Aussie Open: Defending Champion is Out

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Grinham overcomes brave Saxby

Rachael looking on form against Tamika Saxby.

Defending Champ, Joelle goes down fighting to Tania Bailey.

Former champion Rachael Grinham of Australia saw off the challenge of 17-year-old qualifier Tamika Saxby to move into the second round of the CSR Viridian Australian Open squash tournament in Canberra on Wednesday. Grinham recovered from a lapse in the third game to win 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2 and set up a second round clash with England’s Tania Bailey, who stunned defending champion Joelle King of New Zealand 6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 0-11, 11-8.

“It didn’t feel that comfortable,” the Amsterdam-based Grinham said later. “I think she gifted me quite a few points, but I always feel a bit shaky because I’ve never seen these young girls play before. You get on the court and the points can get away from you. I was really having trouble feeling settled and I was quite lucky she made a few errors. In the fourth game I tried to be confident and attack and pick the pace up a bit.”

Top seed and world number two Jenny Duncalf of England also progressed with an impressive 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 win over reigning world junior champion Amanda Sohby of the US and will next play Malaysian Delia Arnold, an 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 winner over New Zealand qualifier Amanda Landers-Murphy. Duncalf never looked in any danger against Sohby, who later conceded there was a huge difference between the junior and senior ranks. “In juniors if you play a good shot you win the point, but that’s not the case against someone like Jenny,” she said.

Kasey is hoping to make it to the quarter-finals.

Australia’s Kasey Brown, the 2006 champion, also looked in good touch as she downed training partner and Commonwealth Games teammate Amelia Pittock 11-7, 11-5, 11-5. Brown, who is seeded to meet Duncalf in the quarter-finals, said she was feeling confident after some solid training in the off-season. “I did a lot of work over the last couple of months and I’m feeling pretty good physically,” she said. “I’ve got a tough draw, I play Low Wee Wern next then probably Jenny so I will have to be on top of my game.”

Hong Kong’s Annie Au was another former champion to get through when she beat India’s Dipika Pallikal 11-8, 11-5, 11-7, and she was joined in the second round by third seeded Englishwoman Alison Waters, who beat Austrian qualifier Birgit Coufal 11-3, 11-3, 11-2.

First round results – prefix denotes seeding:
1-Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-2, 11-4, 11-6
13-Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Amanda Landers-Murphy (NZL) 11-5, 11-3, 11-8
6-Kasey Brown (AUS) bt Amelia Pittock (AUS) 11-7, 11-5, 11-5
16-Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Samantha Davies (AUS) 11-9, 11-6, 11-4
4-Madeline Perry (IRL) bt Zoe Petrovansky (AUS) 11-2, 11-2, 11-3
9-Annie Au (HKG) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-8, 11-5, 11-7
5-Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Melody Francis (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 11-4
Sharon Wee (MAS) bt 15-Line Hansen (DEN) 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 11-3
14-Aisling Blake (IRL) bt Lisa Camilleri (AUS) 11-9, 11-9, 11-1
8-Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt Song Sun-Mi (KOR) 11-5, 11-6, 11-1
10-Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) bt Amanda Cranston (NZL) 11-7, 11-8, 11-5
3-Alison Waters (ENG) bt Birgit Coufal (AUT) 11-3, 11-3, 11-2
11-Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt Sarah Cardwell (AUS) 11-6, 11-3, 11-5
7-Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt Kylie Lindsay (NZL) 11-8, 11-9, 11-13, 11-6
Tania Bailey (ENG) bt 12- Joelle King (NZL) 6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 0-11, 11-8
2-Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Tamika Saxby (AUS) 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2


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