Blatchford (l) against Cornett.

One year after recording her first career World Series main draw victory at the Windy City Open presented by the Walter Family and EquiTrust, Olivia Blatchford made a victorious return to Chicago with a first-round win against Canada’s Samantha Cornett Thursday at the University Club of Chicago.

Thursday saw the men’s and women’s first rounds split on the class court in Cathedral Hall and on the University Club’s courts.

Playing on the University Club’s courts, Blatchford, world No. 13, defeated Cornett, world No. 23, 13-11, 11-2, 11-8, in thirty-two minutes.

The twenty-five-year-old will move to the glass court in the second round where she faces Egypt’s world No. 1 Nour El Sherbini. Watch the match live on SquashTV Saturday, February 24, at 7pm local time, 8pm EST.

Blatchford was the sole Team USA victory on Thursday after both American wild cards exited the tournament. Harvard junior Sabrina Sobhy acquitted herself well on the glass court, taking a game off of world No. 8 Sarah-Jane Perry in a four-game loss. Men’s wild card Chris Hanson fell in three games against former world No. 1 James Willstrop.

Former world No. 6 Amanda Sobhy will bid to join Blatchford in the second round with her first match of the tournament against England’s Victory Friday, February 23, at 2pm local time, 3pm EST.

Watch all glass court action live on SquashTV, February 22-28. For tickets and more tournament coverage visit