Joint world No. 1’s Narelle Krizek & Suzie Pierrepont captured their eighth consecutive Women’s Doubles Squash Association title as partners, and third of the 2013-2014 season, this weekend in the form of the John’s Island Open at the John’s Island Club in Vero Beach, Florida.
Qualifiers and top American singles players Latasha Khan & Amanda Sobhy completed the eight-team main draw after defeating Philadelphia-based Kelsey Engman & Georgina Stoker Thursday evening 15-5, 15-9, 15-12.
Khan & Sobhy, WDSA world No. 23 and 13 and WSA world No. 35 and 16, continued their run in Friday’s quarterfinals in upsetting 3/4 seeds and world No. 7 and 10 Victoria Simmonds & Heidi Mather 15-7, 15-7, 11-15, 15-2. Khan & Sobhy then bowed out in the semifinals against Krizek & Pierrepont 15-14, 15-10, 15-9.
In the draw’s bottom half, 3/4 seeds Stephanie Hewitt & Meredeth Quick reached their second final of the season together after knocking out second-seeded Natarsha McElhinny & Dana Betts in the semifinals 15-7, 12-15, 15-10, 15-9.
Hewitt & Quick presented Krizek & Pierrepont with their strongest challenge of the tournament in the final and were level at 1-1 after Krizek & Pierrepont conceded eight consecutive points to lose their only game of the tournament 15-14. The top seeds recovered in the third and fourth games to clinch the match and title 15-13, 14-15, 15-8, 15-12.
“It was a very tough battle, ” Krizek recalled. “We knew our length had to be precise if not they would hurt us as both have amazing reverse boasts. We also knew the rallies would be long as it was hot out there. In the first game, I hit five winners, three three-wall boasts and two reverses. We knew they would start hitting more to Suzie and in turn we had to be patient and not press. Suzie ran so hard and hit both great cross lobs and hard straight drives which allowed her to attack front left. We also cut out our errors after the second and were more assertive.”
“It was a great match and a lot of fun to play, ” Pierrepont said. “They have a good dynamic as a team and play a really smart, solid game. It’s great to see Meredith back so soon and playing so well after having Dylan. We always know its going to be battle and as their come back in the second game shows, they are never out of the game.”
With Pierrepont not entered in this weekend’s METROsquash Open, Krizek & Pierrepont will have two more opportunities to extend their domination this season.
We seem to compliment each other so well, ” Krizek said of her partner. “Suzie has amazing power and speed and I just shoot… Seriously though, we have trust in each other and know the other will stick to the game plan and pull each other through if we are struggling. Suzie not only has her power and speed she can also put the ball away.”
“We have so much fun playing together, ” Pierrepont continued. “We know each others games well and have a lot of confidence in each other. It also helps that were both rather competitive!”
With the John’s Island Club located next to the beach and a golf course, the weekend was a big hit off the court as well for the players.
“The membership at JI is amazing, ” Krizek said. “They are so friendly and LOVE squash. Michael Pierce and his committee ensured from start to finish that we were spoiled. From favors to lobster and surf and turf dinners, we felt like super stars. You also can’t top being able to go to the beach or pool in between matches, or play golf.”
“Johns Island ran a first class event and it was great to have so many people come out and support, ” Pierrepont said. “It’s a wonderful community down there and Micheal Pierce does a great job of engaging them. I think all of the girls on tour would agree that the WDSA is going from strength to strength in terms of the quality of play and the level of the tournaments. All of which is down to Narelle and the work she has put into growing the WDSA in the last five years.”