8:16 am
17 Jun 2024

Fiechter & Kennedy To Contest Detroit Final

11 Feb 2023

USA's Olivia Fiechter and England's Georgina Kennedy will contest their second final within a month after overcoming Olivia Clyne and Salma Hany, respectively, at the Detroit Athletic Club.

In the first match of the evening, Fiechter avenged last week's Cleveland Classic semi-final defeat by coming from behind to beat compatriot Clyne.

The 27-year-old, who fell to the unseeded Clyne 3/0 last week, appeared to be heading for another defeat when Clyne took the first game 11-7 thanks to aggressive play at the front.

Fiechter then drew level after an entertaining 12-10 win in game two, before pulling away from 5-4 down to an 11-5 winner in the third as she upped the physicality and Clyne's length faltered.

The ending of the third game appeared to give the No.4 seed confidence, and Fiechter pushed on well to reach the final at her first time at the DAC with an 11-6 win in game four.

Afterwards, Fiechter said: "I think today was less about revenge and more about the squash. To Liv's credit, she's been playing incredible squash, playing and moving extremely well and she made it really tough for me in Cleveland, but I felt I didn't give my best performance and had more to give.

"So, tonight was simply about stepping up and bringing out a stronger physical and mental performance."

Joining Fiechter in the final is English No.8 seed Kennedy, who beat Fiechter in the final of January's Carol Weymuller Open.

Kennedy's return to fitness and form was further underlined tonight in a convincing win over the Egyptian No.7 seed.

The last time the pair met, in the third round of the 2022 CIB Black Ball Open, there was little to separate them, with Kennedy coming through a tight encounter 3/1.

The beginning of tonight's match was similarly close, with the brilliant coverage of Kennedy being matched by the attacking instincts of Hany.

However, after the early exchanges, Kennedy was able to put together a spectacular scoring run to move from 4-4 to 11-4.

The second game followed a similar pattern to the first, with Kennedy weathering the early attack of Hany before countering as she took a 2/0 lead with an 11-5 win from 5-5.

Hany showed greater fight in the third game as she pushed Kennedy hard, punishing loose shots efficiently and looked set to pull a game back when she opened up a 9-7 lead.

Kennedy, however, dug in brilliantly and put together another scoring run as she clinched the match in three with an 11-9 victory.

"I'm really happy and pleased to get off in three. Salma's such a tricky opponent; she's so skilful and hits the ball as well as anyone in the game," said Kennedy later. "She's so dangerous and I knew I had to concentrate in every rally, because every rally was a mental battle as well. I knew, as soon as I missed my target the ball was going to be fired in short and it was probably going to be a winner."