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: Q-Finals Report

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RESULTS: Qatar Classic, Doha, Qatar

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [7] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 (39m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [13] Joelle King (NZL) 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 (49m)
[4] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [8] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 12-10, 9-11, 14-16, 11-7, 11-5 (49m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [6] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 (36m)

Now Nour Meets Nicol In Qatar

Our Squash Stars ambassadors battling it out. Click for more pictures.

Nour El Tayeb produced her third successive giant-killing conquest in the Women’s Qatar Classic when she beat 13th seed Joelle King to reach the semi-finals of the $74,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha.

The 17-year-old from Egypt – who recorded career-first wins over compatriots Omneya Abdel Kawy, the No3 seed, and Nour El Sherbini, the 16th seed, to make the quarter-finals of a WISPA Gold event for the first time – defeated New Zealander King 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 in 49 minutes.

“I haven’t played on this court before, but I coped well with it – it suits my game as shots to the front stay in, it’s a bit dead in the corners,” the world No35 from Cairo told www.squashsite.co.uk after her shock win over the Kiwi ranked 15 places higher.

“I can’t believe I won – quarter-finals of the Qatar Classic is huge for me. I’d only looked at the points and prize money for the first round!”

Next in line for the exuberant teenager is Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who is seeded to win her 50th Tour title in Doha.

“Tomorrow I play Nicol David – the pressure is off, I’ll just try to enjoy myself and see how good the world number one is,” added El Tayeb.

David defeated Australian Kasey Brown 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 in 39 minutes.

Defending champion Jenny Duncalf celebrated her 28th birthday with an 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 victory over England team-mate sixth seed Laura Massaro.

“I feel pretty good at the moment,” said the second seed from Harrogate. “I’ve been playing bunches of tournaments. I’ve been away from home for a couple of months. I guess I’m in a ‘playing matches mode’ at the moment, but at the moment, I keep on winning.

“It’s nice to be out on this court. My victory last year here was a great platform for me – it got me to world number two.

“And it would be a great birthday gift if I could go back home with a trophy!”

Duncalf will meet Tour rival Rachael Grinham in a repeat of last year’s final. The 33-year-old fourth seed from Australia was fully stretched by Raneem El Weleily before prevailing 12-10, 9-11, 14-16, 11-7, 11-5 in 49 minutes over the 21-year-old eighth seed.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [4] Rachael Grinham (AUS)

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