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, 2nd Qualifying Round

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RESULTS: Commonwealth Games Doubles, Delhi, India

Another day of Squash at the Siri Fort Complex.

Men’s Doubles 2nd qualifying round:
Pool 1
[1] Adrian GrantNick Matthew (ENG) bt [16] Philip MusondaLazarus Chilufya (ZAM) 11-0, 11-0 (14m)
[16] Philip MusondaLazarus Chilufya (ZAM) bt Malton BlairAlexander Frazer (CAY) 11-10, 11-9 (24m)

Pool 2
Kelvin NdhlovuRay Simbule (ZAM) bt [15] Lekgotla MosopeLefika Ragontse (BOT) w/o
Gye DuncanDuncan Gray (NFK) bt [15] Lekgotla MosopeLefika Ragontse (BOT) w/o
[2] Stewart BoswellDavid Palmer (AUS) bt Kelvin NdhlovuRay Simbule (ZAM) 11-3, 11-9 (16m)

Pool 3
[3] Peter BarkerDaryl Selby (ENG) bt [14] Michael FiteniBradley Hindle (MLT) 11-7, 11-6 (49m)

Pool 4
[4] Ryan CuskellyCameron Pilley (AUS) bt [13] Robin ClarkeShawn Delierre (CAN) 11-10, 11-2 (38m)

Pool 5
[5] Alan ClyneHarry Leitch (SCO) bt [12] Yasir ButtDanish Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-8, 11-3 (26m)
[12] Yasir ButtDanish Atlas Khan (PAK) bt James MatewereJulius Taulo (MAW) 11-5, 11-8 (14m)

Pool 6
[6] Mohd Azlan IskandarMohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt [11] Sandeep JangraHarinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 6-11, 11-7, 11-7 (63m)
Michael KawooyaIan Rukunya (UGA) bt Shopon PervezMasud Rana (BAN) 9-11, 11-2, 11-9 (29m)
[6] Mohd Azlan IskandarMohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Shopon PervezMasud Rana (BAN) 11-3, 11-2 (12m)

Pool 7
[10] Aamir Atlas KhanFarhan Mehboob (PAK) bt Samuel KyagulanyiBrian Okumu (UGA) 11-1, 11-4 (9m)

Pool 8
[9] Lyall PatersonChris Small (SCO) bt Hartaj BainsHardeep Reel (KEN) 11-8, 11-1 (20m)

Women’s Doubles 2nd qualifying round:
Pool 1
Samantha CornettStephanie Edmison (CAN) bt Kate CadiganJeannine Cowie (JEY) 11-3, 11-2 (12m)
[1] Kasey BrownDonna Urquhart (AUS) bt [7] Tamsyn LeeveyKylie Lindsay (NZL) 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 (53m)

Pool 2
[4] Jaclyn HawkesJoelle King (NZL) bt [6] Lisa AitkenFrania Gillen-Buchert (SCO) 11-5, 11-4 (41m)

Pool 3
[2] Lisa CamilleriAmelia Pittock (AUS) bt Nicolette FernandesAshley Khalil (GUY) 11-2, 11-3 (17m)
[5] Tania BaileySarah Kippax (ENG) bt Zoe BarrMadeline Perry (NIR) 11-7, 11-3 (25m)

Pool 4
[3] Jenny DuncalfLaura Massaro (ENG) bt [8] Delia ArnoldLow Wee Wern (MAS) 11-10, 11-4 (27m)
Anaka AlankamonySurbhi Misra (IND) bt Safina MadhaniKhaaliqa Nimji (KEN) 11-2, 11-4 (11m)

Mixed Doubles 2nd qualifying round:
Pool 1
[1] Kasey BrownCameron Pilley (AUS) bt [12] Sharon WeeIvan Yuen (MAS) 11-1, 11-6 (25m)

Pool 2
[11] Joelle KingMartin Knight (NZL) bt [2] Jenny DuncalfJames Willstrop (ENG) 11-9, 11-5 (35m)
Jeannine CowieMichael Hopkins (JEY) bt Safina MadhaniHartaj Bains (KEN) 11-7, 11-7 (18m)

Pool 3
[10] Lisa AitkenHarry Leitch (SCO) bt Stephanie EdmisonAndrew McDougall (CAN) 11-7, 11-2 (29m)
[3] Nicol DavidOng Beng Hee (MAS) bt Khaaliqa NimjiHardeep Reel (KEN) 11-3, 11-5 (25m)

Pool 4
[9] Frania Gillen-BuchertAlan Clyne (SCO) bt Marlene WestCameron Stafford (CAY) 11-10, 11-5 (34m)

Pool 5
[8] Donna UrquhartDavid Palmer (AUS) bt [5] Jaclyn HawkesCampbell Grayson (NZL) 11-9, 11-4 (45m)
[5] Jaclyn HawkesCampbell Grayson (NZL) bt Barbara StubbingsMichael Rucklinger (PNG) 11-4, 11-2 (9m)

Pool 6
Zephanie CurgenvenHenry Birch (GGY) bt Sharya GurugeNavin Samarasinghe (SRI) 11-3, 11-9 (14m)
[6] Sarah KippaxAdrian Grant (ENG) bt Sharya GurugeNavin Samarasinghe (SRI) 11-6, 11-5 (18m)

New Zealand Pair Upset England In Mixed Doubles Qualifiers In Delhi

While Australia claimed the most wins in today’s second round of Commonwealth Games Squash Doubles qualifiers, their six victories were partially overshadowed by New Zealand pair Joelle KingMartin Knight‘s straight games upset over England’s No2 seeds Jenny DuncalfJames Willstrop in the Mixed event at the Siri Fort Complex in Delhi.

Perhaps still feeling the effects of their earlier defeats in the singles finals, silver medallists Duncalf and Willstrop went down 11-9, 11-5 in 35 minutes as New Zealand celebrated a notable breakthrough win.

“I guess they didn’t expect much after Melbourne,” said Knight, referring to the Australian Open Doubles championships in August, when the Kiwi pair crashed out in the opening round – and Duncalf and Willstrop progressed through to the final.

“We lost every match 2/1 there – but we were confident we could make it here,” added the jubilant Wellington-born 26-year-old.

Joelle King continued: “After Melbourne, we went away and worked on a few things. We both stepped up today – and kept each others’ confidence up. We’re definitely very happy with that result.”

Willstrop, looking weary from his arduous week so far in Delhi, was downcast: “We’re disappointed because we’ve worked hard at this. And we feel we were quite good too.

“It just means we’ll have a harder route through to the final stages,” added the 27-year-old world No4.

“It’s not all over,” Duncalf pointed out.

Earlier, New Zealand suffered a mild setback when their fifth-seeded pair Jaclyn HawkesCampbell Grayson were defeated 11-9, 11-4 by lower-seeded Australian duo Donna UrquhartDavid Palmer.

The Melbourne event was again cited as the misleading factor: “We played four matches there and lost three of them 11-10 in the third,” said Palmer, a bronze medallist in the Mixed event four years ago.

“This was a big match for us – we were really up for it today, we both wanted to win. We’ve worked a lot together in various doubles events recently. It would be nice to do some damage here.

“Donna and I have teamed up well – she’s a left-hander which works well. We struggled a bit to start with, but we’re really working well together now.

“We don’t play doubles that often – but it’s a medal,” continued the 34-year-old from Lithgow in New South Wales who has accumulated five medals in three previous Games’ appearances since 1998.

“We both missed out on singles medals – so we’d like to get one back. I’ve had a few down days since losing in the quarter-finals – but today was a turning point.”

Was 23-year-old Urquhart, a Games debutante in Delhi, at all overawed by former world number one and two-time world champion Palmer when they first teamed up? “I remember the first time we practised together – I felt so intimidated. But now it’s just Dave,” explained the world No16 from Yamba, NSW.

Urquhart went on to partner Kasey Brown in an 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 victory over New Zealanders Tamsyn LeeveyKylie Lindsay in the Women’s Doubles, while Palmer continued his Men’s Doubles campaign with Stewart Boswell, crushing Zambians Kelvin NdhlovuRay Simbule 11-3, 11-9 in just 16 minutes.

After the rare experience of a defeat – in yesterday’s first qualifying round of the Mixed Doubles – Malaysia’s proud new singles gold medallist Nicol David was back in winning form after partnering Ong Beng Hee to an 11-3, 11-5 victory over Kenyans Khaaliqa NimjiHardeep Reel.

David, the 27-year-old world number one Penang, was 15 when she made her debut in the sport’s first appearance in the Games in her home country in 1998. But her direct opponent Khaaliqa Nimji is still only 12 – and is not only the youngest player ever to compete in the event’s squash competition, but is also her country’s youngest senior champion, a title she won last year when only 11.

David and her partner delighted the crowd by keeping the rallies going – giving their inexperienced opponents the chance to enjoy their court-time with two seasoned professionals.

“When you’ve got a 12-year-old on court, it’s hard to attack her,” explained Ong Beng Hee, a one-time world No7, afterwards.

“Khaaliqa has good ball sense and hits it well,” added David. “Getting this experience at this age will be so useful to her.”

On the significance of the third seeds’ first win in the event, Beng Hee continued: “Yesterday was a bad start for us. But Nicol had a busy build-up to the event, with the worlds followed by five matches here to win the gold. She’s understandably a bit tired from that. But we’re back on track today now.”

David was asked if she was still on a high after her long-awaited singles triumph: “It’s a great feeling to have the gold medal. Winning it hasn’t really sunk in yet – I still can’t believe it.

“It’s difficult to get into another competition so soon afterwards.”

Khaaliqa Nimji clearly enjoyed her unique opportunity: “It was a good experience – I’ve learned a lot – but I’ve still got a long way to go.

“I hope to make it back next time,” added the Kenyan squash prospect.

“Back another six times, probably,” David chipped in!

Men’s Doubles last sixteen round line-up:
[1] Adrian GrantNick Matthew (ENG) v
[13] Robin ClarkeShawn Delierre (CAN)
[6] Mohd Azlan IskandarMohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) v
[8] Gaurav NandrajogSiddharth Suchde (IND)
[4] Ryan CuskellyCameron Pilley (AUS) v
Gye DuncanDuncan Gray (NFK)
[7] Campbell GraysonMartin Knight (NZL) v
[16] Philip MusondaLazarus Chilufya (ZAM)
[5] Alan ClyneHarry Leitch (SCO) v
[11] Sandeep JangraHarinder Pal Sandhu (IND)
[3] Peter BarkerDaryl Selby (ENG) v
[12] Yasir ButtDanish Atlas Khan (PAK)
[9] Lyall PatersonChris Small (SCO) v
[14] Michael FiteniBradley Hindle (MLT)
[2] Stewart BoswellDavid Palmer (AUS) v
[10] Aamir Atlas KhanFarhan Mehboob (PAK)

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

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