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: Qualifying Round Report

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

Qualifying rounds – Pool A:
[1] ENGLAND bt [9] USA 3/0
Laura Massaro bt Latasha Khan 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (21m)
Tania Bailey bt Amanda Sobhy 10-12, 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 (46m)
Jenny Duncalf bt Natalie Grainger 11-6, 11-5, 11-1 (24m)

Orla Noom bt Judith Gradnitzer 11-2, 11-1, 11-7 (18m)
Milou van der Heijden bt Sabrina Rehman 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 (25m)
Annelize Naude bt Birgit Coufal 11-4, 16-14, 12-10 (27m)

Pool B:
[2] AUSTRALIA bt [15] JAPAN 3/0
Sarah Fitz-Gerald bt Miwa Maekawa 11-3, 11-1, 11-6 (16m)
Donna Urquhart bt Yuki Sakai 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (22m)
Kasey Brown bt Misaki Kobayashi 11-1, 11-4, 11-5 (22m)

[7] IRELAND bt [10] INDIA 2/1
Aisling Blake lost to Joshna Chinappa 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 8-11 (42m)
Laura Mylotte bt Anaka Alankamony 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 (40m)
Madeline Perry bt Dipika Pallikal 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 (24m)

Pool C:
[3] EGYPT bt [11] SOUTH AFRICA 3/0
Raneem El Weleily bt Siyoli Waters 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (20m)
Engy Kheirallah bt Milnay Louw 11-2, 11-9, 11-4 (26m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Tenille Swartz 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 (23m)

[6] FRANCE bt [14] MEXICO 3/0
Isabelle Stoehr bt Graciela Lopez Perez 12-10, 11-6, 11-8 (25m)
Maud Duplomb bt Nayelly Hernandez 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 (44m)
Camille Serme bt Samantha Teran 11-5, 11-2, 11-8

Pool D:
[4] MALAYSIA bt [13] HONG KONG 3/0
Delia Arnold bt Elise Ng 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (23m)
Sharon Wee bt Carmen Lee 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 (23m)
Nicol David bt Liu Tsz-Ling 11-3, 11-3, 11-1 (18m)

[5] NEW ZEALAND bt [12] CANADA 3/0
Joelle King bt Alexandra Norman 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 (24m)
Shelley Kitchen bt Stephanie Edmison 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 (22m)
Jaclyn Hawkes bt Miranda Ranieri 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 (21m)

Irish Eyes Are Smiling In New Zealand, But Only Just …

The Irish Lasses

Ireland had a close call in today’s opening round of pool play at the Women’s World Team Squash Championship inPalmerston North, New Zealand.

The seventh seeds came back from the dead to beat tenth seed India 2/1 in the biennial World Squash Federation championship.

The Irish were on the back foot early, when second string Aisling Blake went down 11-9, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8 to Joshna Chinappa. Their top eight chances were then hanging by a thread as Laura Mylotte slipped 2/0 down to India’s Anaka Alankamony in the second match.

However, 35-year-old Mylotte refused to accept defeat, fighting back to claim a dramatic 6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 victory over her 16-year-old opponent – much to the relief of her teammates!

Madeline Perry then closed out victory for Ireland with a straightforward 11-5, 11-6, 11-6 victory over India’s number one Dipika Pallikal.

Meanwhile, Australia and Egypt have both made impressive starts to their campaigns.

The Aussies.

The second-seeded Aussies have beaten Japan 3/0, with the entire tie lasting an hour. More than eight years after making her last appearance in the championship, five times World Open champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald showed time has not dulled her silky skills, taking just 16 minutes to beat Miwa Maekawa 11-3, 11-1, 11-6.

Teammate Donna Urquhart quickly made it two nil to Australia with a straight games win over Yuki Sakai, and Kasey Brown repeated the dose against Misaki Kobayashi.

Egypt's best.

Likewise, Egypt did not drop a game in their opening tie against South Africa, with Raneem El Weleily and Engy Kheirallah notching up comfortable 3/0 wins, before Omneya Abdel Kawy edged home 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 against South African number one Tenille Swartz.

France were the other winners in the late matches, downing 14th seeds Mexico 3/0. The Mexicans put up a good fight in their first ever appearance at the world championship, but the sixth-seeded French squad was simply too good on the day.


USA proved a tough nut to crack for former champions England. The top seeds won the tie 3/0, but only after a magnificent fight back from England’s world number 28 Tania Bailey.

The 31-year-old English number three dropped the first two games against Amanda Sobhy, the 17-year-old world junior champion – but battled back to take the match 10-12, 7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-4. The win sealed the tie for England,  after Laura Massaro had earlier beaten Latasha Khan in straight games.

That took the pressure of world number two Jenny Duncalf, who comfortably downed US top string Natalie Grainger 11-6, 11-5, 11-1. It is Duncalf’s first win over Grainger on the international stage for more than five years.

The Dutch Team.

In the other Pool A clash, the Netherlands also kicked off their campaign with a 3/0 victory against bottom seeds AustriaOrla Noom and Milou van der Heijden had comfortable straight games wins, but Annelize Naude had to battle a bit harder to beat Birgit Coufal 11-4, 16-14, 12-10.

Meanwhile, Pool D went to plan for the seeds with Malaysia and hosts New Zealand making light work of their ties.

The home side beat Canada 3/0, with all three matches won in straight games.

The Kiwis.

Commonwealth Games star Joelle King got the ball rolling with an 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 victory over Alex Norman, whileShelley Kitchen – making her first appearance on the international stage since the birth of her daughter Amalia in February – downed Stephanie Edmison 11-3, 11-5, 11-7.

Kiwi number one Jaclyn Hawkes then won the dead rubber, beating Miranda Ranieri 11-4, 11-5, 11-5.

The fourth-seeded Malaysians crushed Hong Kong 3/0, with world number one Nicol David needing just 18 minutes to down Liu Tsz-Ling 11-3, 11-3, 11-1.

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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