Top Seeds Downed as King & Grinham Make Montreal Final

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Semi-final results: Atwater Cup, Montreal, Canada
[3] Joelle King (NZL) bt [1] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3 (40m)
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [2] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (42m)

New Zealander Joelle King and Dutch champion Natalie Grinham will contest a surprise Women’s Atwater Cup final in Canada after the two top seeds failed to survive the semi-finals of the WISPA World Tour Silver 20 squash event in its third year at Club Atwater in Montreal.

Buoyed by local support at the club which she uses as her overseas training base, third seed King battled for 40 minutes to beat favourite Vanessa Atkinson, a former world number one and world champion from the Netherlands, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3.

It was sweet revenge for the 22-year-old from Cambridge who lost her previous clash with Atkinson at the Atwater Club three years ago. It was also a confidence-boosting win for the Kiwi on the day that the new world No14 became the country’s top-ranked player after overtaking compatriot Jaclyn Hawkes.

Looking forward to the final, King said: “I know it’s going to be tough, as Natalie’s an amazing player but I can’t wait to get out there.”

King will face Grinham in her second WISPA Tour final of the year, and the ninth of her career.

The unseeded world No32 from the Netherlands was in sparkling form as she despatched second seed Jaclyn Hawkes 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 in 42 minutes.

Grinham, the former world No2 is celebrating her first Tour final since giving birth to her first child last year – and also the first WISPA final since reaching the World Open climax in her home country in 2009.

“I’m playing well and happy about making the final,” said a thrilled Grinham, now in her 37th Tour final. “I haven’t played Joelle before so I’m looking forward to a tough match.”

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