Top seeds Dipika Pallikal and Latasha Khan Thursday easily vanquished their opponents with surgical precision in the $12K WISPA DREAD SERIES 2 TOURNAMENT while there were upsets of the #3, #4, #6, and #8 seeds, including two by qualifiers.
Tickets are getting scarce for the semis and finals, so reserve your tickets now to avoid disappointment.
The first upset was scored by qualifier Alix Younger, who beat the #8 and fellow Canadian Genevieve Lessard in three.
Hometown favorite Larissa Stephenson, a qualifier and pro at Results, The Gym, handily beat the #4 seed, South Africa’s Adel Nunan 3-0 in a crisp 24 minutes. Stephenson looked sharp and fit and appears to have a good shot at going deep in the main draw, which would delight the home crowd.
The most dramatic win came from Kristen Lange, who lost the first two games and seemed headed for a quick exit after an 11-2 thrashing in game two by France’s Celia Allamargot, the #6 seed. Yet Lange pulled herself together and jumped to a 9-3 lead in game three. Then she lost focus and four game balls before winning her first game 11-8. Lange again looked beaten at 9-6 in the fourth game, but rallied to pull ahead 10-9 before winning 12-10 and then 11-8 in the fifth.
After the match, a happy Lange confessed that she needs to work on her mental game, saying that it took her a while to “clear my mind, stop thinking and play.” She decided to go “back to basics,” use the court’s unique skidding nature to let “the ball work for you.” Lange told me she started playing the game at age 8, and it shows – she has fabulous touch, even during long rallies.
England’s Sarah-Jane Perry knocked out the #3, Canada’s Alexandra Norman, in a tight four game battle that concluded with a harrowing 17-15 win in the last game. Perry had an astonishing four match balls, and had to fend off one game ball, before putting the match away. Both women were struggling as the points wore them down, but Perry found something extra to pull out the win.
USA’s 14-year old phenom Sabrina Sobhy continues to show incredible promise on the court, pushing Australia’s Sarah Caldwell, the #5 seed, to four games. Caldwell need tie breaker wins in both games three and four to put the match away.