Cayman Islands Go Gold For WISPA

An increase in the prize fund has led to the 2010 Women’s Cayman Islands Squash Open going Gold, according to an announcement today by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association.

The $55,300 WISPA World Tour event – the third Gold event of the year, from 11-17 April – will be staged for the first time on an all-glass court erected at Camana Bay, a 500-acre shopping, entertainment, office and residential complex stretching from the Caribbean sea to the North Sound in Grand Cayman.

Launched in 2009, the Cayman Islands Open has again attracted the world’s top players, led by Malaysia’s world number one Nicol David, with Natalie Grainger, in-form Jenny Duncalf, and contenders Rachael Grinham and Alison Waters all in the mix. Grainger will be making her return to the WISPA Tour in Grand Cayman after a seven-month layoff with a foot injury.

Indeed, the draw predicts a quarter-final meeting between David and Grainger – a repeat of last year’s final, won by the Malaysian!

Meanwhile, Cayman number one Marlene West, the main draw wild card, faces the daunting prospect of meeting 2007 world champion Rachael Grinham in the opening round.

Tournament Director Dan Kneipp is delighted to be welcoming back the sport’s top women: “The Cayman Islands National Squash Association is extremely excited to host the world’s best players to our Caribbean Island.

“We are very pleased to be able to increase our WISPA World Tour championship to the Gold level. Cayman has never seen a pro tournament played on a glass show court, so we know that there will be a lot of enthusiasm and public interest as this is set up on the waterfront at Camana Bay.

“Having eight of the world’s top 10 squash players is creating an enormous buzz in Cayman as we prepare to watch the world’s best competing for our international title.

“The WISPA pros were a huge asset to our junior squash last year, helping hundreds of kids experience the sport for the first time,” Kneipp added. “We again have 14 schools that will be doing workshops and watching the pro matches and we expect this to be an invaluable tool in helping us get more Caymanian juniors into squash.

“The Cayman Islands National Squash Association also sees this as an incredible experience for our Commonwealth Games team as we prepare for Delhi 2010. For a young, amateur team to be playing alongside the world’s best professional will only add to our team’s experience and ability to compete at an international level.

“We welcome the world’s best players and the international squash media to the Cayman Islands in April.”

WISPA CEO Andrew Shelley added: “It is always very satisfying to see an event build, and that is certainly the case with the Cayman Islands Open. The debut last year was memorable for being awash with local school children trying squash at the South Sound Squash Club every day.

“This year juniors will doubtless be a major feature again, but bringing in a glass show court too in the superb outside setting of Camana Bay will be yet another great step forward in raising the profile of squash on the Island and pushing the delights of the Cayman Islands to squash enthusiasts worldwide.”

An all-glass court to be erected at Camana Bay

1st round draw:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v Qualifier

[6] Natalie Grainger (USA) v Qualifier

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Marlene West (CAY)

[5] Madeline Perry (IRL) v Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)

[8] Kasey Brown (AUS) v Samantha Teran (MEX)

[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier

[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Qualifier

[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Camille Serme (FRA)

November 2010 Wispa Rankings

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Atkinson Leaps Back Into World Top Ten

While the relentless world number one reign of Nicol David moves into its 52nd successive month in the November Women’s World Squash Rankings, her predecessor Vanessa Atkinson celebrates her highest ranking for more than two years in the new list published by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA).

Last month Nicol David claimed her first WISPA Tour title triumph in Mexico—but her success in the Torneo International Bicentenario Mexico, a new WISPA Gold event, took the Malaysian’s career haul to 49 Tour titles and her unbeaten run this year to 34 matches.

But meanwhile, Dutch star Vanessa Atkinson is enjoying new lease of life in a distinguished career which kicked off in 1995. The former world champion first topped the world rankings in December 2005 before being toppled by Nicol David in August 2006.

And last month showed that the 34-year-old from The Hague still has much to offer: A sensational maiden title triumph in the METROsquash US Open in Chicago led to Atkinson celebrating her 40th Tour final appearance in the Monte Carlo Classic – and a leap to No8 in the new rankings, her highest position since October 2008.

England’s Jenny Duncalf strengthens her position at No2 after successfully defending her title in last week’s Carol Weymuller Open in New York.

But Australian Kasey Brown, who upset Duncalf earlier in the month en-route to a surprise semi-final berth in theTorneo International Bicentenario Mexico, celebrates a career-high world No7 in the new list.

New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes also has cause for celebration after moving to a best-ever No12. The 27-year-old from Auckland, winner of her third Tour title at the Chairman’s Cup in January, reached the quarter-finals of the Gold event in Mexico.

Low Wee Wern, the 20-year-old Malaysian who is the youngest player in the top 20, also rises to a career-best 16th place.

And New Zealander Joelle King makes a welcome return to the world top 20 – moving up a single place from 21 after celebrating her seventh Tour final appearance at last month’s Crocodile Challenge Cup in Hong Kong.

November top 20 (inc. points average):

1 [1] Nicol David MAS 2982
2 [2] Jenny Duncalf ENG 1992
3 [3] Alison Waters ENG 1512
4 [4] Omneya Abdel Kawy EGY 1302
5 [5] Rachael Grinham AUS 1223
6 [6] Madeline Perry IRL 1092
7 [9] Kasey Brown AUS 829
8 [11] Vanessa Atkinson NED 773
9 [8] Laura Massaro ENG 769
10 [7] Camille Serme FRA 769
11 [10] Raneem El Weleily EGY 650
12 [13] Jaclyn Hawkes NZL 537
13 [14] Samantha Teran MEX 537
14 [12] Engy Kheirallah EGY 529
15 [15] Annie Au HKG 518
16 [17] Low Wee Wern MAS 468
17 [16] Donna Urquhart AUS 449
18 [18] Isabelle Stoehr FRA 405
19 [19] Rebecca Chiu HKG 390
20 [21] Joelle King NZL 374

For the complete WISPA ranking list, see www.wispa.net

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