Team USA’s Olivia Blatchford Clyne won the inaugural $30,000 Detroit Pro Open–the largest and seventh PSA title of her career–Saturday, November 9, at the Detroit Athletic Club in Michigan.
Blatchford Clyne, world No. 19 led the twenty-four-player draw as the tournament’s top seed and one of two Americans, as U.S. teammate Sabrina Sobhy entered the bottom half of the draw. Both Americans progressed to the quarterfinals as Blatchford Clyne defeated Brooklyn-based Finn Emilia Soini, while Sobhy upset Egypt’s six seed Mayar Hany in three games in their respective second round matches. Sobhy’s run would end in the quarterfinals in a close four games against Egypt’s three seed Nadin Shahin.
Blatchford Clyne continued her progress with a three-game quarterfinal win over Penn graduate and French international Melissa Alves, followed by a semifinal win against former world No. 13 Donna Lobban 11-6, 11-9, 11-9.
Belgium’s world No. 18 Nele Gilis met the American in the final courtesy of a four-game semifinal win over Shahin. In the final, Blatchford Clyne edged a close first game 12-10, before pulling away to clinch the title 11-4, 11-6 after forty minutes.
Blatchford Clyne had recorded her sixth and then largest title of her career in March–the $18,000 Calgary Squash Open–which she now exceeds with the $30,000 title in Detroit. The twenty-six-year-old Pan American gold medalist is supported by the US Squash Elite Athlete Program.
Tournament Director Mick Joint looks forward to the second edition of the tournament already in 2020.
“We are looking at running this event–building on it–annually,” Joint said. “I hope the players enjoyed Detroit and the DAC as much as we enjoyed hosting them, we look forward to welcoming many of them back in 2020.”