Qualifier Nicolette Fernandes stunned former world champion Rachael Grinham in round one of the WSA Cayman Island World Open.
The world No.48 from Guyana fought back from two games and match-ball down against the 2007 World Champion, to claim an unlikely second round place in front of a home crowd.
A tense affair was described with relief afterwards by Fernandes, as the 29-year-old told SquashSite: “I’m just so happy, and grateful, and thankful for everything.
“You have to believe you can win, even if you don’t expect to. I don’t even remember saving those match balls in the third, but when I got to 10/6 in the fifth and she started coming back I just told myself to keep playing the way I’d played to get to that point.”
Low Wee Wern went a game down to English qualifier Sarah Kippax in their round one clash, but the Malaysian settled down to win the next three games too progress to round two. She will face Australian Kasey Brown, who saw off the challenge of US qualifier Latasha Khan in straight games.
Three English players will feature in the second round of the World Open. Alison Waters ensured her progression after cruising past local wildcard entrant Marlene West in 19-minutes, whilst No.3 seed Laura Massaro defeated Columbian qualifier Catalina Pelaez, in also just shy of 20-minutes.
Last year’s World Open runner-up Jenny Duncalf had to regain her composure as compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry hit back after losing the first game, with a dominant 11-1 second game retaliation. Duncalf’s experience brought her quickly back to focus however, and the No.6 seed will progress to Camille Serme of France in round two.
Samantha Teran defeated qualifier Lauren Briggs in straight games to set up a clash with Alison Waters, whilst Massaro will face round one giant-killer Nicolette Fernandes.
Six-time World Champion Nicol David got her World Open campaign off to a good start, as she navigated a tricky first round match against Hong Kong Open semi-finalist, Omneya Abdel Kawy. David was able to progress after three games, and will now face Annie Au, who beat Line Hansen 3-1.
Tour veteran Madeline Perry took 44-minutes to dispatch unseeded Egyptian Nour El Tayeb in four games. The Irishwoman clinched a second game tiebreak before dropping the third, but recovered to see off the match and book her round two place against another Egyptian, teenager Nour El Sherbini. Sherbini defeated Canadian hopeful Samantha Cornett in straight games to ensure her second round place.
Fifth seed Joelle King booked her round two place after beating Joey Chan in 27-minutes. The Kiwi, who earned an 11-0 ‘bagel’ in the first game, will now play experienced Natalie Grinham of the Netherlands. Grinham recovered from a game down to beat Australian Donna Urquhart.
Second seed Raneem El Weleily was forced to four games following a gutsy effort from unseeded Aisling Blake. The Egyptian told SquashSite after the contest: “I don’t recall playing Aisling before, but I know she’s been improving and getting some good results recently. She played really well and I had to work hard to win that.”
Weleily will face Dipika Pallikal in round two of Cayman Islands Open, following the Indian’s narrow three-game win over Malaysian qualifier Delia Arnold.
Mon 17th Dec –
21:30 –  Nicol David (MAS) v  Annie Au (HKG)
20:45 –  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Madeline Perry (IRL)
20:00 –  Alison Waters (ENG) v  Samantha Teran (MEX)
19:15 –  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
Tues 18th Dec –
19:00 –  Low Wee Wern (MAS) v  Kasey Brown (AUS)
19:45 –  Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
20:30 –  Joelle King (NZL) v  Natalie Grinham (NED)
21:15 –  Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v  Dipika Pallikal (IND)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 (31m)
 Annie Au (HKG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-2, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8 (42m)
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (24m)
 Madeline Perry (IRL) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-6, 13-11, 6-11, 11-2 (44m)
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt Marlene West (CAY) 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 (19m)
 Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [Q] Lauren Briggs (ENG) 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 (35m)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 11-9, 1-11, 11-5, 11-8 (45m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6 (50m)
 Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [Q] Latasha Khan (USA) 11-5, 11-3, 11-4 (25m)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt Sarah Kippax (ENG) 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt  Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-9 (65m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Catalina Pelaez (COL) 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (19m)
 Natalie Grinham (NED) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9 (45m)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 11-0, 11-6, 11-5 (27m)
 Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS) 13-11, 11-9, 11-9 (42m)
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-9, 5-11, 11-4, 11-8 (42m)