Kristen Lange beats Maria Fernanda Rivera (11-9, 11-5, 11-5)
15 year old Maria is a very talented player and in some rallies we were able to see flashes of excellent play. But experienced player Kristen Lange was able to play way more consistent squash and take the match comfortably. We will be seeing more of the young Mexican in the future.
Nayelly Hernandez beats Erin Roberts (11-3, 11-4, 11-8)
The bouncy ball made Nayelly feels at home in cold Montreal. She dominated the first two games with a mix of good pace and good short shots. With the whole Canadian team helping her between games, Erin was able to play a much better 3rd game and came close to pushing the Mexican to a fourth game. Unfortunately it was too little too late but Erin will have taken some good experience out of that match.
Miranda Ranieri beats Michelle Craig (11-3, 11-3, 11-6)
This was a match between two players that grew up 20 minutes apart in Ontario so they knew each other from the junior years. Miranda has moved to the WSA Tour while Michelle plays A level squash in Montreal. Michelle put up a good fight every game until the half way point and then the pace at which Miranda plays caught up with her.
Stephanie Edmison beats Diana Elisa Garcia Fierro (10-12, 11-3, 12-10, 11-7)
The first game was a battle, neck-and-neck up until 10-10 and with lots of action for the refs. Diana took the first game 12-10 with both players looking very quick and moving each other up and back. Steph took control in the second game and won 11-3, but the third was close again. At 10-10, Steph pulled out the third with a couple good lengths. The fourth was a long affair, but after a few lets, the experienced Canadian finished the up-and-comer off on her first match ball.
Leonie Holt beats Olga Puigdemont (11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5)
Olga is now a lawyer in Montreal but was once ranked in the top 40 on Tour and gave Leonie a run for her money. Fitness became a factor as the match went on. Leonie also capitalized with her short game that eventually was a bit much for the lawyer. In the end, many good rallies, long ones, short ones, lots of different paces and a good fight from both players.
Samantha Cornett beats Maia Kirk (11-1, 11-7, 11-0)
Maia is new on tour and faced a good challenge against the most improved Canadian player in 2011. The pace was just too quick and Sam controlled rallies on a constant basis. Maia railed off a few points with some great drops, but it wasn’t enough and the absolutely delightful first seed Cornett took the match 3-0.
Hollie Naughton beats Genevieve Lessard (11-4, 10-12, 11-3, 11-9)
The two had played a tight match in last May at the Nationals so a close match was expected. Hollie got off to a flying start hitting good length and using a deadly backhand straight drop. Gen adjusted well in the second hitting better length and giving Hollie fewer opportunities. But another good attacking game put Hollie in the driver’s seat. Gen had a good start in the 4th but unfortunately could not close it out.
Alexandra Norman beats Runa Reta (11-5, 11-8, 11-3)
This was an unfortunate match up as they both train and work at the same club. They have had good battles in the past but Runa work endeavours have kept her away from the court a lot lately. Alex played solid squash pressuring Runa with a good mix of solid lengths and subtle holds.
Samantha Cornett beats Hollie Naughton (11-2, 11-7, 11-2)
Hollie was put under lots of pressure from the start with Sam’s pace and short game. Everything that she did, Sam did better. Hollie has improved a lot over the last year, mainly her short game, but Sam’s court coverage was just too good. In the last game, the first seed all of a sudden started hitting excellent dying length and took the game quickly.
Kristen Lange beats Alexandra Norman (13-11, 11-9, 11-6)
The first two games were very close and could have gone either way. As Joey says, Kristen was better in the business end of the games and was able to take a 2-0 lead. Even though Alex was controlling play, Kristen was able to slot in enough winners to get ahead. In the third Kristen finished up with some great low kills.
Stephanie Edmison beats Leonie Holt (12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7)
It is known that Stephanie likes to play at a high pace and she did just that. Leonie struggled a bit with the flurry of hard shots and made costly mistakes at the end of both games. But she changed her game plan in the third and was very patient while moving the ball to all four corners. The match was definitely on and the fourth was neck and neck, but at 7 all after a few close calls, Leonie lost her focus for a few rallies. That opened the door for Steph who hit a few winners to earn a place in the semis.
Miranda Ranieri beats Nayelly Hernandez (12-10, 11-7, 11-7)
A close first game, and high intensity throughout the match. Miranda stayed in control, although suffered from too many unforced errors. She lost her focus for pockets of the match, but was always able to pull it back. It’ll be a Canadian showdown tomorrow night with Steph vs Miranda, a rematch from Canadian Nationals last May.
Samantha Cornett beats Kristen Lange (11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4)
Samantha started nervously with unforced errors but was then able to hit a few more winners than Kristen in a wide open first game. She then changed to a much straighter game in the second but was punished when hitting cross court drops that Kristen was able to advantage of. But the sustained straight length in the third by Samantha did not give Kristen many options and started to pay off. With less open space to hit the ball to, Kristen tried to force the play a bit too much and her error/winner count turned negative. The fourth was a copy of the third and Samantha earned the first spot in the final.
Miranda Ranieri beats Stephanie Edmison (11-8, 11-6, 11-7)
It’s always difficult to play a friend and a teammate. These two are best friends off court, but they both know the game is on when they step on court! Steph has had a good run hitting winners and running down balls in her first two matches. Miranda, who competes very well, adjusted her tactics by moving the ball around the court smartly and getting Steph to cover a lot of ground. She succeeded in hitting good attacking length and then playing the ball in the open space on a regular basis and was able to dominate every second half of every game. Very promising final tomorrow!
Samantha Cornett beats Miranda Ranieri (11-13, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9)
The players travelled to a new venue for the final match to join 40 women who were participating in one of Montreal’s famous Ladies Squash Nights. This was one of the rare occasion where there were more women spectators then men at a squash final.
With only a few ranking spots between the two, there a strong chance that this match would be a close one. Not only was it extremely close but it was also the longest of the week clocking at 60 minutes. The first game was strange; it was mostly wide open squash with many angles and short shots coming off both racquets. Miranda hit many tins to give Sam commanding 7-2 and 10-5 leads. But all of a sudden, the table turned and Miranda started running every shot that Sam hit and won 8 of the next 9 rallies to win the game! What a turnaround.
Game 2 was similar with Sam building 9-3 and 10-5 leads. But this time, she maintained her composure and closed the game out. So even though the score was tied at 1 game all, it seemed like the match was in Sam’s hands to win or lose.
But Miranda stormed back and played her best squash in the 3rd, hitting better length, moving the ball around the court and cutting down errors. She had stolen the driver’s seat and looked in control.
The see saw match was not over yet, this time it was Sam’s turn to play her best squash and putting together strings of points. At 9-4, never quit Miranda putt her down and started another comeback and Sam needed two winners to take the match to a decider.
This one was close all the way with never more than 2 points separating the two. But Sam was always ahead and the last few rallies showed how athletic, agile and determined the two top Canadian players are. The crowd had seen two girls battle it out at a furious pace and playing an all out attacking style form the start.