England's 21-year-old Emily Whitlock claimed the biggest
WSA World Tour squash title of her career when she upset
top-seeded Australian Rachael Grinham, the defending
champion, in the final of the Calgary CFO Consulting Services WSA
Women's Squash Week, the WSA Challenger 15 event at
Calgary Winter Club in Calgary, Canada.
Third seed Whitlock, ranked 27 in the world, made her breakthrough
in the semi-finals where she defeated Denmark's No.2 seed Line
Hansen for the first time.
The four-game win took Macclesfield-born Whitlock into the 16th Tour
final of her career - and her first meeting with the experienced
former world number one and world champion Grinham.
the other semi-final, 38-year-old world No.13 Grinham battled for
four games to overcome fellow countrywoman Donna Urquhart,
the fourth seed from New South Wales who last week celebrated her
first Tour win since making her comeback after foot surgery.
The domestic duel heralded Grinham's 70th appearance in a WSA Tour
final, since her first in March 1998!
Whitlock won the opening game in the final, but the title-holder
from Queensland regained the advantage to open up a 2/1 lead.
Defying the 14 ranking positions separating the pair, the
ever-improving Whitlock recovered to take the fourth, then surged
ahead to close out the match 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6 to claim
the highest-ranked scalp of her life!
"What ultimately got Emily the winning title was not only her
resilience to go for every winner that Rachael dished out, but to
then put them all away herself," said a spokesman for the event.
"Truly world class squash played by both!"
Whitlock was delighted to win the 11th WSA Tour title of her career:
"I got to Calgary 10 days before the
tournament started so I could prepare properly for the altitude -
and I felt that I improved as the tournament went on.
"The match against Rachael was extremely demanding mentally and
physically but I stuck to my game plan, gritted my teeth and chased
everything down! The first game gave me a lot of confidence that I
could compete with a player of Rachael's reputation, although at 2/1
down things didn't look great!
"But I just kept going and made a few adjustments which helped me in
the last two games."