World No. 16 Rachael Grinham and world No. 21 Joshana Chinappa will contest the inaugural Women’s Squash Association 10 Richmond Open final Saturday afternoon with semifinal victories over Siyoli Waters and Latasha Khan respectively.
Follow @RVAOpenSquash on Twitter for updates throughout the tournament.
Follow results on the 2014 Richmond Open tournament page.
Kristen Lange reports from Richmond:
After the high intensity and excitement of yesterdays matches, a full house packed into the bleachers at the Country Club of Virginia ready for the top 4 seeds to battle it out for the special chance to take one of the two final positions in the inaugural WSA Richmond Squash Open. The first match on court featured the crowd favorite Siyoli Waters of South Africa versus the speedy Rachael Grinham of Australia. This following match included the only remaining American in the draw from Seattle and a tour veteran, Latasha Khan, versus the lengthy Joshana Chinappa of India. Both matches lived up to the hype, producing yet again another spectacular evening of squash.
In the first match of the evening, Waters came out strong, hitting her targets and finding her depth. Grinham struggled to get the ball past the far reach of Waters, allowing for Waters to sneak by and win the first game 11-8. However, Grinham came out strong in the second, misdirecting Waters, finding her nicks and forcing the ball wider and thus out of her reach. At 7-8 Waters serving, a small change in momentum came as Waters hit some deft cross court drops from deep in the forehand corner to give herself a 9-8 lead. However, after some killer length and an unfortunate but fair stroke, Grinham took the second game 11-9. The third game was all Grinham, as she moved Waters around the court this way and that, leaving her flat footed through some amazing holding and hitting. Unfortunately for Waters, she found the bottom of the tin a few too many times, aiding Grinham to an 11-4 win in the third game. The fourth started out a dogfight with both players pushing the ball to the front and lifting it to the back to create good position. However at 3-3 Grinham took charge and surged to an 8-4 lead over Waters. Even though Waters fought till the end, there was nothing she could do to abate the onslaught of incredible shots executed by Grinham as she went on the win 11-7 in the fourth.
Grinham df Waters 8-11 11-9 11-4 11-7 45min
The first game was an exhibition on how to use the boast, and at times overuse the boast as both players hit their fair share. However it was due to the more consistent depth and frontcourt deception that Chinappa took the first game over Khan 11-7. The second game saw a continuation of the accurate depth followed by frontcourt decision-making out of Chinappa. To her credit, Khan never stopped moving and pushing for every shot, forcing Chinappa to work for each point. A few sketchy stroke situations brought Chinappa to a 10-5 lead over Khan, after a short comeback Chinappa took the second game 11-8. The third game was all Chinappa as Khan was playing a risky game of taking the ball in early and fast. Unfortunately Chinappa was all over the shots, which were not finding their respective targets and falling short. Off of two unfortunate shots into the tin by Khan, Chinappa took the third and final game of the evening 11-5.
Chinappa df Khan 11-7 11-8 11-5 27min
Saturday’s final will be an exciting matchup between the first and second seeds of the tournament Rachel Grinham and Joshana Chinappa. Once again everyone in the crowd was awed and exhilarated by the amazing squash exhibited by all the athletes in the tournament thus far.