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 Teams: Final Qualifying Round Report

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

Final qualifying round – Pool A:
[1] ENGLAND bt [16] AUSTRIA 3/0
Laura Massaro bt Sandra Polak 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 (18m)
Sarah Kippax bt Sabrina Rehman 11-2, 11-4, 11-2 (16m)
Jenny Duncalf bt Birgit Coufal 11-6, 11-2, 11-1 (17m)

[9] USA bt [8] NETHERLANDS 2/1
Latasha Khan bt Annelize Naude 15-13, 11-7, 11-7 (47m)
Amanda Sobhy bt Orla Noom 6-11, 11-1, 11-5, 12-10 (34m)
Natalie Grainger lost to Vanessa Atkinson 10-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 10-12 (30m)
Final positions: 1 England, 2 USA, 3 Netherlands, 4 Austria

Pool B:
[2] AUSTRALIA bt [7] IRELAND 3/0
Sarah Fitz-Gerald bt Laura Mylotte 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (19m)
Donna Urquhart bt Zoe Barr 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 (24m)
Rachael Grinham bt Aisling Blake 11-6, 11-2, 11-6 (24m)

[10] INDIA bt [15] JAPAN 3/0
Joshna Chinappa bt Miwa Maekawa 11-3, 11-3 ret. (12m)
Anaka Alankamony bt Yuki Sakai 15-13, 11-13, 11-6, 11-5 (37m)
Dipika Pallikal bt Misaki Kobayashi 11-3, 3-11, 11-8, 11-8 (29m)
Final positions: 1 Australia, 2 Ireland, 3 India, 4 Japan

Pool C:
[3] EGYPT bt [14] MEXICO 3/0
Engy Kheirallah bt Nayelly Hernandez 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (20m)
Nour El Tayeb bt Imelda Salazar Martinez 11-9, 11-5, 11-3 (24m)
Raneem El Weleily bt Graciela Lopez Perez 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (15m)

[6] FRANCE bt [11] SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
Isabelle Stoehr bt Siyoli Waters 10-12, 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 (34m)
Maud Duplomb bt Milnay Louw 8-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10 (48m)
Camille Serme bt Tenille Swartz 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (23m)
Final positions: 1 Egypt, 2 France, 3 South Africa, 4 Mexico

Pool D:
Joelle King bt Low Wee Wern 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9 (56m)
Shelley Kitchen bt Delia Arnold 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)
Jaclyn Hawkes lost to Nicol David 3-11, 5-11, 5-11 (27m)

[13] HONG KONG bt [12] CANADA 2/1
Elise Ng bt Alexandra Norman 5-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6 (43m)
Carmen Lee bt Samantha Cornett 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 14-12 (40m)
Liu Tsz-Ling lost to Miranda Ranieri 8-11, 8-11, 6-11 (27m)
Final positions: 1 New Zealand, 2 Malaysia, 3 Hong Kong, 4 Canada

New Zealand Overcome Malaysians In World Championship Upset

Hosts New Zealand pulled off their third successive win in the pool stages of the Women’s World Team Squash Championship by upsetting Malaysia to finish in top place in Pool D of the biennial World Squash Federation event in Palmerston North.

The fifth-seeded Kiwis beat fourth seeds Malaysia 2/1 – a crucial win which ensures that the home team have avoided playing one of the top three seeds in the quarter-finals.

Joelle against Wee Wern.

Commonwealth Games star Joelle King was first on court, taking on Malaysia’s world number 16 Low Wee Wern. The pressure was on the 22-year-old New Zealander to win the opening match, with world number one Nicol David expected to beat Kiwi top string Jaclyn Hawkes in the final match of the tie. King duly delivered, edging home 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9.

The onus then fell on Shelley Kitchen to seal the tie with a victory over world number 21 Delia Arnold. Kitchen, who turns 31 tomorrow – and is competing in her first international event since the birth of her daughter Amalia in February – started the celebrations early with a stunning 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 victory.

David then completed the expected victory over Hawkes, winning 11-3, 11-5, 11-5.

The later quarter-final draw saw the victorious hosts lined up against France, runners-up in Pool C. The sixth seeds secured their spot in the quarter-finals after a thrilling victory over South Africa.

A monumental third string match between Maud Duplomb and Milnay Louw was the highlight of the tie, with Duplomb twice fighting back from the death to claim victory. The French 25-year-old clawed her way back from two games down to level the scores at two-all, and then recovered from 10-7 down in the fifth to win 12-10.

Australian Sarah Fitz-Gerald celebrated her birthday in style, leading the second seeds through to the quarter-finals with a 3/0 win over Ireland. The five times world champion turns 42 today, but age proved no barrier as she crushed Ireland’s Zoe Barr 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 in the final round of pool play.

It was the first of three comfortable wins for Australia, with team-mates Donna Urquhart and Rachael Grinham also winning in straight games.

Australia line up against surprise opponents USA in the quarter-finals. The ninth seeds grabbed a spot in the last eight with a surprise 2/1 win over the Netherlands, the No8 seeds. Latasha Khan and Amanda Sobhy – aged 37 and 17, respectively – picked up the all-important wins for the outsiders, while Vanessa Atkinson picked up a consolation victory for the Netherlands with a thrilling five game victory over Natalie Grainger.

Top seeds England coasted into the last eight with a 3/0 win over Austria – Laura MassaroSarah Kippax and Jenny Duncalf winning their matches in less than an hour of playing time.

The favourites face seventh seeds Ireland in the quarter-finals – with the winners taking on either New Zealand or France for a place in the final.

Defending champion Egypt made short work of Mexico. The third seeds warmed up for the quarter-finals with a 3/0 demolition of the Central Americans. Raneem El Weleily completed the fastest victory of the tournament to date, beating Graciela Lopez Perez in just 15 minutes.

However, it was a bad day for Japan, who lost 3/0 to India. The 15th seeds could also be a player down for their remaining ties, with Miwa Maekawa retiring with a hip injury midway through her match against Joshna Chinappa. Japan is the only team without a reserve.

There will be live streaming from the quarter-finals – via the link on the WSF site www.worldsquash.org

Quarter-final line-up:

9th – 16th place play-offs:
[13] HONG KONG v [14] MEXICO
[10] INDIA v [16] AUSTRIA

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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