Today’s qualifying finals:
Amanda Sobhy (USA) beat Latasha Khan (USA) 11/7, 8/11, 11/6, 9/11, 11/7. 50 mins. Plays Camille Serme.
First match up today was an all American match, with the No 1 USA women’s player the very experienced and senior tour player Latasha Khan, ranked 25, against her compatriot, the USA No 2 Amanda Sobhy, just 19 this coming Friday and already ranked 28 in the world.
Amanda started much the stronger taking a quick 7/2 lead and although Latasha fought strongly to take some more points she could never get the lead and Amanda won 11/7. The lead changed hands several times in the second until 7/7, Amanda then got one more point but that was her last in this game as Latasha used all her experience to serve out 11/8. The third game changed yet again,with Amanda taking the upper hand, although the lead changed hands again several times, she led 7/3, and eventually took the game 11/6.
Latasha would never give up, and took a 6/2 lead in the fourth, Amanda levelled at 6/6 then took the lead at 8/7, however Latasha got to match ball at 10/8, Amanda saved one but Latasha got the last to win 11/9. The final game started very close as Latasha took 4/3 lead, but young Amanda showed that she was up to the challenge of the American No1, took an 8/4 lead, then with the serve changing after every point she eventually took the game 11/7 and the match 3 – 2.
This was the first time she had played Latasha in a competitive match and she was delighted with the win, and hopefully she will soon become not just the American National Champion but the No 1 ranked American.
Alison Waters (ENG) beat Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11/3, 11/8, 11/6. 31 mins. Plays Donna Urquhart.
This time it was an all England affair, again between experience and youth, with former World No4 Alison Waters, currently ranked 24, against young Emily Whitlock, although still a junior is ranked at 32 in the world.
Alison started like a rocket, using all her skills and experience to dominate Emily, who did battle very well but did not have much luck, and Alison took the first game 11/2. Emily played much better in the second game, coming back from 0/5 to level at 5/5, Alison took back the lead at 9/5, Emily came back close at 8/9 but Alison served out to take the game11/8. From 3/3 in the third Alison took control and finished the game off at 11/6.
Although Emily had played well, with her father/coach Phil saying he was very pleased with her performance, this time she had to give way to experience, but I am sure her turn will soon come.
Line Hansen (DEN) beat Lisa Aitken (SCO) 11/7, 11/2, 11/4. 26 mins. Plays Natalie Grinham.
Not an American or English player involved in the third match, two players of different nationalities, with Line Hansen from Denmark, ranked 27, facing young Lisa Aitken of Scotland, ranked 57. Young Lisa started off very well taking a 5/1 lead, but Line came back strongly to lead 6/5, Lisa levelled at 6/6, Line took the lead back to 8/6, Lisa got one more point but then Line served out to take the game 11/7.
The difference in rankings and the strength of Line showed in the second and third games, with Lisa unable to get into the match with any significance, and Line took the games 11/2 and 11/4.
Aisling Blake (IRL) beat Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11/0, 11/2, 11/4. 20 mins. Plays Rachel Grinham.
Final match on court tonight saw the qualifying favourite Aisling Blake from Ireland, ranked No 26, against the younger of the Sobhy sisters Sabrina, ranked 89, and unlike elder sister Amanda, Sabrina had absolutely no answers to the skills and experience of the lovely Irish lady Aisling.
Experience definitely told in the end as the match ended in the quickest of the night with Sabrina only taking 6 points in total, at least half of which were given by unusual tins from Aisling. Again experience won over youth, but I am sure better things are to come from Sabrina alongside her elder sister.
That was all for tonight, tomorrow we look forward to the first round of the main draw, with some delightful matches to come.