By James Zug
The 2013 Corporate Service Company Delaware Open was held at Vicmead Hunt Club in Wilmington, Delaware, in February. This $10,000 event, now in its fourth year, again featured a good mix of youth and veterans.
The former were very much present in the minds of the many spectators. Two local teenagers, Julia Ward and Jen Davis, played well in the qualies and Sabrina Sobhy, the sixteen year-old Long Island phenom, played out of her skin. She toppled Siyoli Waters in three very tight games. Waters is a magical story. A South African, she started playing squash seriously at age 26, well after university and now, four years later, is ranked 37 in the world. But Sobhy, ranked 71, overcame Waters with a combination of tenacity and retrieving. She then put up a strong fight against Sam Cornett, the No. 2 seed from Canada, losing 11-9 in the fourth.
Cornett, who has played in three Delaware Opens and reached the finals two years ago, barely escaped in her semis tussle with Emma Beddoes. Cornett saved two games balls in the second to go up 2-0; then lost the next two games; then squandered a match ball at 10-9 in the fifth, only to save a match ball when Beddoes clipped the tin at 10-11 and then win it all 13-11 in 70 fantastic minutes.
Cornett faced Sarah-Jane Perry in the finals. The 22-year-old Englishwoman struggled throughout the week, dropping a game in her opening round and semis and winning four other games by two points. But in the finals, Perry dominated until the very end. Cornett saved two match balls before Perry put it away in the tiebreaker.
It was a wonderful week at Vicmead. Eleven countries were represented in the main draw with every style on display, from Egypt’s Heba El Torky’s flair to Czech Republic’s Olga Ertlova’s precise volleys to Japan’s Misakai Kobayashi’s patience.