Grinham Marches on in Montreal

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QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS: Atwater Cup, Montreal, Canada

[1] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [7] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 (38m)
[3] Joelle King (NZL) bt [5] Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10 (62m)
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 (26m)
[2] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt [6] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-3, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6 (48m)

Unseeded Natalie Grinham secured the shortest quarter-final win of the day in the Women’s Atwater Cup to earn a place in the last four of the WISPA World Tour Silver 20 squash event in its third year at Club Atwater in the Canadian city of Montreal.

The experienced world No34 from the Netherlands stopped US teenager Olivia Blatchford, an 18-year-old qualifier from New York, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 in 26 minutes.

“These young players have no fear, they’re really hard to play because they are unpredictable,” said Grinham, the former world No2 on a Tour comeback trail after the birth of her first child last year. “I’m happy to get through—and my game’s going well.”

The Australian-born 33-year-old will now face second seed Jaclyn Hawkes, one of two New Zealanders to reach the semi-finals.

Hawkes, the UK-based world No14 also ousted a US teenager—but needed four games to get the better of 17-year-old sixth seed Amanda Sobhy, the reigning world junior champion, 11-3, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6.

“That was a tough match,” said the 28-year-old from Auckland. “I felt like I did a lot of running. She’s such a good player. It was a tricky draw and I`m happy to be in the semi finals.”

Kiwi interest in the other semi will be led by Joelle King after the third seed overcame Mexico’s No5 seed Samantha Teran 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10 in a 62-minute battle.

“It was a tight game. I had to stay patient had wait for my opportunities as Samantha doesn’t give you much to hit,” said King, the New Zealand Commonwealth Games star from Cambridge.

King faces favourite Vanessa Atkinson following the top seed’s 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 victory over France’s seventh seed Isabelle Stoehr.

“I was happy to win the fourth as Stoehr had the momentum and she was coming back strong,” explained the 12 times Dutch champion.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) v [3] Joelle King (NZL)
[2] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) v Natalie Grinham (NED)

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