Barbados’ top female squash player Meagan Best in her first year competing in the Under-19 division, captured silver on Tuesday at the 2019 United States Junior Open Squash Championships.
Seeded sixth, the 17-year-old Best toiled hard on court to set up a finals date with number one seed Marina Stefanoni of the United States, but succumbed 11-7, 11-8, 11-3, against the reigning six-time champion.
Played at Harvard University in Massachusetts, Best fought well to come from behind to win her quarterfinal match 8-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 against Olivia Robinson of Malaysia.
She then went on to trounce Nouran Yousef of Egypt in four sets, 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-3 in the semifinals and earn aStefanoni.
During the match, which was live-streamed, the United States born junior star, ranked 64th in the world, brought lots of variety and strategy to the court.
Despite trailing for the majority of the match, Best remained confident and even took on Stefanoni a lot in the frontcourt.
As the Barbadian top seed began to feel her way around the court, she captured the first point of the second set and even held the lead on a few occasions.
But each time Best did well to cover all angles of the court, Stefanoni showed her quality with precise strokeplay. One of the top power hitters in the sport, Best also had her moments with shots that Stefanoni failed to return.
With a 2-0 lead heading into the third set, Stefanoni unleashed the beast within her and gained a 7-0 lead before Best finally responded with an explosive smash to win one of her three points during that set.
But by that stage, Stefanoni had positioned herself for a much deserved 3-0 victory.
Stefanoni had earlier booked her spot in the final with a 9-11, 11-0, 13-11, 11-8 quarterfinal win against Katherine Glaser also of the United States and a straight sets 11-7, 11-8, 11-3, semifinal victory over Margot Prow of England
After the final, she described Best as a great opponent.
Describing her strategy for Best in the final, Stefanoni explained her aim was to hit length, hit the corners and keep the ball low which she did beautifully.
It was a fitting end to the year for Best, who earlier this month captured the Under-19 title at the 2019 Barbados Junior Squash Open.
Best, one of the most talented players in the region having won two consecutive senior Caribbean women’s individual squash titles, smashed her way to a comfortable 11-4, 11-1, 11-2 victory against number two seed Jada Smith- Padmore.
After capturing the title, Best had said she was in the best shape of her life and was turning all of her attention to the US Junior Championships.