October 31st – November 4th 2019
Hosted by Westchester Country Club, Westchester NY
$35,000 – including $5,000 hotel allowance
12 Team Draw
Olivia Fiechter Wins First WSDA Title In Westchester
Rising PSA Star Olivia Fiechter claimed her maiden WSDA title at The Westchester Country Club Pro Doubles this weekend. Fiechter, partnered with former PSA World #1 and WCC Head Pro Natalie Grainger, swept through the draw for the loss of just one game.
The tournament, spread over two venues, The Westchester Country Club and the neighboring Apawamis Club, also featured an SDA draw, won by Robin Clarke and Zac Alexander. The tournament provided an equal purse of $30,000 for both the women and the men for only the second time in the history of the two tours, the first being the MFS Boston Pro Am earlier in the year.
In an event featuring many upsets, the bottom half of the draw saw Kelsey Engman paired with newcomer and Harvard grad, Katie Tutrone, battle to a 5 game win over second seeds Narelle Krizek and Stephanie Hewitt. Later in the day, top seeds Meredeth Quick and Suzie Pierrepont fell in a close 4 games to eventual winners Fiechter/Grainger. Fiechter/Grainger’s win over the top seeds set up a home court clash for WCC Head Pro Grainger against WCC Assistant Pro Elani Landman and her partner, Apawamis Assistant Pro Lume Landman. A vocal crowd enjoyed watching their pros do battle with the twins, taking a quick lead with excellent shooting and court coverage before Fiechter/Grainger slowed the game down and took control.
Elsewhere in the draw, elevated 3rd seeds Latasha Khan and Maria Elena Ubina battled past Victoria Simmonds and Natarsha McElhinny to meet Engman/Tutrone in the bottom semifinal. This semifinal followed a similar pattern to that in the top half, as the lower seeded team raced into the lead before the higher seeded team took control of the pace and the match. Khan played exceptionally well in this match with an amazing display of error free shot making.
The final was an exciting match that was over all too soon for the squash fans in the crowd. Underdogs Khan/Ubina put up a great fight against the steady and thoughtful Fiechter/Grainger. Ubina and Fiechter, who just two seasons ago were Princeton teammates, put on a fabulous display of court coverage and shot making from the right wall, while their more experienced partners enjoyed a battle of positioning and shooting on the left wall. Ultimately Fiechter/Grainger had too much firepower for the Khan/Ubina, leading to a straight game victory.
The WSDA moves down the street next month to the Apawamis Club for the CitySquash Briggs Cup. Another equal prize money event for the WSDA and the SDA, all matches will be streaming live via the WSDA website.
Hewitt Seeks #1 Spot at WCC Pro Doubles
The first WSDA Westchester Country Club Pro Doubles kicks off Friday, giving World #3 Stephanie Hewitt a chance to climb to World #1 should the Canadian finish ahead of current #1, Suzie Pierrepont. Hewitt, seeded #2 in the event, is paired with long-time partner and former World #1, Narelle Krizek.
The tour veterans, last paired together at the Hashim Khan Championships in March and recently prevailed in the Toronto Cricket, Skating, & Curling Club Invitational, are seeded to meet new pairing, Latasha Khan and Maria Elena Ubina, in their semi-final. Khan and Ubina recently elevated to the #3 spot in the draw following the withdrawal of Madeline Perry.
Perry, who was paired with Kelsey Engman, is replaced by a new face on the WSDA tour, Katie Tutrone. Tutrone, a recent Harvard grad, is one of a number of exciting new players in the draw, reflecting the recent growth of the WSDA ranks. Engman/Tutrone are seeded to meet Krizek/Hewitt in the quarter finals, while Khan/Ubina are predicted to meet former WCC pro Victoria Simmonds and Natarsha McElhinny.
In the top half of the draw, World #1 Suzie Pierrepont hopes to retain the #1 ranking she has held since February 2017. Partnered with World #2 Meredeth Quick, the top-ranked pair are seeded to face home favorite and WCC Head Pro, Natalie Grainger, and her partner, rising PSA star Olivia Feichter, in the quarter finals. Feichter, who has just returned from Cairo where she was competing in the PSA Women’s World Championship, is playing in her second WSDA event having competed with fellow Princeton grad Ubina in Boston in January.
Featured elsewhere in the draw are more home favorites, Lume and Elani Landman. Both currently work in the area, with Lume at The Apawamis Club and Elani at WCC. The universally liked South African twins, Finalist in the recent Toronto event, are predicted to face the new team of Tina Rix Stout and Alicia Rodriguez in the quarter finals.
This exciting event also features an SDA draw and provides equal prize money for both men and women for only the second time in the history of the two tours, the first being the MFS Boston Pro Am earlier in the year. The event as a whole introduces a number of new players to the tour, creates some exciting matchups, and is a welcome return to the historic Westchester Country Club for the WSDA, the last visit being The Turner Cup in 2015.
Due to the size of the event, a number of matches are being played at the neighboring Apawamis club, which will host another equal prize money event in December, The CitySquash Briggs Cup.