Olivia Weaver defeated Hong Kong’s Chan Sin Yuk to reach the semifinals of the inaugural SmartCentres Kinetic Florida Open Friday, January 12.
Weaver’s strong start to the new year will see the American face world No. 1 and top seed Nour El Sherbini in the semifinals Saturday. Watch the match live on SquashTV.
After winning the first game against Yuk 11-5, Weaver found herself in an early deficit in game two as Chan got to grips with the pace of play and managed to get up on the volley more, but the joy would be short-lived, as the No.4 seed soon erased the gap and took game two by the same scoreline.
Game three followed a similar pattern, with Chan sticking with Weaver in the early rallies, before the American pulled clear when it mattered, clinching victory with a backhand drop that was too good for her opponent.
Speaking after the win, Weaver was pleased to have got through against a dangerous opponent.
“I’m very relieved,” she said. “It’s always tricky going up against a young opponent, lower seed. She’s still playing college squash so there was nothing to lose for her, so I really had to show up today. I’ve seen her throughout the season, she just beaten Nada, went to five with El Sherbini in Hong Kong, so she’s an incredibly talented player to watch, and I think for me today it was just about really making sure I was staying strong in front of her, not giving her the middle of the court and weathering the storm. I knew she was going to have some incredible shots and holds, but for me it was just about sticking to my shots and staying positive.”
“There were moments where I was happy with my hitting. Maybe a few more sidewalls than I would have ideally wanted, but I think it’s about just continuing to get more comfortable on this court and against a player like that, you have to find your targets and you have to squeeze them as much as you can. “