Olivia Blatchford won her second WSA World Tour title after fighting back from a two-game deficit to claim the WSA Tour 5 Liberty Bell Open in Philadelphia, USA.
Blatchford was two games down against tournament surprise package Sabrina Sobhy in the final of the event, before a remarkable comeback saw the world No.64 defeat her younger teenage opponent.
The 19-year-old made a strong start to the competition, beating Karen Kronemeyer in the quarter-finals after claiming a walkover in round one. She then defeated Georgina Stoker from England in a narrow three-game contest to set up a final against Sobhy, whose older sister Amanda defeated Blatchford in the 2010 final.
Sobhy also received a walkover in the first round of the event, before seeing off the challenge of Cecilia Cortesin straight games. She then faced last year’s surprise winner of the Liberty Bell Open, returning champion Maria Toor Pakay, seeded first for the event. Pakay stunned onlookers last year by defeating the sixth, first, second and third seeds on her way to claiming the title.
Seeded first this year, Pakay led against Sobhy after the first game, but the young American fought back to claim the second game and narrowly lost out in the third-game tiebreak. She then claimed the next two game against the fatigued Pakistani player and progressed through to her first WSA World Tour final.
Spurred on by her upset in the semi-final, the world No.80 raced off to a commanding lead in the final, with Blatchford unable to register much of a consistent threat. A reverse in fortunes however, and some tactical reshaping saw the older player make an impressive comeback against the 16-year-old and Blatchford was able to claim the win in five games, to claim a long overdue second title.
This is the 19-year-old from Brooklyn’s first title since winning the SRC Open in Southport in May 2010.
Article courtesy of WSA Media
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 8-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-3
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Maria Toor Pakay (PAK) 6-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Georgina Stoker (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 11-9
Maria Toor Pakay (PAK) bt Diana Elisa Garcia Fierro (MEX) 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 11-5
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Cecilia Cortes (USA) 11-3, 11-5, 11-6
Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) 11-9, 11-6, 11-8
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Karen Kronemeyer (NED) 11-3, 11-2, 11-9
Maria Toor Pakay (PAK) bt Kelsey Engman (USA) 11-5, 11-4, 11-4
Diana Elisa Garcia Fierro (MEX) bt Alex Clark (SCO) 4-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Majd Alkhateeb (JOR) w/o
Cecilia Cortes (USA) bt Katja Amir (GER) 11-6, 11-3, 11-7
Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) bt Maia Kirk (CAN) 11-7, 11-6, 11-3
Georgina Stoker (ENG) bt Celia Allamargot (FRA) 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9
Karen Kronemeyer (NED) bt Jacqueline Barnes (AUS) 11-2, 11-6, 11-1
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Ileana Novelo (MEX) w/o