Jaclyn Hawkes Ousts Omneya in Round 1 of Singapore Masters

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CIMB Singapore Women’s Squash Masters, Singapore
Wednesday, 27 July 2011

1st round results:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11-5, 13-11, 11-5 (25m)
[8] Annie Au (HKG) W/O [Q] Natalie Grinham (NED)
[4] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt Pamela Chua (SIN) 11-4, 11-3, 11-2 (23m)
[5] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 (27m)

[Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8 (84m)
[3] Madeline Perry (IRL) v [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (50m)
[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 (24m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Joelle King (NZL) 5-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-3 (36m)

New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes pulled off the only upset of the first round at the CIMB Singapore Women’s Squash Masters 2011, coming from 2-1 down to defeat sixth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy in five tough games.

The Kiwi was playing a third straight night at the Kallang Squash Centre, having come through the qualifiers, and it was clear she’d benefited from the extra court time.

Victory for Hawkes earned her a quarter-final meeting with third seed Madeline Perry, while for Omneya, it was a second straight year that the enigmatic former world junior champion has exited at the first calling in the Lion City.

Perry came through a tough three-setter against Englishwoman Sarah Kippax, while Camille Serme had a far easier time, needing only 24 minutes to brush aside Malaysia’s Delia Arnold.

Second seed Rachael Grinham overcame a first game blip to get past Joelle King, and the former world no 1 from Toowoomba was pleased with the result: “I’ve not beaten Joelle in my three meetings with her, she a real tough player, and I’m glad to have a little bit of luck going my way tonight.”

And while Rachael was in action, younger sister Natalie Grinham was forced to concede a walkover to Hong Kong’s Annie Au as her 14-month-old son Kieran was in hospital after developing high fever overnight.

The toddler had wowed fans at the Kallang Squash Centre over the past two days with his racquet-wielding abilities and no one begrudged her mother’s absence from this tournament she has twice made the final–in 2007 and 2009.

Said Rachael: “Being a mom now, Natalie had to pick and choose her tournaments as she makes her comeback and she chose Singapore over Malaysia because she really likes it here. And from her wins in the qualifiers, you can see she’s playing well… so it’s a blow for her to have to withdraw.”

Laura Massaro and Kasey Brown both enjoyed easy passages–Massaro defeating Donna Urquhart while Brown ended the hopes of Singapore wildcard Pamela Chua.

This is the third straight year that Chua, soon to resume her third year of Mathematical and Computational Studies at Stanford University, has taken part in her home tournament.

And her time playing collegiate squash in the United States has shown in her maturing game, although she admitted she’s far from matching it with the fulltime professionals.

World No 1 Nicol David started her quest for a fifth straight Singapore Masters title confidently, although Raneem El Weleily did not go down without putting up a fight.

According to Nicol, the second game which went to deuce was an example that she needed to take every opponent seriously: “Raneem started to impose her will in that game and I needed to go up a gear to recapture the initiative. I managed to force her into making mistakes and was able to wrap up the match from there.”

“And the match certainly gave me the workout I needed for the quarter-final against Annie,” the Penangite added.

The tournament moves to the glass showcourt at the VivoCity from the quarter-finals onwards, with the ladies expected to put on a grand show at this popular shopping mall at the southern end of Singapore island.

Tomorrow, in the Quarter Finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [8] Annie Au (HKG)
[6] Kasey Brown (AUS) v [5] Laura Massaro (ENG)
[Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) v [3] Madeline Perry (IRL)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [7] Camille Serme (FRA)

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