Heads Up! Some Semi Final Speculations:
Today’s quarter final at the Singapore Masters 2010 saw all the tops seeds through—as predicted. Tomorrow, Nicol David will meet Madeline Perry; and so the question on everyone’s lips—will Madeline succeed in a repeat of the British Open last year? Or will Nicol, prevail? It is safe to say that with a head-to-head count of 5 to 1, luck might favour the Penangite instead. “I bounced back quickly from that defeat and went on to win the World Open right after that. Right now, I’m feeling fit and am staying focused for the next match,” said David. But who’s to say, Madeline won’t cause an upset?
While the Perry vs David game is probably going to be the highlight of the semi final tomorrow, Rachael Grinham vs Alison Waters will not be any less interesting to watch. What intrigues us is while Rachael IS seeded higher than Alison, the former world champion has been losing ground to the English lass in their last few meets—losing in straight sets. “Alison creamed me in our last three or four matches, and she’s in pretty good form. So I’m in for another tough match tomorrow.”
Could it be different this time round? It is possible for Rachael to turn the table on Alison, as she has had some very easy games—one would consider them warm ups to playing Alison. Alison, on the other hand has been playing very well this season and if she is focused tomorrow, there is no stopping her.
What happened in the Quarter Final:
Madeline Perry (IRL) (6) bt Annie Au (HKG) (Q)
9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4 (54m)
Madeline wore a different attire today as opposed to her customary blue outfit. White and maroon seemed to work well for her as she came back from a game down against a fighting Annie Au. The first game saw Annie moving around the court well, pushing Perry around and not only was Perry tired of all the running, she wasn’t too happy with some of the calls made by the the referees.
Annie started off the second game 3-0 with beautiful drop shots—all irretrievable by Perry but she didn’t stay down for long. Perry came back strongly to take the game in extra points and went on to win the next two games as Annie seemed to have wore out by the fourth game. A good run for the young player from Hong Kong and good on Perry to make it into yet another semi final.
Alison Waters (ENG) (3) bt Camille Serme (FRA)
12-10, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6 (43m)
This match started off with very close competition between the two ladies, with Alison coming out on top 12-10. The second game started with continuous tins by Serme, giving Alison a 5-1 lead. Serme’s energy levels seemed to have plunged from the first game. She made many unforced errors and was seen tapping her head with her racquet in frustration. Firmly placed at the ‘T’, Alison controlled the game well and won the second game comfortably.
Camille had to make a comeback in the third game and rushed off to a 5-2 lead. With some errors from Alison this time, Camille sealed the game 11-9 with a nice crosscourt nick. Although Camille seemed to have better control in the fourth game, the tired looking Frenchwoman went down slowly to Alison, 4-7, 4-9 and bowed out 6-11.
Rachael Grinham (AUS) (2) bt Natalie Grainger (USA) (5)
11-5, 11-3, 11-7 (20m)
With two ex-world champions on court, Rachael Grinham comes out on top, recording the shortest match time, again! “It was never going to be a long match with Natalie,” said Rachael, “she always goes for her shots and even if we went to five games it would be quick.” Looking in good shape, Rachael’s movements were fluid and didn’t seem to be affected much by Natalie’s attacks as the world number three stretched herself in various corners of the court, picking up most of Natalie’s shots.
In the third game, Natalie seemed flustered and wasn’t going for as many balls as she had in the first two games. The overall pace of this match was slower than the previous two matches and Rachael had a rather comfortable win to cruise into the semi final. Rachael is set to face world number four, Alison Waters in the semis tomorrow.
Nicol David (MAS) (1) bt Kasey Brown (AUS) (7)
11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (40m)
In the first half of the game, Nicol took control of the rallies, leading the game but Kasey did well to come back into the game but went down 7-11. As Kasey stumped around in the second, Nicol raced up to a 5-0 lead. A very persistent Kasey worked hard at retrieving all the shots by the world champion, catching up from behind as Nicol’s lead grew wider. An obviously flustered Kasey commented after, “at times it felt like I had to win the rallies several times over just to win a point!”
Nicol was the dominating factor in the third game, with a huge 7-1 lead over Kasey. Rallies were shorter and Nicol seemed to be rushing to wrap up the game. Kasey gained momentum, catching up to 5-7. From then on, the game went Nicol’s way with some hard and low drives to the back. With that, Nicol booked her spot in the semis with a 11-6 win.
Live scores will be posted on www.facebook.com/SquashStars
The Semi Final line up (Matches to start at 7:00PM SGT):
Alison Waters (ENG) (3) vs Rachael Grinham (AUS) (2)
Nicol David (MAS) (1) vs Madeline Perry (IRL) (6)