A new women’s U.S. champion is guaranteed Saturday afternoon after Olivia Blatchford and Reeham Sedky progressed through the semifinals Friday evening at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Connecticut.
Blatchford, the top seed and world No. 19, dispatched four seed and world No. 52 Haley Mendez 11-6, 11-5, 11-3 in twenty-seven minutes to reach her third consecutive final.
“Haley has been playing really well lately so I knew I couldn’t take her lightly,” Blatchford said. “I wanted to get straight to business on court today and that panned out really well for me.”
The twenty-four-year-old from nearby Wilton, Connecticut, will hope to capture her first women’s national title at her home club.
“It’s been a bit surreal,” Blatchford said. “This is my home club so it’s really strange driving to a tournament match from my own house, but at the same time it’s really nice. I just want to enjoy the final. I’m having a really enjoyable second half of my season, and I’m having so much fun playing squash right now. That’s been the secret to my success recently. So tomorrow is just another day, another squash match, to enjoy the occasion and this is the last match of my season so I would love to finish it with a bang.”
University of Pennsylvania sophomore Reeham Sedky makes her first appearance in the U.S. women’s final after a difficult semifinal against six-time champion and Chelsea Piers head professional Natalie Grainger.
Sedky fought off six game balls in the first game to level the score at 10-10, but Grainger pulled out the game to gain an early lead. The rest of the match was all Sedky, However, as the Seattle, Washington-native came back to win 10-12, 11-3, 11-3, 11-9 in forty-two minutes.
“I started off very nervous,” Sedky said. “She’s such a good player, she’s so smart on court. If you don’t play smart with her, she’s going to crush you. I realized in the first game I had to move her around more and that’s when things started working for me.”
Blatchford and Sedky were U.S. teammates at the Women’s World Team Championship in December.
“Olivia is such a good player,” Sedky said. “She’s been doing so well this year. She’s also a great teammate. I’ll just give it all I’ve got and go from there.”
Live stream the final Saturday, April 29, at 4pm ET on www.ussquash.com.