Team USA’s Olivia Fiechter and Olivia Blatchford Clyne will face off in the Cleveland Classic semifinals after pulling off upsets over top seeds in the quarterfinals Friday, February 3, at the Cleveland Racquet Club.
Live stream the all-American semifinal Saturday afternoon at 5:15pm local time on psaworldtour.com.
Fiechter was the first to reach the semifinals of the $75,000 draw with her second career win over New Zealand’s world No. 4 Joelle King. The Kiwi had the momentum with a 2-1 lead, but Fiechter came back to force a fifth game. The American pulled away from six-all in the fifth to win 11-7 after fifty-two minutes.
“It was such a battle, Joelle has been in incredible form this year, she’s had an incredible season with some huge wins and she just came off a semifinal at ToC (Tournament of Champions),” Fiechter said. “It was really falling away from me after the second and third–she was just controlling the match. I just told myself to do something different to throw her off her game and inject myself back into the match and fortunately doing that, picking the pace back up, I worked my way back in. The fifth game was back and forth and I told myself to be positive and to take some risks, and beating a player like Joelle is one of the biggest wins of my career and it means so much.”
Fiechter will face her U.S. teammate and world No. 20 Olivia Blatchford Clyne, who advanced after world No. 6 and three seed Nour El Tayeb retired in the second game due to injury.
“I wish Nour (El Tayeb) the speediest of recoveries. I had a panic attack when it happened as when you see someone get injured when you’re playing it’s one of the worst feelings,” Clyne said. “No matter how much you want to win or make a semi-final, no one wishes to win that way. It’s terrible and bad things happen sometimes, but you’ve got to make the best of the situation and I’m looking forward to getting back on court tomorrow.”
U.S. world No. 5 Amanda Sobhy also sustained an injury in the quarterfinals when the American retired in the second game against Georgina Kennedy. Kennedy will face a surprise unseeded semifinalist in Hong Kong’s Tomato Ho, who has already knocked out four seed Sarah-Jane Perry and seven seed Tesni Evans.