Team USA’s Olivia Blatchford is through to the second round of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open following a first-round victory against Yale graduate Millie Tomlinson Tuesday at the Hong Kong Park Sports Center in China.
While U.S. champion reached a career high of world No. 13 this month, her previous world No. 17 was enough to send her directly into the main draw upon its creation last month.
“I’m still getting used to coming to tournaments and not having to qualify, for me it’s a different experience and it’s nice to be in the main draw going in and even nicer to find myself in the second round,” Blatchford said. “It was fantastic to get on there and now I have a whole day and a half to recover and I’ll be back on Thursday.”
The twenty-four year old from Wilton, Connecticut, took care of business 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 in twenty-nine minutes to record her first career main draw victory in Hong Kong.
“It was very important to start well, but unfortunately it didn’t last because in the second game I got off to a terrible start,” Blatchford said. “I thought the important thing was being able to get back in it from that deficit, which gave me a lot of confidence going into the third game.”
England’s world No. 4 Laura Massaro awaits Blatchford in the second round Thursday, November 14. Watch the match live on SquashTV at 12pm noon local time, 11pm ET, Wednesday, November 13.