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)

World Teams: Finals Report

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RESULTS: Women’s World Team Squash Championship, Palmerston North, New Zealand

[2] AUSTRALIA bt [1] ENGLAND 2/1
Sarah Fitz-Gerald bt Sarah Kippax 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (30m)
Rachael Grinham
lost to Jenny Duncalf 5-11, 6-11, 5-11 (35m)
Kasey Brown bt Laura Massaro 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 (77m)

3rd place play-off:
Sharon Wee lost to Shelley Kitchen 5-11, 9-11, 6-11 (28m)
Nicol David bt Jaclyn Hawkes 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (35m)
Low Wee Wern bt Joelle King 11-13, 11-2, 11-8, 11-1 (54m)

5th place play-off:
[3] EGYPT bt [6] FRANCE 2/0
Nour El Tayeb bt Coline Aumard 11-7, 12-14, 11-6, 11-7 (42m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
bt Camille Serme 11-2, 11-5, 12-10 (26m)

7th place play-off:
[9] USA bt [7] IRELAND 2/0
Olivia Blatchford bt Zoe Barr 5-11, 3-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (46m)
Natalie Grainger
bt Aisling Blake 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6 (46m)

9th place play-off:
Orla Noom lost to Milnay Louw 11-7, 12-14, 8-11, 4-11 (35m)
Vanessa Atkinson
bt Tenille Swartz 11-2, 9-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6
Annelize Naude
bt Siyoli Waters 5-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-3, 11-7

11th place play-off:
[10] INDIA bt [13] HONG KONG 2/0
Anaka Alankamony bt Carmen Lee 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-5 (38m)
Dipika Pallikal
bt Liu Tsz-Ling 11-9, 4-11, 11-4, 11-3 (29m)

13th place play-off:
[12] CANADA bt [15] JAPAN 2/1
Stephanie Edmison bt Yuki Sakai 10-12, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9 (43m)
Miranda Ranieri
lost to Misaki Kobayashi 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 6-11 (27m)
Alexandra Norman
bt Miwa Maekawa 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 (21m)

15th place play-off:
[14] MEXICO bt [16] AUSTRIA 2/0
Imelda Salazar Martinez bt Judith Gradnitzer 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 (19m)
Samantha Teran
bt Birgit Coufal 11-5, 11-6, 11-3 (18m)

Australia Reclaim World Team Title in New Zealand

Photo by Dave Lintott/photosport.co.nz

After last winning the title in 2004 – and finishing in 10th place two years later – Australia re-established their authority in women’s world squash by beating England in today’s final of the Women’s World Team Championship in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

The second seeds’ 2/1 win over favourites England extends Australia’s record to nine titles in the 17 World Squash Federation championships since 1979.

Photo by Dave Lintott/photosport.co.nz

Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the five times world champion who came out of retirement to play this event, gave the Aussies a perfect start with an 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 demolition of Sarah Kippax in the opening match at the International Pacific College.

However, England’s world number two Jenny Duncalf hauled the top seeds back into the tie with an 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 win over Australian number one Rachael Grinham to send the final into a decider between Laura Massaro, the world No9, and Kasey Brown, the Australian number two ranked two places higher.

Photo by Dave Lintott/photosport.co.nz

Brown raced to a 2/0 lead, but Massaro has already proven she can fight back after pegging New Zealander Joelle King back yesterday. Once again, the 27-year-old from Preston showed her grit, taking the third. However, Brown would not be denied, reclaiming the ascendancy in the fourth to close out an 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 victory.

Brown, who played in 2006 when the team finished 10th and again in 2008 when they finished 6th, is thrilled to have taken her side over the line.

Photo by Dave Lintott/photosport.co.nz

“This is the first time I’ve been part of the winning team – we’ve had such a big history in squash, it feels amazing to be part of it.”

Brown says the return of Sarah Fitz-Gerald and Rachael Grinham have played a huge part in the success. She says team manager Michelle Martin also deserves a lot of the credit.

Meanwhile, it was a disappointing final day for hosts New Zealand.

After going close to beating England in the semi-finals, the fourth seeds had to settle for fourth, following a 2/1 loss to Malaysia.

Shelley Kitchen finished the event unbeaten after an 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 win over Malaysian Sharon Wee, but Jaclyn Hawkes was predictably beaten in straight games by world number one Nicol David.

Low Wee Wern and Joelle King were left to decide the bronze medal. Just three days ago they squared off in pool play with King winning in four, but this time the Malaysian turned the tables with an 11-13, 11-2, 11-8, 11-1 victory.

The win gives Malaysia their third successive third-place finish.

Photo by Dave Lintott/photosport.co.nz

Earlier, third-seeded Egypt – the defending champions – ended the Championships on a high, with a straightforward two-nil win over France in the playoff for fifth place.

Despite the defeat, sixth place still gives France their best ever finish in 13 appearances since 1987.

Official website: www.womensworldsquash2010.co.nz

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