MONTREAL – Club Sportiff MAA and other area clubs played host to the Montreal Open 2013 WSA event last week, featuring nine Canadians in the 12-woman draw. Top seeded Samantha Cornett, last year's champion, leads the way along with fellow National Team member Alexandra Norman, and top junior Hollie Naughton. Other Canadians from the city and Ontario participated in the event, which concluded Friday night with the final between Sam Cornett and Netherland's Milou Van Der Heijden. Sam took the match in four games, to claim her second straight Montreal Open.
Sam Cornett (left), Montreal Open 2013 Champion, with finalist Milou Van Der Heijden
Sam was the heavy favorite going into the last match. Not only was there a big difference in ranking (33 vs 60) but also because of her play the last few days. She is fit, moves well and has improved her overall game over the last year (she won this event in 2012). Milou had played a gutsy semi yesterday overcoming an upcoming player and a racquet injury.
It was a nervous start for Sam with a few tins and many loose drives while Milou was playing her mid pace shots to all four corners. At 2-5, Sam hit a perfect forehand dying length that seemed to calm her down but Milou hung and started to go short on every occasion she had. The strategy worked as she was able to close the game 11-9.
With Canadian teammate Alex Norman in her corner, Sam came out making the court bigger using more of Milou’s strategy by moving the ball to the four corners and varying the pace. She raced to a 5-0 lead, and never looked back and took the game 11-4.
Milou stuck to her strategy of going short on every occasion but started with a few tins in the third. Sam was putting her under a lot of pressure with a mix of hard lengths, kills and drops. She built an 8-0 lead and won the game 11-2.
Was Milou going to adjust in the 4th? She dealt better with the constant pressure Sam was imposing by either slowing the pace down or by counter attacking. The crowd supported Milou in the end because she pushed until the last shot was hit. That game was way closer but Sam closed the deal 11-6.
This ended the second Women’s squash week in Montreal and it must be noted that women spectators outnumbered men by a 2 to 1 ratio.
Maia Kirk (Toronto) def Louise Lefebvre (Montreal) 3-2 (11-6, 6-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-4)
Cecelia Cortes (USA) def Gen Lessard (Montreal) 3-0 (11-5, 11-0, 11-4)
Jacqueline Barnes (Australia) def Michelle Craig (Montreal) (11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 12-10)
Erin Roberts (Kingston) def Anne Christine Lajoie (Montreal) (14-12, 11-4, 11-7)
Hollie Naughton (Toronto) def Tara Newman (Montreal) (11-6, 11-9, 11-5)
Cecilia Cortes def Hollie Naughton (14-12, 5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5)
Alex Norman def Maia Kirk (12-10, 11-4, 11-6)
Sam Cornett (Toronto) def Roberts (11-1, 11-0, 11-6)
Milou Van Der Heijden (Netherlands) def Jacqueline Barnes (11-2, 11-1, 11-5)
Sam Cornett def Alexandra Norman 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-9)
Milou Van Der Heijden def Cecilia Cortes 3-0 (13-11, 13-11, 11-9)
Sam Cornett def Milou Van Der Heijden 3-1 (9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-6)