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: Q-Finals Results

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RESULTS: Carol Weymuller Open, Brooklyn, NY, USA

[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [8] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 11-4, 11-9, 11-5
[4] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [7] Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-6, 11-3, 13-11
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [5] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-6, 14-12, 11-5

Duncalf On Course For Second Final In New York

England’s Jenny Duncalf remains on course to reach the final of the Women’s Carol Weymuller Open for the second time in three years after beating Rebecca Chiu in the quarter-finals of the $42,450 WISPA World Tour squash event atHeights Casino in Brooklyn, New York.

Top seed Duncalf, the world No2 from Harrogate, despatched the eighth seed from Hong Kong 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 and will now meet Australian rival Kasey Brown in the semi-finals.

“I felt good today,” said the 27-year-old who suffered a first career-loss to Brown in last week’s WISPA Gold event in Mexico. “The second game was crucial and I generally felt good movement-wise. I’ve enjoyed my last two matches here. After a rough week in Mexico I’m enjoying being on court at this tournament.”

Fourth seed Brown, who is experiencing the best form of her life after leaving Delhi earlier this month with three Commonwealth Games medals, defeated Mexico’s seventh seed Samantha Teran 11-6, 11-3, 13-11.

“I felt I came out strong in the first two games and stuck to my game plan,” said 25-year-old from New South Wales. “In the third I knew I had to stay in front of her but she fought back well. I very happy to win in three!

“I’ve played Jenny quite a bit and last week in Mexico was the first time I’ve beaten her so I hope that I can consolidate on that.”

The other semi will also have English interest when Duncalf’s England team-mate Laura Massaro takes on second-seeded Australian Rachael Grinham.

Third seed Massaro defeated Egyptian nemesis Raneem El Weleily, the fifth seed, 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8, while Grinham, champion in 2006, beat 17-year-old Egyptian qualifier Nour El Tayeb 11-6, 14-12, 11-5.

“I’m really happy to have won,” said Massaro, who has lost three times this year to the 21-year-old from Alexandria. “It’s been SO tough against her in the last few matches. I thought I’d blown it after having two match balls in the third! I just so glad to be in the semis tomorrow, it’s the furthest I’ve got in this tournament.”

El Tayeb reached the quarter-finals after beating experienced compatriot Engy Kheirallah – and then admitted that Grinham, who is also based in Cairo, “is my favourite player”.

A smiling Grinham said after the match: “I really enjoyed playing tonight! I haven’t enjoyed playing as much as that in a while! I felt like I was moving really well and hitting the ball well and made very few errors. I knew it was an uphill battle for Nour once she was 2/0 down, so that helped me too.

“I haven’t played Laura in a while and it looks like she is in good shape so I hope that I play well,” concluded the 33-year-old former world number one.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [4] Kasey Brown (AUS)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [3] Laura Massaro (ENG)

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