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: Semi-Finals Report

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RESULTS: Qatar Classic, Doha, Qatar

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-7, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6 (47m)
[4] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 (41m)

Grinham Downs Duncalf In Qatar Revenge

Click here for more pictures by SquashSite.

Avenging her straight games defeat in last year’s final, Australia’s Rachael Grinham upset England’s second seed Jenny Duncalf in four games to reach the final of the 2010 Women’s Qatar Classic, the $74,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha.

The 33-year-old former world champion will face top seed Nicol David, the reigning world champion from Malaysia who ended the giant-killing run of unseeded Egyptian teenager Nour El Tayeb.

Duncalf, the world No2 from Harrogate, took the opening game – but fourth seed Grinham regrouped and reclaimed the advantage before going onto win 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 in 41 minutes.

“Last year was a shocker really, one of those days, I just couldn’t hit anything,” the Queenslander told www.squashsite.co.uk later. “Not to mention that Jenny was chopping everything.

“Today, I felt good, and I’m rather happily surprised with the way I pulled up today,” added Grinham, now in her 58th WISPA final.

“I’m going to try and loosen myself up, to try and get prepared to play Queen Nicol! I used to beat her, I haven’t for a while though, and it’s a nice challenge to look forward to.”

After sensational upsets over the event’s third, thirteenth and sixteenth seeds, 17-year-old El Tayeb finally met her match in Nicol David, the 27-year-old world number one from Penang who is unbeaten so far this year.

The Cairo teenager, ranked 35 in the world, made her mark by taking a game off the dominant David – but the favourite went on to win 11-7, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6 in 47 minutes to reach the 65th Tour title of her career.

“I tried to keep the ball tight, and the rallies long, and to play all the shots I could possibly play, run and make her run,” explained El Tayeb afterwards. “To be honest, I’d never run as much for a single game than I did in that first one! So after that, I was a bit tired.

“This tournament has been so great, I think I am on the right track. I was in the semi final—but more importantly, I put Nicol David, world number one, under pressure!”

David admitted that she was fully aware of El Tayeb’s potential: “I’ve been watching her for a long time now, and she has come up so strong!

“Today, I was so expecting her to play like that, I was prepared to run for all the nicks, for the four corners, and did she bring her game up. And like all the Egyptian players, when she gets on a roll, she is not going to stop!”

David is now one win away from her ninth Tour title this year—but the 50th of her career!

Click on the picture to hook up with Nicol's fans in Qatar!

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