since I last saw her play, and she an early 6/3 lead, then 8/5, but Natalie pulled it back to 8/8 then got to game ball first at 10/9. However Olivia was not giving up, taking a game ball herself at 12/11, and although Natalie levelled at 12/12 Olivia stayed strong to take the game 14/12, much to the surprise of most of the crowd.
Natalie then had to use all her experience and guile, moving so well around the court as she always has done and retrieving some unbelievable shots, staying just in the lead through the early part of the second, Olivia held in and levelled up at 8/8, but then Natalie scored a trio of points to take the game 11/8. Natalie although appearing to tire did take control of the scoring from here and despite Olivia still fighting bravely she went on to take the third 11/6 and the fourth the same score, winning the match 3 games to 1.
Natalie was made to work very hard throughout this match and although she lost Olivia can take great heart from this performance, into the World Women’s Junior Championships next month, and start climbing further up the rankings now she has gone full time on the circuit
Round 1 in Boca
Women’s Round 1 Results:
 Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11/5, 11/6, 11/2 (22 mins)
 Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Karina Heredia Gonzalez (MEX) 11/4, 11/3, 11/7 (20 mins)
 Aisling Blake (IRL) bt Carmen Lee (HKG) 11/5, 11/13, 12/10, 8/11, 11/3 (60 mins)
 Thaisa Serafini (BRA) bt [Q] Karla Uruttia (MEX) 12/10, 11/3, 12/10 (38 mins)
 Milou van der Heijden (NED) bt Ivonne Diaz (MEX) 11/7, 13/11, 12/10, 11/6 (40 mins)
 Joey Chan (HKG) bt Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) 11/6, 11/5, 11/7. (21 mins)
 Latasha Khan (USA) bt [Q] Yatheb Adel (EGY) 11/8, 12/10, 11/7 (35 mins)
 Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [Q] Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11/4, 12/10, 11/4 (24 mins)
We had a short break in play to hold the official opening ceremony, where after a lovely introduction from Stephanie, one of the organising team, Salvador Manzur Diaz, the Municipal President of Boca del Rio welcomed everybody to the town and the tournament, thanking everybody for coming. He then took to the adjoining court to play a few shots with local player Nayelly Hernaandez, proving that although a great supporter of squash he is not a very good player.