Heliopolis Open 2003
28-May - 02 Jun, Cairo, Egypt, $20k

The Final:
[1] Carol Owens (Nzl) bt ([3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
     9/5, 9/5, 9/4  (44m)

Carol Owens
retained her Heliopolis Open title with a 3/0 victory over Rachael Grinham in the final of the ninth running of the event in Cairo.

In a repeat of last week's WISPA Grand Prix final, Owens, who controversially lost her world number one position at the weekend, reasserted her dominance over world number three Grinham, recording her seventh successive win over the Australian, based in Cairo, and maintaining her unbeaten run in 2003.

It wasn't easy going though, as a packed house was enthralled by a highly competitive match, with 'home' favourite Grinham receiving most of the support - much of it in Arabic.

The match was characterised by delicate and delightful touch shots from Grinham, matched by Owens' resilience.

"I knew after Qatar that I had no chance by rallying so I played to volley and attack," said Grinham. "I still need to get a bit more experience to win these matches".

The pace and the conditions told on Owens, who was blowing a little at the start of the second. "I haven't run so much for a long time," she said afterwards. "I was really twisted and turned out there". It was a real test for her having had relatively comfortable matches so far on the trip. "There was heaps of variety in there. That was really hard".

Despite her loss, Grinham was pleased with her performance. "I have got better and better through basing myself here in Heliopolis for the last two years. I felt like I was really making her work for it this time, and although I lost 3/0 I played really well."

Owens with the Heliopolis Trophy

Owens & Grinham in Qatar

Hurghada International

Heliopolis Open 2003
28-May - 02 Jun, Cairo, Egypt, $20k
1st Round
Fri 30th
Sat 31st
Sun 1st
Mon 2nd
[1] Carol Owens (Nzl)
9/5, 9/0, 9/1 (22m)
[Q] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Carol Owens
9/4, 9/1, 9/7  (48m)
Rebecca Macree
Carol Owens

9/1, 9/5, 9/4  (38m)

Cassie Jackman

Carol Owens


9/5, 9/5, 9/4  (44m)


Rachael Grinham

[5] Rebecca Macree (Eng)
9/7, 9/6, 9/4 (35m)
[Q] Salma Shabana (Egy)
[4] Cassie Jackman (Eng)
0/9, 9/4, 9/6, 9/2 (35m)
Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
Cassie Jackman
9/1, 9/1, 9/1  (22m)
Fiona Geaves
[6] Fiona Geaves (Eng)
7/9, 2/9, 9/2, 9/2, 9/3 (45m)
Madeline Perry (Irl)
[Q] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
9/4, 9/0, 9/4 (26m)
[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
9/2, 8/10, 9/2, 9/1  (39m)
Rachael Grinham
Rachael Grinham

9/2, 9/3, 10/8  (37m)

Linda Charman

[Q] Nicol David (Mas)
5/9, 10/8, 9/4, 2/9, 9/2 (67m)
[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Pamela Nimmo (Sco)
1/9, 3/9, 9/1, 9/4, 9/6 (44m)
[7] Stephanie Brind (Eng)
Stephanie Brind
9/1, 9/5, 9/0  (32m)
Linda Charman
Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
9/3, 9/4, 9/7 (47m)
[2] Linda Charman (Eng)


Qualifying Finals (Fri 29th):
Salma Shabana (Egy) bt Sharon Wee (Mas)  9/5, 9/3, 9/4  (28m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter v Laura Lengthorn (Eng)   9/10, 9/2, 9/7, 9/6  (57m)
Nicol David (Mas) bt Engy Kheirallah (Egy)  9/5, 1/9, 9/1, 9/0  (41m)
Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Carla Khan (Pak)
  9/1, 9/7, 9/2  (36m)

Qualifying first round (Thu 28th):
Sharon Wee (Mas) bt Sara Badr (Egy)   9/5, 9/4, 9/7  (24m)
Salma Shabana (Egy) bt Hend Osama (Egy)  9/0, 9/4, 9/7  (31m)
Laura Lengthorn (Eng) bt Maha Zein (Egy)  9/3, 5/9, 9/6, 10/8  (50m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng) bt Eman El Amir (Egy)  9/3, 9/0, 9/0  (30m)
Nicol David (Mas) bt Nehal Yehia (Egy)  9/1, 9/6, 9/6  (26m)
Engy Kheirallah (Egy) bt Amnah El Trabolsy (Egy)  (9/3, 9/1, 9/2  (22m)
Carla Khan (Pak) bt Raneem El Welily (Egy)  9/4, 5/9, 9/6, 9/2  (40m)
Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Soha Mohamed (Egy)
  9/0, 9/0, 9/0  (12m)


The final of the
$20,000 Heliopolis Open in Cairo will be a repeat of last week's WISPA Grand Prix final, after Carol Owens and Rachael Grinham both cruised to semi-final victory against English opposition

Here's where we went wrong ...Just days after overtaking Linda Charman for the number three position in the world rankings, and playing in her adopted home town of Cairo, Grinham scored a convincing 3/0 victory over Charman to progress to the final, where she will face Owens, the New Zealander who controversially lost her world number one position in the June rankings.

"Today was not only a good win for me to make the final, but also because it's the first time that I've beaten Linda," said a delighted Grinham after the match. "I have taken her to 5 games before but in the end was never fit enough to do it. But I've improved a lot in the past 18 months and was looking forward to another match with Linda to see how I could do against her now. I think she may have been a little nervous, and I had the crowd on my side, but I played really well."  More from Rachael

After six successive WISPA World Tour losses to Owens since the beginning of 2002, Rachael will be hoping that 'home crowd' support will lead to another breakthrough win in her 17th WISPA final.


The top four seeds will contest the semi-finals after comparatively straightforward quarter-final clashes with only third seed Rachael Grinham stretched beyond three games. 

The Cairo-based Australian was playing her regular training partner Omneya Abdel Kawy, the 17-year-old eighth seed from Cairo who will be favourite to lift the women's world junior title in her home country in August.

The teenager delighted her home supporters when she took the second game to level the match, but Grinham's greater experience ultimately proved decisive as the 26-year-old Queenslander swept to a 9-2 8-10 9-2 9-1 victory in 39 minutes.

"I played really well tonight," said Grinham. "I was really focused and disciplined in playing the right game to not let Omneya into the match too much. I didn't give away more than 2 points in the games that I won, and the game that I lost I was leading 7/0 before she came back and took it." More from Rachael

Grinham next faces England's No2 seed Linda Charman, who needed only 32 minutes to despatch seventh-seeded compatriot Stephanie Brind 9-1 9-5 9-0.

The other semi-final will feature New Zealand's top seed Carol Owens and England's fourth seed Cassie Jackman - who share five appearances in the Heliopolis final since 1996.  Owens, the defending champion, took 48 minutes - the longest match of the day - to overcome England's seventh seed Rebecca Macree 9-4 9-1 9-7, while Jackman, runner-up in 2001, cruised to a 9-1 9-1 9-1 win over sixth-seeded compatriot Fiona Geaves in just 22 minutes.

First Round:
Australia's third seed Rachael Grinham needed to call upon all her experience, coupled with the exploitation of 'hometown' advantage, to resist the challenge of Malaysian qualifier Nicol David in the opening round in Cairo.

Originally from Toowoomba in Queensland, Grinham has made great strides on the WISPA World Tour since moving to Cairo more than a year ago.  But the 26-year-old was taken the full distance by David, the 19-year-old twice world junior champion who is fighting back to form after a long layoff last year. 

It took 67 minutes for Grinham to claim her  victory and a place in the quarter-finals against local star Omneya Abdel Kawy, the eighth seed who despatched English qualifier Dominique Lloyd-Walter

"Close call tonight !!" said a relieved Grinham after the match. "The ball was so bouncy, which is hard enough to put away for starters, but it doesn't help when you're playing someone like Nicol who is one of the quickest movers AND just loves to run around and get everything back."  More from Rachael

New Zealand's top seed Carol Owens extended her unbeaten run this season with a win over English qualifier Jenny Duncalf in just 22 minutes.  Owens faces another English opponent Rebecca Macree in the quarter-finals after the fifth seed beat Egyptian qualifier Salma Shabana in 35 minutes.

England's Linda Charman, elevated to No2 seed on the withdrawal of USA's Natalie Pohrer who was struck down with flu after competing in last week's WISPA World Grand Prix Finals in Qatar, beat Hong Kong's Asian Games champion Rebecca Chiu.  Charman now faces seventh seed Stephanie Brind in one of two all-English quarter-finals after her compatriot bravely fought back from 2-0 down to conquer Scotland's Pamela Nimmo.

From Qatar to Cairo, the WISPA circuit moves on to the well-established Heliopolis Open. Carol Owens defends the title, but her opponent in the 2002 event final, Natalie Pohrer, has withdrawn through illness, with Linda Charman promoted to second seed.

Pohrer started developing a bad dose of flu as she was leaving Qatar, and she said that it was getting worse rather than better yesterday (Wed) so there was no way that she could play Heliopolis and would be unlikely to be fully recovered in time for Hurhgada, and so reluctantly withdrew from both.

Cairo-based Rachael Grinham, seeded three, sure to pose a real threat in her adopted home town, with Cassie Jackman, Rebecca Macree, Fiona Geaves and Stephanie Brind augmenting the English challenge.

Egyptian fans will be able to cheer on several home players in the qualifying competition, with Omneya Abdel Kawy set to meet a qualifier in the first round.

2002 Event

MI Bank Heliopolis Open, Cairo, Egypt, 24-27 Mar, $25k

[1] Carol Owens (NZL) bt Natalie Pohrer (ENG)  9/2, 9/1, 4/9, 9/5

Top seed Carol Owens finally ended the giant-killing run of Natalie Pohrer in the final, to claim the Heliopolis title after being runner-up in '97 and 2000.

Having beaten three higher-seeded English opponents to reach the final, Pohrer found the New Zealand world number two too strong on the day but will take great confidence from this tournament into next week's Hurghada International where she again faces English opposition.

Natalie Pohrer (ENG) bt [2] Cassie Campion (ENG)  8/10, 9/5, 9/3, 9/7
[1] Carol Owens (NZL) bt [6] Rachael Grinham (AUS)  9/6, 9/3, 9/5

[2] Cassie Campion (ENG) bt [5] Stephanie Brind (ENG)   9-3, 9-0, 10-8 (41m)
Natalie Pohrer (ENG) bt [4] Linda Charman-Smith (ENG)   9-2, 10-8, 9-6 (42m)
[6] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [3] Fiona Geaves (ENG) 8-10, 10-9, 4-9, 9-7, 10-9 (76m)
[Q] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)    9-5, 9-2, 9-1 (28m)

1st round:
[2] Cassie Campion (ENG) bt Vicky Botwright (ENG)   9-2, 9-2, 9-3 (33m)
[5] Stephanie Brind (ENG) bt [Q] Ellen Petersen (DEN)   9-2, 9-1, 9-0 (17m)
[4] Linda Charman-Smith (ENG) bt Eman El Amir (EGY) 9-0, 9-0, 9-0 (16m)
Natalie Pohrer (ENG) bt [8] Rebecca Macree (ENG)    9-4, 9-3, 9-1 (36m)
[6] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Tania Bailey (ENG) 9-1, 5-9, 1-9, 9-1, 9-6 (63m)
[3] Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt Shelley Kitchen (NZL) 9-3, 9-4, 9-5 (28m)
[Q] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [7] Suzanne Horner (ENG) 5-9, 9-7, 2-9, 9-7, 9-5 (45m)
[1] Carol Owens (NZL) bt [Q] Nicol David (MAS)  9-0, 9-1, 9-6 (24m)

Qualifying Finals:
Ellen Petersen (Den) bt Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)  9/3 9/3 9/5
Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) Madeline Perry (Irl)  9/7 9/7 9/6
Tania Bailey (Eng) Maha Zein (Egy)  9/1 9/0 9/0
Nicol David (Mas) Engy Kheirallah (Egy)  9/2 9/3 10/9

1st qualifying round
Ellen Petersen (Den) bt Ghada Essam (Egy)  9/1 9/3 9/0
Rebecca Chiu (Hkg) bt Farrah Sterne (Rsa)  7/9 9/6 9/1 9/1
Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt Christina Mak (Hkg)  9/1 9/3 9/2
Madeline Perry (Irl) bt Heba Maged (Egy)  9/1 9/1 9/4
Tania Bailey (Eng) bt Kate Allison (Eng)  9/1 9/2 9/1
Maha Zein (Egy) bt Karen Morrissey (Aus)  9/6 9/2 9/6
Nicol David (Mas) bt Hind Osama (Egy)  9/0 9/0 9/1
Engy Kheirallah (Egy) bt Nadeen Bahgat (Egy)  9/2 9/0 9/0

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