A WISPA RELEASE:

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: Q-finals Report

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

Quarter-finals:

[1] ENGLAND bt [7] IRELAND 3/0
Laura Massaro bt Laura Mylotte 11-2, 11-4, 11-7
Jenny Duncalf bt Aisling Blake 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)
Tania Bailey bt Zoe Barr 11-3, 11-6 (15m)

[5] NEW ZEALAND bt [6] FRANCE 2/1
Joelle King bt Isabelle Stoehr 11-9, 11-3, 11-4 (27m)
Jaclyn Hawkes lost to Camille Serme 7-11, 5-11, 7-11 (26m)
Shelley Kitchen bt Coline Aumard 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (24m)

[4] MALAYSIA bt [3] EGYPT 2/1
Low Wee Wern lost to Raneem El Weleily 5-11, 4-11, 4-11 (21m)
Nicol David bt Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-9, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4 (53m)
Delia Arnold bt Engy Kheirallah 11-9, 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 (80m)

[2] AUSTRALIA bt [9] USA 2/1
Kasey Brown bt Latasha Khan 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)
Rachael Grinham lost to Natalie Grainger 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 10-12 (49m)
Sarah Fitz-Gerald bt Olivia Blatchford 11-4, 11-1, 11-2 (18m)

9th – 16th place play-offs:

[8] NETHERLANDS bt [15] JAPAN 3/0
Annelize Naude bt Miwa Maekawa 11-2, 11-3, 11-7 (14m)
Vanessa Atkinson bt Misaki Kobayashi 11-6, 11-3, 7-11, 13-11 (52m)
Milou van der Heijden bt Yuki Sakai 11-7, 11-9 (14m)

[13] HONG KONG bt [14] MEXICO 2/1
Elise Ng bt Nayelly Hernandez 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (24m)
Liu Tsz-Ling lost to Samantha Teran 3-11, 9-11, 4-11 (23m)
Carmen Lee bt Imelda Salazar Martinez 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (21m)

[11] SOUTH AFRICA bt [12] CANADA 2/1
Siyoli Waters bt Alexandra Norman 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-2 (38m)
Tenille Swartz bt Miranda Ranieri 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (33m)
Cheyna Tucker lost to Stephanie Edmison 5-11, 8-11 (15m)

[10] INDIA bt [16] AUSTRIA 3/0

Joshna Chinappa bt Sandra Polak 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 (20m)
Dipika Pallikal bt Birgit Coufal 11-5, 8-11, 15-13, 11-5 (36m)
Anaka Alankamony bt Judith Gradnitzer 11-6, 11-7 (15m)

Malaysia Oust Title-Holders Egypt In New Zealand

Group pic after the big win!

Defending champions Egypt crashed out of the Women’s World Team Squash Championship after losing 2/1 to Malaysia in today’s quarter-finals of the biennial World Squash Federation event in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Raneem vs. Wee Wern.

Raneem El Weleily had given Egypt the perfect start, with a straight games win over Low Wee Wern. However, world number one Nicol David squared the ledger with an 11-9, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4 victory over Omneya Abdel Kawy.

World No21 Delia Arnold then completed the Malaysian fight back, with an epic 11-9, 3-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8 victory over Engy Kheirallah, the Egyptian third string ranked six places higher.

Malaysia will now play Australia in the semis after the second seeds edged to a 2/1 win over USA. The Aussies got off to a flyer with Kasey Brown beating Latasha Khan in straight games, but former world number one Natalie Grainger turned things around for the US in the second match, bouncing back from two games down to beat Rachael Grinham, the world No5, in five games.

It turned out to be merely a speed bump for Australia as Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the record five time world champion who celebrated her 42nd birthday 24 hours earlier, strolled to an 11-4, 11-1, 11-2 victory over Olivia Blatchford, the 17-year-old US fourth string, in the decider.

Meanwhile, the fairytale continues for home favourites New Zealand. The fifth seeded kiwis beat France 2/1 to set up a semi-final with top seeds England.

Once again, it was Commonwealth Games star Joelle King who gave the hosts a positive start. The world number 17 raced to a 3/0 win over Isabelle Stoehr, winning 11-9, 11-3, 11-4 in 27 minutes. However, her gold medal partner Jaclyn Hawkes couldn’t close out the tie, going down to Camille Serme, the tenth-ranked French top string, in straight games.

That left birthday girl Shelley Kitchen, who turned 31 today, to claim victory for New Zealand. The former world number six produced another superb performance to down Coline Aumard 11-5, 11-5, 11-4.

Kitchen says she had a few butterflies, but was confident her opponent would have had more. “I’ve definitely been in this situation many times before, being in the deciding match, whereas my opponent I think it’s probably one of the first times she’s been in that situation so I knew I had that on her.”

Kitchen says it is great to be through to the semi-finals, but England is going to be a stiff challenge. However, she says a New Zealand win is not out of the question, based on England’s surprise loss to Egypt in the final two years ago.

“The pressure’s on them and we just have to relax – and we’re going to have the home support as well.”

The New Zealand players wore black arm bands today, in recognition of the 29 miners who lost their lives at the Pike River Coal Mine. The crowd also observed the nationwide two minutes silence at 2 o’clock.

England vs. Ireland

England earned their place in the semis with a straightforward 3/0 win over IrelandLaura Massaro and Jenny Duncalf both won in straight games, with Tania Bailey securing the dead rubber against Zoe Barr 2/0. The Irish weren’t helped by the absence of their top player Madeline Perry, the world No6 who was sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Semi-finals line-up:
[1] ENGLAND v [5] NEW ZEALAND
[2] AUSTRALIA v [4] MALAYSIA

5th – 8th place play-offs:
[6] FRANCE v [7] IRELAND
[3] EGYPT v [9] USA

9th – 12th place play-offs:
[8] NETHERLANDS v [13] HONG KONG
[10] INDIA v [11] SOUTH AFRICA

13th – 16th place play-offs:
[14] MEXICO v [15] JAPAN
[12] CANADA v [16] AUSTRIA

Official website: www.womensworldsquash2010.co.nz

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