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)

CWG 2010: Doubles – Mixed Quarters & Doubles Semis

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RESULTS: Commonwealth Games Doubles, Delhi, India

Men’s Doubles quarter-finals:
[1] Adrian GrantNick Matthew (ENG) bt [6] Mohd Azlan IskandarMohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) 11-5, 11-10 (82m)
[4] Ryan CuskellyCameron Pilley (AUS) bt [7] Campbell GraysonMartin Knight (NZL) 11-9, 11-10 (88m)
[5] Alan ClyneHarry Leitch (SCO) bt [3] Peter BarkerDaryl Selby (ENG) 11-7, 11-7 (69m)
[2] Stewart BoswellDavid Palmer (AUS) bt [9] Lyall PatersonChris Small (SCO) 11-2, 11-2 (28m)

Women’s Doubles quarter-finals:
[1] Kasey BrownDonna Urquhart (AUS) bt [8] Delia ArnoldLow Wee Wern (MAS) 11-4, 11-9 (40m)
[3] Jenny DuncalfLaura Massaro (ENG) bt [7] Tamsyn LeeveyKylie Lindsay (NZL) 11-4, 11-9 (44m)
[2] Lisa CamilleriAmelia Pittock (AUS) bt [6] Lisa AitkenFrania Gillen-Buchert (SCO) 11-9, 11-8 (49m)
[4] Jaclyn HawkesJoelle King (NZL) bt [5] Tania BaileySarah Kippax (ENG) 11-4, 9-11, 11-4 (55m)

Mixed Doubles last 16 round:
[1] Kasey BrownCameron Pilley (AUS) bye
[2] Jenny DuncalfJames Willstrop (ENG) bt Zephanie CurgenvenHenry Birch (GGY) 11-4, 11-2 (13m)
[10] Lisa AitkenHarry Leitch (SCO) bye
[8] Donna UrquhartDavid Palmer (AUS) bt [9] Frania Gillen-BuchertAlan Clyne (SCO) 11-5, 11-7 (41m)
[3] Nicol DavidOng Beng Hee (MAS) bt [6] Sarah KippaxAdrian Grant (ENG) 11-7, 11-3 (28m)
[4] Joshna ChinappaSaurav Ghosal (IND) bye
[5] Jaclyn HawkesCampbell Grayson (NZL) bt [12] Sharon WeeIvan Yuen (MAS) 10-11, 11-3, 11-10 (60m)
[11] Joelle KingMartin Knight (NZL) bye

Scots Clyne & Leitch Down Barker & Selby In Delhi Shock

Alan ClyneHarry Leitch pulled off a major upset on the first day of knockout action in the Commonwealth Games Squash Doubles when the Scots downed England’s third seeds Peter BarkerDaryl Selby in straight games to reach the Men’s Doubles semi-finals for the first time at the Siri Fort Complex in Delhi.

Barker, the world No8 who won the singles bronze medal last week, and his Essex close friend Selby, ranked 10 in the world, were highly regarded as doubles medal prospects in the Indian capital.

But Scotland—which boasts only one doubles court, off the Scottish coast on the Shetland Islands—has targeted doubles as its specialist area. Unranked Leitch, a postgraduate medical student at Cambridge University, and Clyne, the world No50 from Inverness, showed this conclusively as the pair carved up the experienced Englishmen 11-7, 11-7 in 69 minutes.

“Doubles is so different from singles – and we’ve worked really hard on it,” said an ecstatic Leitch afterwards. “We fight for each other – and as I don’t play full-time, maybe I just want it more than the others.

“When you get to the quarter-finals, it’s tiny things that make the difference,” added the Edinburgh-born 25-year-old who is studying for a PhD in developmental and embryonic stem cell biology.

So how does this win rate amongst his career squash successes? “This is it. The highlight before was making the quarter-finals with John White in 2006 – so this surpasses that!

“I consider myself very lucky that I get his opportunity to play for Scotland,” concluded Leitch.

It was a crestfallen Barker who tried to describe what had happened: “It’s not squash – it’s a totally different game. Technique doesn’t come into it – especially on these courts,” said the 27-year-old left-hander.

“They’ve perfected the art of playing doubles. It’s frustrating, and embarrassing, to be honest.

“They just didn’t make any errors – and forced them out of us. It’s disappointing as I think we’d been playing alright.”

Earlier, second-seeded English pair Jenny DuncalfJames Willstrop made up for the disappointment of a shock Pool loss by beating Guernsey duo Zephanie CurgenvenHenry Birch 11-4, 11-2 to earn a place in the quarter-finals – where they will face the top-seeded Australians Kasey BrownCameron Pilley.

“We had a day together to regroup after the dent – but we don’t take it as a dent,” explained Willstrop, silver medallist in the men’s singles event. “With all our previous results, we’ve got a better record than anyone in this event. We know we can beat anybody. We just want to put yesterday behind us and get on with it.”

Partner Jenny, also the women’s silver medallist, added: “We took a couple of things from yesterday and worked on them. I’m feeling good – despite the fact that this was my fourth match today!”

Indian hopes are now resting exclusively on the shoulders of Joshna ChinappaSaurav Ghosal. The fourth seeds claimed a place in the last sixteen of the Mixed event after a final qualifying round win over Scottish pair Frania Gillen-BuchertAlan Clyne – and were then handed a bye through to Tuesday’s quarter-finals.

The local stars will face Nicol DavidOng Beng Hee, the third seeds from Malaysia featuring the women’s gold medallist.

“Playing Nicol and Beng Hee is going to be a tough match – they are both very good,” said Ghosal, the world No26 from Chennai who is India’s highest-ranked player of all-time. “It’s going to be tough for us – we’ll have to play really well.

“Having the hopes of India on us won’t really change things – we want to win anyway. There’s pressure of course, but we’re both used to it and are able to handle it well. We can use the crowd support to our advantage.

“The crowd here is the best I have ever seen anywhere – all the players are talking about it, everyone is amazed,” added the 24-year-old. “It’ll make us play better – it’s going to make the occasion very special.”

Nicol DavidOng Beng Hee also suffered a surprise early pool defeat – but have bounced to reach the last four as expected following their 11-7, 11-3 defeat of England’s Sarah KippaxAdrian Grant.

“I thought it was tough on Nicol to have to play against the seeded Scots straight after winning the gold medal, but she’s got better now that we’ve got into it,” said Ong Beng Hee, the Penang-born world No17.

“But we’re having great fun – and that’s what it’s all about.

“Nicol has got such speed and she hits the ball so well,” added the former world No7. “My job is to cover for her.”

Men’s Doubles semi-final line-up:
[1] Adrian GrantNick Matthew (ENG) v [4] Ryan CuskellyCameron Pilley (AUS)
[2] Stewart BoswellDavid Palmer (AUS) v [5] Alan ClyneHarry Leitch (SCO)

Women’s Doubles semi-final line-up:
[1] Kasey BrownDonna Urquhart (AUS) v [3] Jenny DuncalfLaura Massaro (ENG)
[4] Jaclyn HawkesJoelle King (NZL) v [2] Lisa CamilleriAmelia Pittock (AUS)

Mixed Doubles quarter-final line-up:
[1] Kasey BrownCameron Pilley (AUS) v [2] Jenny DuncalfJames Willstrop (ENG)
[10] Lisa AitkenHarry Leitch (SCO) v [8] Donna UrquhartDavid Palmer (AUS)
[4] Joshna ChinappaSaurav Ghosal (IND) v [3] Nicol DavidOng Beng Hee (MAS)
[11] Joelle KingMartin Knight (NZL) v [5] Jaclyn HawkesCampbell Grayson (NZL)

For more info, visit the WSF’s dedicated Commonwealth Games site www.cwgsquash.com

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