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)


Qatar Classic: Finals Report

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RESULTS: Qatar Classic, Doha, Qatar

Final:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [4] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 (34m)

Nicol David Celebrates Half Century In Qatar

Pix with thanks to Nazmi Md Sheriff.

Malaysian squash star Nicol David reached another significant milestone in her illustrious career when she beat Australian Rachael Grinham in the final of the $74,000 Women’s Qatar Classic to net her 50th WISPA World Tour title at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha.

The top-seeded world number one overcame the disappointment of losing at the semi-final stage last year by beating unseeded Egyptian Nour El Tayeb to reach the 2010 final.

And the climax against career-long rival Rachael Grinham, the fourth seed and a former world champion, marked the pair’s 32nd Tour clash since the first in April 2000 in Malaysia.

David was in dominant form from the outset, triumphing 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 in just 34 minutes to claim her fourth Qatar Classic crown since 2006.

“It’s great to win again in Qatar,” David told www.squashsite.com later. “I didn’t like losing here last year.”

“Rachael and I know each other’s games so well, you’re always going to get close matches and long rallies,” explained the new champion after extending her head-to-head record to 26-6.”

“You try not to think about past matches, head to head records – but the one you lost always comes to your mind and you know it’s not going to be easy.”

Nicol's fan support in Qatar! Pix with thanks to Nazmi Md Sheriff.

“It was great that the crowd got involved, I get so much support here it really helps, so thanks to the supporters, the organisers and the sponsors for another great tournament, it’s so good to keep coming back here year after year.”

“It’s good to finish the WISPA season on a winning note. Now it’s back to Malaysia for a few days and then join up with the rest of the team for the Asian Games.”

Grinham rued missed opportunities in the third game: “I maybe wasn’t as patient as I needed to be today, especially when I was up in the third, I tried to finish it too quickly I think.

“I wasn’t as accurate as I’d like either, I sprayed a few balls around and missed a few basic straight shots, it could be about a bit of stiffness and not being as properly stable on the shot, but that’s something everyone has to deal with,” added the 33-year-old Queenslander.

“Not too bad overall, but I could have done with snatching that third.”

Pix with thanks to Nazmi Md Sheriff.

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