Sobhy & Blatchford Set Up All-US Semi in Colombia
10 Mar 2017
Olivia Blatchford set up a surprise all-American semi-final of the Ciudad de Floridablanca after upsetting England's world No.15 Emily Whitlock in the quarter-finals of the inaugural PSA W70 event at the Parque el Santisimo in Colombia. The US No.2 will face her top-ranked compatriot Amanda Sobhy who overcame Tesni Evans, the world No.19.
Sobhy, ranked six in the world, earned her last four berth courtesy of a dominant 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 win over her Welsh opponent to reach her first PSA World Tour semi-final since October's US Open.
"I knew that the last couple of times Tesni and I have played, it has been tough and I know she's in good form," said Sobhy.
"I tried to implement my fast pace from the beginning and I tried to hold and stop and start her because she's really good when she gets into a rhythm.
"If you play at a medium pace then she's deadly. I tried to take that away from her and I'm really pleased that I was able to execute it in three games and that I was able to move well and still be breathing after the match."
Blatchford will appear in the biggest semi-final of her career after a hip injury to Whitlock forced the Englishwoman to retire.
The scores were locked at one-game apiece until Whitlock pulled up mid-way through the third game. Despite battling through the pain barrier to see out the game, Whitlock was forced to shake hands before the fourth game could get underway, sealing Blatchford's clash with her US team-mate.
Sobhy and Blatchford will meet for the second tournament in a row after Sobhy triumphed in round two of last month's Windy City Open. Underdog Blatchford is anticipating an exciting match between the two friends.
"All-in-all it's a massive step in the right direction for my career," Blatchford said.
"I felt really confident going into it and, while it's not the way I wanted to win, it's a step forward.
"We [Blatchford and Sobhy] know each-other very well, inside and out. She's a teammate, a friend and she's my roommate here. I have great respect for her and her game. Hopefully tomorrow will see two girls trying to go at it no matter how well they know each other's games."
David rose to wins on the tie-break in games one and two, before dropping just three points in the third to wrap up a 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 victory over her Hong Kong opponent.
"I felt good at the start and I think it was a good match," said David.
"I'm really excited to play in the semis here in Colombia. It's such a great venue, I've been feeling good and I'm going to give it all I've got tomorrow."
Standing between David and a place in her 101st Tour final is England's world No.10 Alison Waters, who defeated compatriot Victoria Lust in a brutal five-game thriller to reach her biggest semi-final since 2015.
The match saw both players put together spells of dominance and error-strewn periods in equal measure, with Waters overturning two games balls in a tense decider to record an 11-7, 16-18, 11-7, 7-11, 15-13 triumph.
"You train hard in these situations and I was confident in those last couple of points," said Waters.
"I've had some good results recently, I lost to [World No.2] Camille [Serme] in the final of the Cleveland Classic and in Chicago [the Windy City Open], but I've been playing well and I'm really pleased to be in the semi-finals. It was a tough match tonight, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow's match."