Kobayashi cruises to career-biggest title in St Louis

St Louis – USA, Apr 14, 2014: Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi claimed the biggest Women’s Squash Association World Tour title of her career after defeating Canadian Samantha Cornett in the final of the Emerson WSA Racquet Club Pro Series, the WSA Tour 10 event at St Louis Racquet Club in St Louis in the US state of Missouri.

The world No35 from Kanagawa – the highest highest-ranked Japanese woman of all-time – made her breakthrough in the semi-finals where she beat top seed Emily Whitlock, avenging her four-game defeat by the world No27 from England in the Greenwich Open earlier in the year.

In the other semi, North American hope Cornett, the No4 seed from Ottawa, ended the giant-killing run of Amanda Landers-Murphy – beating the seventh-seeded New Zealander who upset second-seeded American Latasha Khan in the previous round.

The final marked the pair’s third Tour meeting – all of which had been on US soil.

Kobayashi was in sparkling form – the record-equalling five-time Japanese champion despatching reigning Canadian champion Cornett 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 to win the sixth WSA Tour title of her career.

“I’m happy with my first Tour 10 title, pleased with the way I performed throughout the tournament,” said the jubilant 24-year-old afterwards. “This will build the confidence I needed.

“What make me even more happy is all those texts I received from my family and friends from all over the world!! I really appreciate the great support.

“But this journey is not ended yet – the Mayfair Open starts on Wednesday in Toronto. I’m hoping to keep the good form from here! Onwards and upwards!”

RESULTS: Women’s Emerson WSA Racquet Club Pro Series, St Louis, Missouri, USA

Quarter-finals:

[1] Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt [8] Lucie Fialova (CZE) 11-9, 11-6, 11-8

[3] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt [5] Samantha Teran (MEX) 12-10, 11-9, 11-6

[4] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt [6] Liu Tsz-Ling (HKG) 9-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-5

[7] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) bt [2] Latasha Khan (USA) 7-11, 11-4, 11-8, 13-11

Semi-finals:

[3] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt [1] Emily Whitlock (ENG) 13-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-9

[4] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt [7] Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 11-9, 10-12, 11-2, 11-7

Final: [3] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) bt [4] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7. —- WSF

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