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)

World Team: Round 2 Qualifying Report

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RESULTS: Women’s World Team Squash Championship, Palmerston North, New Zealand

2nd qualifying round – Pool A:
Tania Bailey bt Orla Noom 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (28m)
Jenny Duncalf bt Vanessa Atkinson 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 (22m)
Laura Massaro bt Annelize Naude 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (23m)

[9] USA bt [16] AUSTRIA 3/0
Olivia Blatchford bt Judith Gradnitzer 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 (19m)
Latasha Khan bt Birgit Coufal 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (25m)
Amanda Sobhy bt Sandra Polak 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (14m)

Pool B:
[2] AUSTRALIA bt [10] INDIA 3/0
Donna Urquhart bt Anwesha Reddy 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (22m)
Rachael Grinham bt Joshna Chinappa 11-3, 11-2, 11-4 (18m)
Kasey Brown bt Anaka Alankamony 11-3, 11-6, 11-5 (22m)

[7] IRELAND bt [15] JAPAN 3/0
Laura Mylotte bt Yuki Sakai 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 (28m)
Madeline Perry bt Misaki Kobayashi 11-3, 11-9, 11-7 (21m)
Aisling Blake bt Miwa Maekawa 4-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-3 (35m)

Pool C:
[3] EGYPT bt [6] FRANCE 3/0
Nour El Tayeb bt Coline Aumard 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 (30m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Camille Serme 11-5, 11-6, 11-9 (25m)
Raneem El Weleily bt Isabelle Stoehr 12-10, 16-14, 11-3 (26m)

[11] SOUTH AFRICA bt [14] MEXICO 3/0
Milnay Louw bt Nayelly Hernandez 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-4 (38m)
Tenille Swartz bt Samantha Teran 11-8, 2-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7 (59m)
Siyoli Waters bt Graciela Lopez Perez 11-6, 11-8, 11-3 (23m)

Pool D:
[4] MALAYSIA bt [12] CANADA 3/0
Sharon Wee bt Stephanie Edmison 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (33m)
Nicol David bt Miranda Ranieri 11-9, 11-3, 11-4 (26m)
Delia Arnold bt Alexandra Norman 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 (34m)

[5] NEW ZEALAND bt [13] HONG KONG 3/0
Tamsyn Leevey bt Karman Siu 11-5, 11-4, 11-2 (20m)
Jaclyn Hawkes bt Liu Tsz-Ling 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 (21m)
Joelle King bt Carmen Lee 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 (19m)

Hosts New Zealand Set Up World Qualifying Showdown

The New Zealanders: Tamsyn, Joelle, Shelley and Jaclyn.

Hosts New Zealand will face Malaysia in the expected Pool D showdown at the Women’s World Team Squash Championship after comfortable wins in today’s second qualifying round of the biennial World Squash Federationevent in Palmerston North.

Both sides are assured of places in the quarter-finals, but the second-placed team will face a tougher route to the semis.

Little Amalia and mummy! Pix by Dave Lintott / photosport.co.nz

Fifth seeds New Zealand were again in sparkling form, knocking over Hong Kong China 3/0. Tamsyn Leevey, playing her first singles match for New Zealand since 2006, took just 20 minutes to dispose of Karman SiuJaclyn Hawkes quickly made it 2/0 with a straight games victory over Liu Tsz-Ling and Joelle King completed the whitewash with an 11-5, 11-4 11-5 victory over Carmen Lee.

Shelley Kitchen was given the day off, after an impressive win yesterday in her first competitive match in over a year following the birth of baby daughter Amalia in February.

Malaysia, the fourth seeds, were also largely untroubled, notching up a 3/0 win over CanadaSharon WeeNicol Davidand Delia Arnold all won in straight games, to hand Canada their second 3/0 loss in a row.

The Malaysian Girls: Nicol, Wee Wern, Delia and Sharon.

Malaysia and New Zealand may be vying for the most supporters at the International Pacific College with a large group of Malaysian students set to attend, along with a contingent from the High Commission in Wellington. Nicol David says they are often well-supported, due to the efforts of Malaysian officials.

“We’re just very fortunate that the High Commission get informed where the squash players are and they try their best to recruit all the Malaysians around the area,” explained the world number one.

The New Zealand camp have put out a call to locals to come out in support of their team, to avoid the prospect of being outnumbered by the visitors!

“There always seems to be a lot of Malaysians everywhere in the world so hopefully the Kiwis get down here in support,” said the confident NZ number two Joelle King.

“I know a lot of us have people coming especially in for tomorrow onwards, so we are definitely hoping to match them!”

Meanwhile England stepped up a gear from their day one performance to crush the Netherlands 3/0. Tania Bailey, making her fifth appearance in the championships since 2000, gave the top seeds the early advantage with an 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 victory over Orla Noom, and team-mate Jenny Duncalf continued her recent dominance over former world champion Vanessa Atkinson to make it 2/0. Second string Laura Massaro wrapped up a comfortable day for the English with a straight games win over Annelize Naude.

Who is who? :)

In the other Pool A tie, USA bounced back from the disappointment of yesterday’s loss to England with a comprehensive 3/0 win over Austria. American number one Natalie Grainger sat out the tie, but her team was still too good for the Austrians, winning all three matches in straight games.

It was business as usual for the remaining top teams in the later session on day two of the championship.

What's that you said? Rachael Grinham pictured here by Dave Lintott / photosport.co.nz

Australia and Egypt also notched up their second successive 3/0 victories, with New Zealand the only team outside the top four yet to drop a game.

The second-seeded Australians look to be in ominous form after making light work of 10th seeds India. However, Egypt’s victory was probably the most impressive. The defending champions showed they are not about to give up their title easily, as they put the sixth seeds France to the sword.

Egyptian teenager Nour El Tayeb had a straight forward 11-6, 11-9, 11-3 win over Coline Aumard and Omneya Abdel Kawy downed French number one Camille Serme 11-5, 11-6, 11-9. However, Raneem El Weleily was given a tougher workout by Isabelle Stoehr, edging to a 12-10, 16-14, 11-3 victory.

Official website: www.womensworldsquash2010.co.nz

For further on-site information, contact World Team Championship Media Manager Gary Denvir
Email: garyd@trn.co.nz or Tel: +64 (0) 27 273 9446

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