April 21st-24th John’s Island, Vero Beach FL
$25,000 Prize Fund
McElhinny & Quick Claim Second Consecutive WSDA Tour Title in John’s Island
One month after winning the Hashim Khan Invitational in Denver, Natarsha McElhinny & Meredeth Quick captured their second WSDA Tour title this weekend—the $25,000 John’s Island Open at John’s Island Club on the east coast of Florida.
McElhinny & Quick entered the eight-team main draw seeded second and nearly didn’t reach the semifinals after a challenging first-round match against Amy Milanek & Georgina Stoker. McElhinny & Quick found themselves down 11-9 in the fifth game, but managed to come back and pull out the match 10-15, 15-14, 15-11, 8-15, 15-13.
“Our first round against Amy and Georgina was extremely tough,” Quick said. “They put pressure on us with their strong length and lobs in all five games, so we had to work hard to counteract their length and attack.”
McElhinny & Quick’s semifinal opponents, Tina Rix & Fernanda Rocha Maturi also needed five games to get past their first round opponents, Latasha Khan & Karen Kronemeyer. The two seeds controlled their semifinal against Rix & Rocha Maturi, advancing to the final in three games.
The top half of the draw saw top seeds, Dana Betts & Stephanie Hewitt, and 3/4 seeds, Narelle Krizek & Suzie Pierrepont, advance to the semifinal in three games. Krizek & Pierrepont, the 2013 and 2014 John’s Island Open champions, then upset the seeding by defeating world No. 1 Betts & world No. 2 Hewitt 15-13, 15-5, 13-15, 15-8. Krizek & Pierrepont were forced to withdraw from the 2015 edition of the tournament due to injury and hadn’t played together since the 2014 John’s Island Open. The duo marked their partnership’s reunion by storming to a third John’s Island final appearance.
In 2014, Krizek & Pierrepont defeated a Quick & Hewitt partnership, but this time it was Quick who came out on top for her inaugural John’s Island title with Krizek’s sister, McElhinny. Played in front of a packed gallery, the barn-burner of a final saw Krizek & Pierrepont come back from 2-0 games down to force a decisive fifth, which McElhinny & Quick edged out.
“The final was a great match,” Quick said. “We came out attacking in the first two games, but then lost our momentum and confidence as Suzie and Narelle successfully pushed us deeper and began volleying in the next two games. The fifth was incredibly close throughout and could have gone either way at the end. After losing in the first round last year when I was six months pregnant, it was special to be in the final again and especially get the win against such a talented and dominant team.”
The tournament, which began in 2013, is run by chairman and U.S. Squash Hall of Famer Michael Pierce, and along with the Briggs Cup offers one of the two highest prize money purses on the WSDA tour.
“John’s Island is a truly special squash community and we are incredibly lucky to get to play in front of so many supportive and enthusiastic members,” Quick said. “But it all wouldn’t be possible without the Pierce Family’s generous support, specifically Michael and Mollie, who make the event one of a kind for all the players and supporters. On behalf of all the players, I would also like to thank Suzie Pierrepont for leading the WSDA and running such a great event in John’s Island.”
Defending John’s Island Open Champions Betts & McElhinny Seeded to Collide in Final
The largest prize money event on the WSDA tour—the $25,000 John’s Island Open—is streaming live from the coast of Florida at the John’s Island Club this weekend in Vero Beach.
Defending champions Dana Betts & Natarsha McElhinny enter the 2016 competition on opposite ends of the draw as one half of the top-two-seeded partnerships.
Betts, world No. 1, will partner with Canada’s mixed world doubles champion and world No. 2 Stephanie Hewitt as the eight-team main draw’s top seeds.
McElhinny, world No. 3, opposed the top seeds in the bottom half of the draw with partner Meredith Quick. Quick & McElhinny, the two seeds, have tour momentum on their side following their Hashim Khan Invitational victory last month.
Betts & Hewitt are predicted to face a difficult semifinal against former world No. 1’s 2013 and 2014 John’s Island champions Narelle Krizek & Suzie Pierrepont, who were forced to withdraw from the 2015 edition due to an injured Krizek.
World No. 11 Tina Rix & world No. 8 Fernanda Rocha slot into the draw as the bottom half of the draw’s 3/4 seeds with an expected semifinal against Quick & McElhinny.
The draw includes first-time John’s Island participants Karen Kronemeyer from the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles, former Scotland No. 1 Wendy Maitland and Denver, Colorado’s Clair Baker.
One qualifying match commences the tournament at 11am ET to complete the main draw, which begins play at noon.
U.S. Squash Hall of Famer Michael Pierce is serving as the tournament chair.
View the full draw on the John’s Island Open tournament page.
All matches are streaming and scoring live on www.wsdaprotour.com/live.
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