Second-seeded Olivia Blatchford and Todd Harrity dethroned their respective three seeds and defending national champions Sabrina Sobhy and Julian Illingworth in Friday night’s S.L. Green U.S. Men’s and U.S. Women’s Championships semifinals at the McArthur Squash Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The semifinals began with both top seeds sealing passage into Saturday’s final in front of a packed gallery.
Playing in her first tournament as a full-time professional, world No. 10 Amanda Sobhy defeated her mentor and national team coach Natalie Grainger in a quick-fire opening match.
The twenty-one-year-old Harvard senior defeated the former world No. 1 13-11, 11-8, 11-7 to reach her fourth-consecutive national singles final.
The men’s top seed Chris Gordon followed suit in the ensuing match, but unlike the elder Sobhy, the 2013 men’s champion needed four games to get past first-time national singles semifinalist Chris Hanson.
Gordon, world No. 57, edged out two narrow opening games 11-9, 13-11, but let world No. 158 back into the match dropping the third 11-9. Gordon made no mistake in the fourth, closing out the match 11-5.
Women’s two seed Olivia Blatchford then denied eighteen-year-old Sabrina Sobhy a chance to defend her title against her older sister, by dramatically coming back from two games down, to pull out the match 8-11, 4-11, 13-11, 11-4, 11-7. Saturday is Blatchford’s second final appearance, and first since 2011.
In what was a repeat of the 2014 men’s final, twenty-four-year-old Todd Harrity defeated nine-time and defending champion Illingworth for the first time in his young career, to book his place in a second consecutive S.L. Green final.
In a physical encounter, Portland’s Illingworth took an early lead with the first game 11-7, but Philadelphia’s Harrity responded by edging out a grueling second game 18-16. The twenty-four-year-old continued to press in another close third match 13-11, and clinched the match in the fourth 11-7.
Saturday’s finals will be streamed live starting with the women’s final at 5pm ET, with the men’s final following on.
Meanwhile, open age division play continues throughout Saturday. Follow Saturday’s progress on the mobile and desktop-compatible www.clublocker.com, using the Player Tracker and Live Scores features. Using the Player Tracker feature, players, coaches, and parents can see a player’s next opponent, time, and location.and all scores can be followed live throughout the weekend on www.clublocker.com.