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)

Monte Carlo: Round 1 Results

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RESULTS: Monte Carlo Classic, Monte Carlo, Monaco

1st round:
[1] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Victoria Lust (ENG) 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 (29m)
[7] Orla Noom (NED) bt [Q] Gaby Schmohl (SUI) 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 (41m)
[4] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) bt [Q] Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (22m)
Annelize Naude (NED) bt [5] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 12-14, 13-11 (70m)
[6] Aisling Blake (IRL) bt [Q] Laura Hill (ENG) 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 (64m)
[3] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [Q] Coline Aumard (FRA) 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 (26m)
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt [8] Manuela Manetta (ITA) 11-1, 12-10, 10-12, 3-11, 11-3 (50m)
[2] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 3-11, 11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5 (60m)

Nicolette & Naude Net Upsets In Monte Carlo

Unseeded Annelize Naude and Nicolette Fernandes secured unexpected places in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Monte Carlo Classic after surprise first round wins in the $25,300 WISPA World Tour squash event in its 15th year at Stade Louis II in Monte Carlo in Monaco.

Kippax and Naude, pictured here in Monte Carlo 2006.

Naude, the world No41 from the Netherlands, scored the biggest scalp – battling for 70 minutes to overcome fifth seed Sarah Kippax, the world No22 from England, 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 12-14, 13-11.

The 33-year-old from Amsterdam will now line up against France’s Isabelle Stoehr after the fourth seed despatched compatriot Laura Pomportes, a qualifier, 11-2, 11-3, 11-4.

Nicolette Fernandes, a former world No27 from Guyana still fighting to regain her former form after a major knee injury, also needed five games to get the better of Italy’s eighth seed Manuela Manetta 11-1, 12-10, 10-12, 3-11, 11-3.

The London-based 27-year-old, currently ranked 52 in the world, will now face local favourite Camille Serme – the No2 seed from France seeking to become her country’s first Monte Carlo Classic champion.

But the 21-year-old world No7 from Paris was given a stern test by Egypt teenager Heba El Torky before finally beating the 19-year-old from Alexandria 3-11, 11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5 in exactly one hour.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v [7] Orla Noom (NED)
[4] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) v Annelize Naude (NED)
[3] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) v [6] Aisling Blake (IRL)
[2] Camille Serme (FRA) v Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)

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