One week after breaking into the world’s top twenty ranked players at No. 19, Team USA’s Olivia Blatchford recorded her first career PSA Women’s World Championship first round victory against world No. 17 Donna Urquhart Saturday in El Gouna, Egypt.
A close start to the sixty-seven-minute match saw Blatchford earn a two game lead 12-10, 11-9, at which point the Australian came back to force a fifth game in the third and fourth 11-9, 12-10. The twenty-four-year-old from Wilton, Connecticut, halted the comeback in the fifth to win the match 11-8.
“More than anything there was a huge sense of relief at the end,” Blatchford said. “I had a four point lead in the fourth which I blew, but that was also the best squash she played in the entire match and I felt like I was at a higher maximum mental capacity than I’m used to. Every game, bar the fifth, was a two point game so I’m ecstatic. I think I’ve gotten better as a player in recent months, but I think it’s much more to do with trust; trusting yourself to make the right decisions, to react the right way.”
Blatchford’s second round opponent is set to be Egypt’s world No. 4 and three seed Raneem El Welily, who dispatched Jenny Duncalf in a three-game first round match.
“That confidence, combined with the enjoyment of being able to compete with players at the top in such a great sport, is huge, so I’m just trying to milk that as much as I can,” Blatchford said.
Watch Blatchford’s second round match live from the glass court on SquashTV Monday, April 10, at 6:30pm local time, 12:30pm ET.
For more information visit www.psaworldtour.com.