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)

Carol Weymuller: Finals Result

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RESULTS: Carol Weymuller Open, Brooklyn, NY, USA

[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-6, 11-1, 11-6

Duncalf Defends US Title In Style

Click this picture to watch the finals on ustream.tv

World No2 Jenny Duncalf defended her Women’s Carol Weymuller Open title in some style, beating her England team-mate Laura Massaro in straight games in the final of the $42,450 WISPA World Tour squash event at Heights Casino in Brooklyn, New York.

Runner-up in the championship three years ago, and winner last year when the event was combined with the US Open, Duncalf reached her third New York final after beating Kasey Brown in five games, avenging her defeat by the fast-rising Australian in last week’s WISPA Gold event in Mexico.

And Massaro had good reason to celebrate her unexpected appearance in the final after the third seed also battled to a five-game win over fancied Australian Rachael Grinham, the second seed.

Duncalf took control in the first game early on, moving her Commonwealth Games doubles partner around the court and making very few errors. After winning the game, the 27-year-old from Harrogate came out even stronger for the second.

“Jenny was on fire and couldn’t miss,” said tournament organiser Linda Elriani, the former England international who was runner-up in 1999 and 2000. “She showed us why she is world number two, with her excellent skills, fluent movement and variety of shots. Laura only got one serve, but was battling hard to get her game plan to work, but to no avail as Jenny won the second game 11-1.”

Massaro, the world No8 from Preston, began to get the favourite out of position in the third and gain some control of the T. But Duncalf was just too accurate and fast – and soon closed out the match 11-6, 11-1, 11-6 to win the 2010 Carol Weymuller Open for the second year running.

“I’m really happy to win here again, especially in three games,” said a smiling Duncalf after the final. “We both had tough matches yesterday so I was pleased to keep my concentration and not let up on any of my leads in each game. I felt like I played well and managed to move her around the court.

“It’s nice to finish the trip on a high! Next stop Qatar!” exclaimed the champion after picking up the eighth Tour title of her career – but her first this year.

A downcast Massaro added: “I feel disappointed losing 3-0. I think that I felt a bit heavy in my legs today after yesterday and I felt I couldn’t really get on top. My length was a little short and she finished the ball well.”

The last shot of the tournament.

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