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: Semi Finals Results

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RESULTS: Carol Weymuller Open, Brooklyn, NY, USA

[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [4] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4

Duncalf & Massaro Celebrate First All-English New York Final

England vs. England

Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro will contest the first all-English final of the Women’s Carol Weymuller Openafter surviving five-game semi-finals in the $42,450 WISPA World Tour squash event at Heights Casino in Brooklyn,New York.

Third seed Massaro was the first to earn a place in the final after upsetting Australia’s second seed Rachael Grinham. Down 1/8 in their career head-to-head tally, Massaro dropped the first two games – but battled back to beat the former world number one 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 to reach the established women’s Tour event final for the first time.

“I’m really pleased to be in the final,” said the world No8 from Preston, now in the 13th Tour final of her career, but her first this year.

“Rachael is such a dangerous player and in the first two games I felt I didn’t know what to do because she was playing so well. Then I just tried to dig in more physically and make the rallies longer and I felt that I got rewards from doing that.

“I’ll be trying to play as well as I can in the final – and it’s nice, as there is no pressure on me!”

Top seed Duncalf approached the other semi-final 4/1 up in her career meetings with Kasey Brown, but the fourth seed from Australia had gained her sole victory only last week in Mexico – fresh from a three-medal triumph in theCommonwealth Games in Delhi.

But Duncalf was ready this time. The 27-year-old world No2 from Harrogate took he first game, then dropped the next two before fighting back to record an impressive 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6 victory.

Asked how she felt after her long match, Duncalf said: “Relief really! It was tough – Kasey has improved recently physically. She’s picking up a lot of balls and she’s always been good with the racket.

“I was pretty patchy at times, but I kept telling myself ‘keep pushing’,” added Duncalf, now in the 17th Tour final of her career

“I’m looking forward to playing in the final. One more match and it’s home time!”

The final will mark Duncalf and Massaro’s first competitive clash since partnering each other to Women’s Doubles silver medal success in the Commonwealth Games.

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