Waters Wins in D.C.

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Top seed Siyoli Waters won her second title of the year this week at the Tour 4 Dread Series in the US capital. The South African recently recorded her highest ranking on the WISPA World Rankings and her good form looks to have continued into September.

Waters started off the week with a first round bye whilst all the others seeds were battling for a place in the quarter finals. Second seed Lauren Selby had the easiest time of it, taking just 19 minutes to beat young American Camille Lanier. There were also straight game victories for Japanese third seed Misaki Kobayaski, fifth seed Merhan Amr Mehmoud from Egypt and Canada’s Genevieve Lessard, the sixth seed. The last seed to make it through to quarter final was Denmark’s Sally Skaarenborg. The Dane had to battle for five games to beat local coach Larissa Stephenson, eventually coming through 11/9 in the decider. There were two seeds to fall in the first round, as young Americans Katie Tutrone and Sabrina Sobhy made the last eight. Tutrone beat fellow American Elpiniki Clement in five games whilst Sobhy stunned fourth seed Stephanie Edmison, beating the Canadian in straight games.

The quarter finals saw top seed Waters make her first appearance of the tournament and she wasted little time in moving through to the semi final. Waters took just 18 minutes to beat Tutrone, having too much experience and shot selection for the US junior. Waters’ semi final opponent, Kobayaski, had an equally comfortable time in her match, taking only a minute longer than Waters to beat Lessard. The bottom half of the draw saw both quarter finals going to four games but it was the higher ranked players who moved through to the semi finals. Selby dropped the first game to Skaarenborg on a tie break, but soon started to find her range at the start of the second and looked comfortable for the rest of the match. Mehmoud had to work hard to end Sobhy’s chances, the pair split the first two games before Mehmoud won the crucial third game on a tie break. She closed out the match in the fourth game, although Sobhy continued to make it close right until the end.

The crowd were treated to two great semi finals, with both matches going the full distance. Waters found herself two games down against Kobayashi and looked likely that the Japanese number one would be moving through to the final. However Waters started to play better squash in the third game and the match slowly began to turn. Kobayashi had a chance to close it out in the fourth but Waters took it on the tie break. The fifth could have gone either way but it was the top seed who gained the last few crucial points to win it 11/9.

With such a high quality first match, the crowd were probably not expecting the second semi final to provide the same drama and entertainment, but they would have been mistaken. Selby and Mehmoud put on a great display of contrasting styles that also went all the way to 11/9 in fifth. Selby found herself two games to one down as Mehmoud’s attacking shot making found it’s target. Selby began to mix it up in the fourth with high lobs and her superb touch at the front of the court. It was even in the fifth up until 9 all when two strokes handed the match to the English girl.

The final between to the top two seeds was a fitting end to a great tournament in the capital. Waters retrieval abilities saw her force Selby into errors as she took the first game 11/6. There was nothing between them in the second and it was Waters who managed to edge it on the tie break. Selby was finished though and the third followed a similar pattern to the second but this time it was Selby who found that little bit extra to take the third and extend the match, much to the delight of the crowd. It wasn’t to be a first title of the year for the English girl however as she didn’t have enough to push Waters in the fourth and the top seed eased away to victory and clinch her second WISPA title.

[1] Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt [2] Lauren Selby (ENG) 11/6 12/10 12/14 11/2 (39m)

Semi Finals
[1] Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt [3] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 1/11 8/11 11/8 12/10 11/9 (45m)
[2] Lauren Selby (ENG) bt [5] Merhan Amr Mahmoud (EGY) 8/11 11/9 12/14 11/2 11/9 (55m)

Quarter Finals
[1] Siyoli Waters (RSA) bt Katie Tutrone (USA) 11/3 11/3 11/7 (18m)
[3] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt [6] Genevieve Lessard (CAN) 11/3 11/5 11/2 (19m)
[5] Merhan Amr Mahmoud (EGY) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11/4 6/11 12/10 11/8 (33m)
[2] Lauren Selby (ENG) bt [8] Sally Skaarenborg (DEN) 10/12 11/3 11/4 11/3 (32m)

1st Round
[1] Siyoli Waters (RSA) bye
Katie Tutrone (USA bt [7] Elpiniki Clement (USA) 11/8 12/10 3/11 6/11 11/8 (44m)
[3] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt Georgina Stoker (ENG) 11/6 11/4 11/8 (24m)
[6] Genevieve Lessard (CAN) bt Katja Amir (GER) 11/4 11/5 11/5 (20m)
[5] Merhan Amr Mahmoud (EGY) bt Alix Younger (USA) 11/8 11/5 11/8 (25m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt [4] Stephanie Edmison (CAN) 11/9 11/6 11/8 (23m)
[8] Sally Skaarenborg (DEN) bt Larissa Stephenson (NZL) 11/8 9/11 11/7 9/11 11/9 (43m)
[2] Lauren Selby (ENG) bt Camille Lanier (USA) 11/3 11/2 11/7 (19m)

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