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)

Torneo Bicentenario: Quarter Finals Report

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RESULTS: Torneo International Bicentenario Mexico, Toluca, Mexico

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [8] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (24m)
[6] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [4] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (30m)
[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [7] Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-9, 11-3, 11-8 (36m)
[5] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-5, 12-14, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3 (66m)

Duncalf Downed In Mexico

Kasey Brown, Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist triumphs over England's best.

England’s world number two Jenny Duncalf, a semi-finalist in all but one of the last ten WISPA World Tour squash events in which she has competed, crashed out of the quarter-finals of the $67,500 Women’s Torneo International Bicentenario Mexico at the Plaza Civica de Toluca in Toluca after losing to Australian Kasey Brown in the first WISPA Gold event to be staged in Mexico.

Duncalf arrived in Mexico with two silver Commonwealth Games medals to her name from Delhi earlier in the month – but Brown, the world No9 from New South Wales, bagged three medals, including gold in the Mixed Doubles.

Fifth seed Brown twice led in Toluca – and twice Duncalf drew level. But the 25-year-old Australian, who had never beaten Duncalf before, raised her game in the decider to close out the match 11-5, 12-14, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3 in 66 minutes.

“It’s nice to beat someone for the first time, as it gives you the confidence that your game is moving in the right direction,” said a jubilant Brown afterwards.

An all-Australian battle now faces Brown when she takes on Rachael Grinham, the third seed from Queensland who killed off local hopes for success by beating seventh seed Samantha Teran 11-9, 11-3, 11-8.

Teran came out to a boisterous welcome – and the 29-year-old from Mexico City didn’t let her fans down as she jumped straight to a 5-1 lead in the first game.

“It’s great making a semi-final in a major event as it has been so tough to do so over the past year,” admitted former world champion Grinham afterwards. “I am really enjoying playing at the moment and look forward to playing Kasey, who is clearly in form, tomorrow.

“It’s actually fun playing someone in their home country – the atmosphere is just as electric when you play Nicol in Malaysia.”

Nicol David duly earned her place in the other semi after dismissing New Zealand’s No8 seed Jaclyn Hawkes 11-8, 11-2, 11-6. The world number one from Penang will face surprise opponent Raneem El Weleily, the sixth seed from Egypt who overcame No4 seed Madeline Perry 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 in her first ever win over the world No6 from Ireland.

“I played well today and enjoyed the match,” said 21-year-old El Weleily afterwards. “It will be tough playing Nicol tomorrow but it should be fun to play her, especially in the semi final of a major event.”

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [6] Raneem El Weleily (EGY)
[5] Kasey Brown (AUS) v [3] Rachael Grinham (AUS)

– ENDS –

Issued by Howard Harding on behalf of WISPA
Women’s International Squash Players’ Association
Tel: (+44) 1737-243333; Mobile: (+44) 7773-325130; Email: HowHard@aol.com
WISPA: Tel: (+44) 20 7381 2246; Email: info@wispa.net
WSQ 5823 23 October 2010

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