Home Favourite Weaver Retains Detroit Title
11 Feb 2024
US No.2 Olivia Weaver defended her title at the DAC Pro Squash Classic and made it two successive PSA World Tour Silver titles on home soil after a sublime straight games victory over the in-form Egyptian Rowan Elaraby.
The world No.6, who arrived in Detroit on the back of victory at the Cincinnati Gaynor Cup, settled into her groove from the very first point at the Detroit Athletic Club, finding her length and forcing Elaraby into some tough movements in the back two corners.
The defending champion took an early 4-1 lead and continued to cause Elaraby issues as the game progressed, hitting the ball on the rise and creating pressure with her tight lines. Despite some counter-punches from the Egyptian in the latter stages of the game, Weaver took a one-game lead by an 11-8 scoreline.
Weaver continued to mount the pressure on Elaraby as the match entered the second, refusing to give away any cheap points from her own racket. The No.2 seed raced into a 5-1 advantage and refused to let her opponent back into the game, doubling her lead in the match after 22 minutes of action.
No.3 seed Elaraby, who claimed a momentous five-game victory over top seed Nouran Gohar in the semi-finals, continued to throw her all at Weaver, but the impressive movement of the American was forcing Elaraby into hitting two or three rally-winning shots before securing a point on the board.
Any potential of a comeback for the world No.10 was squashed at the beginning of the third as Weaver raced into a 5-0 lead - with the 28-year-old starting to fire the ball in short with the luxury of her two-game buffer. Weaver powered her way to nine championship balls, and at the second time of asking, sealed victory when Elaraby drifted a forehand drop into the tin.
After claiming her seventh title on the PSA Tour, Weaver said: "I'm really happy with my performance today. I knew that Rowan would be feeling so good after yesterday, so I knew was going to have to be on it from the very first point and make a statement that I was ready to be out there all day long.
"Fortunately, I think I managed to play some of my best squash and I'm super happy with how I played. I maintained my focus throughout the course of the match, Rowan is so dangerous and can beat anyone on her day, so I'm really pleased.
"This is the first time that I have ever defended a title, so I knew this was an exciting challenge. I think the quick start was super important today. I wasn't sure whether Rowan might be a little flat because she and Nouran had such a tough match yesterday. I just wanted to come out, hit my targets and play more consistently towards the back and find my length. I felt from the get-go I executed that.
"I'm trying not to focus on results, but instead on the squash I'm playing. I'm constantly learning and improving and evolving as a player. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season and the challenge of continuing to play this way and improving."