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: Round 1 Report

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RESULTS: Qatar Classic, Doha, Qatar

1st round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 (30m)
[11] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [Q] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 (18m)
[7] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt Kylie Lindsay (NZL) 11-0, 11-6, 11-9 (39m)
[9] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt Manuela Manetta (ITA) 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6 (32m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)
[16] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Adel Weir-Nunan (RSA) 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (18m)
[5] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-2, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)
[13] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Lucie Fialova (CZE) 11-2, 12-10, 11-6 (26m)
[14] Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt [Q] Olga Ertlova (CZE) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 (26m)
[8] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Tania Bailey (ENG) 14-12, 11-7, 11-5 (34m)
[12] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) bt [Q] Gaby Schmohl (SUI) 11-6, 11-9, 11-2 (28m)
[4] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-4, 14-12 ret. (18m)
Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [15] Aisling Blake (IRL) 13-11, 3-11, 4-11, 11-4, 12-10 (64m)
[6] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Orla Noom (NED) 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 (29m)
[10] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt Joshna Chinappa (IND) 11-5, 4-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6 (47m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Lauren Selby (ENG) 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 (21m)

Kawy Crushed In Qatar

Teenagers Nour El Tayeb and Dipika Pallikal produced notable upsets on the opening day of main draw action in the Women’s Qatar Classic, the $74,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha.

Rapidly-rising 17-year-old Nour El Tayeb struck the mightiest blow, beating fellow Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy, the third seed, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 in just 27 minutes.

The first ever victory over world No4 Abdel Kawy, her country’s highest-ranked player, comes only a week after El Tayeb defeated the Egyptian No3 Engy Kheirallah.

“I played well,” conceded the youngster to SquashSite.co.uk later. “But I had to beat Omneya in three – and that doesn’t happen every day!

“I beat Engy two weeks ago in New York and I’ve been playing well, so I knew I had a chance, no more than that. I certainly didn’t expect to win, I’d never even taken a game off Omneya before,” added the world No35.

India’s Dipika Pallikal made up for the disappointment of having to miss last month’s Commonwealth Games in her home county when she recorded a stunning 13-11, 3-11, 4-11, 11-4, 12-10 victory over Ireland’s 15th seed Aisling Blake in 64 minutes.

“The last month was just awful for me, having to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games with illness,” admitted the 19-year-old from Chennai. “It took me three weeks before I could come out of my room and talk to someone.

“But I’m pleased to be back playing, and looking hopefully I can play well tomorrow.”

Top seed Nicol David, the world number one looking for her 50th title on the WISPA Tour, eased into the second round after beating England’s Emma Beddoes 11-6, 11-4, 12-10.

2nd round line-up: (Immediate score updates here)
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [11] Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[7] Kasey Brown (AUS) v [9] Vanessa Atkinson (NED)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [16] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
[5] Camille Serme (FRA) v [13] Joelle King (NZL)
[8] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [14] Sarah Kippax (ENG)
[4] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [12] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA)
[6] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Dipika Pallikal (IND)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [10] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)

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