A WISPA RELEASE:

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)


England Squash Comes Out Tops

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RESULTS: Commonwealth Games Doubles, Delhi, India

Men’s Doubles Final:
[1] Adrian GrantNick Matthew (ENG) bt [2] Stewart BoswellDavid Palmer (AUS) 11-9, 6-11, 11-5 (133m)
Bronze medal play-off:
[4] Ryan CuskellyCameron Pilley (AUS) bt [5] Alan ClyneHarry Leitch (SCO) 11-5, 11-7 (52m)

Women’s Doubles Final:
[4] Jaclyn HawkesJoelle King (NZL) bt [3] Jenny DuncalfLaura Massaro (ENG) 11-9, 11-10 (60m)
Bronze medal play-off:
[1] Kasey BrownDonna Urquhart (AUS) bt [2] Lisa CamilleriAmelia Pittock (AUS) 11-4, 10-11, 11-5 (54m)

Mixed Doubles Final:
[1] Kasey BrownCameron Pilley (AUS) bt [11] Joelle KingMartin Knight (NZL) 8-11, 11-7, 11-5 (96m)
Bronze medal play-off:
[3] Nicol DavidOng Beng Hee (MAS) bt [8] Donna UrquhartDavid Palmer (AUS) 11-9, 11-6 (35m)

Nick Matthew Celebrates Double Gold In Delhi

England’s Nick Matthew brought his 2010 Commonwealth Games Squash campaign to a magnificent climax in Delhi tonight when, with Adrian Grant, he won gold in the Men’s Doubles to add to the gold medal he won in last week’s singles final at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

In the final match on the spectacular all-glass showcourt, the favourites battled for more than two hours to hold off an Australian challenge from second seeds Stewart BoswellDavid Palmer—and recovered from losing the second game to win 11-9, 6-11, 11-5 in 133 minutes.

The success means that the Men’s Doubles gold medal stays in England hands for the fourth time since the sport’s maiden appearance in the Games in 1998.

“Four years ago, a legendary English squash player Peter Nicol got two golds—and I am delighted to have been able to emulate him,” said the jubilant 30-year-old from Sheffield immediately afterwards.

“Winning two gold medals is an amazing feeling—and doubles is so different from singles squash. It’s all about camaraderie with your partner. You almost feel that the racket isn’t attached to your arm—you are just doing it for your partner.”

“And when we got our heads back together after the second game, we were amazing.”

“It’s definitely the biggest moment of my career,” added the world No2. “I didn’t get the chance to celebrate my singles success, but now I will be able to as I made a good decision not to play a major Tour event in Egypt later this week. I put aside thoughts of regaining my world number one ranking for the sake of two gold medals.”

In describing their marathon encounter—their third three-game win over the top Australian pair since March – Matthew admitted: “We always have a tough battle with them. David was chasing that elusive gold medal.”

“But it’s all about team work—and Adrian and I have known each other since we were nine years old—and that’s what made it work. I think it got a bit scrappy in the second, but we let our squash do the talking in the third.”

Grant, the London-born world No14 who is based in Leeds, said: “After Nick had done such a fantastic job in the singles, I had to give him the motivation to push harder in the doubles. In doubles, you’ve got to take world rankings out of it – you’ve got to understand each others’ games. We never took anybody for granted.”

The outcome provided Stewart Boswell with his third successive silver medal in the event. It also gave David Palmer, the former world number one and two-time world champion, a record-equalling sixth Commonwealth Games medal since 1998.

“It’s definitely nice – but you’ve got to put it into perspective. Tonight’s wasn’t the colour I wanted. It was a tough schedule—and, looking back, perhaps I should have pulled out of one,” said the 34-year-old from Lithgow, NSW, after his farewell appearance in the event.

Women's Doubles Winner, Joelle King and Jaclyn Hawkes.

New Zealand grabbed the first gold medal of the day when the fourth-seeded pairing Jaclyn HawkesJoelle King shocked fancied English duo Jenny DuncalfLaura Massaro, the third seeds, 11-9, 11-10 in the Women’s Doubles final in exactly one hour.

Duncalf and Massaro, who reached the gold medal play-off after upsetting top-seeded Australians Kasey BrownDonna Urquhart in the semi-finals, led in the first game and had game-balls from 10-6 in the second.

But the Kiwis kept up the pressure before leaping for joy after their surprise gold medal triumph.

“We are OVER the moon,” said a beaming Hawkes, the world No14 from Auckland. “Not in my wildest dreams did I expect to do this – I am so happy to have won gold.”

“It’s the first time we’ve played together,” continued the 27-year-old. “It’s great to get New Zealand’s fourth gold in the Games.”

Just before rushing back to the court to prepare for the next match – her Mixed Doubles final which followed immediately—Joelle King paid compliments to Hawkes: “My partner here was pretty awesome.”

“When I was a little girl, I dreamed about winning a Commonwealth Games medal,” added the 22-year-old from Cambridge.

Duncalf was inevitably despondent: “We had the confidence to win gold. There’s a very fine line in doubles between winning and losing—they did really well to come back.”

Massaro added: We weren’t expecting to be paired up, and have had very little practice together, but I thought we did well.

“But it’s horrible to lose your final match – but I’m sure we’ll celebrate silver later,” suggested the 26-year-old world No7.

Squash Stars Ambassador Kasey Brown, is the only squash player to have won three medals in Delhi!

It was a first squash gold medal of the 2010 Games for Australia when favourites Kasey BrownCameron Pilley saw off New Zealand outsiders Joelle KingMartin Knight, the 11th seeds, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5 in a 96-minute Mixed Doubles final.

Clearly uplifted by her gold medal performance some 20 minutes earlier, King led the Kiwis to a first game lead before the top seeds turned up the power to storm to gold.

Is it a relief, the winning Aussies were asked by a home reporter? “No, it’s not a relief,” said Brown. “Yes, it is,” interjected Pilley. “It’s a relief to finish doubles!”

“We both played two matches today we didn’t lose,” added Pilley, the world No16 from Yamba, New South Wales. “Gold again in 2014 in Scotland? That’s definitely the goal!”

When asked how it felt to win his county’s first squash gold medal this time, the tall 27-year-old responded: “It’s special – but more so because you’re playing for all of squash in Australia. It’s an honour to put on the Australian colours – it gives you something extra, and I think that showed when we came back from one-nil down.”

Both players agreed that a beer was one of their priorities.

“Gold means everything – it’s incredible,” said Brown. “To get gold for your country is pretty amazing.”

After winning bronze in the singles event, and bronze earlier in the day in the Women’s Doubles, Brown became the only player to win three medals in Delhi.

“Winning three medals is a fantastic feeling—a gold medal means so much, especially representing Australia,” added the world No8 from Taree, NSW.

“This year I’ve been working really hard and I feel I’ve really improved. I was confident I could do well.”

“But the first thing I need to do is ring my Mum!”

A downbeat Martin Knight conceded that the best pair won: “Today, they just played better,” said the Wellington-born 26-year-old. “I set goals every day and today we were going for gold – and there’s no reason why we could have expected that. But I will go away with good memories.”

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

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