Marsh McLennan
Apawamis Open 2003

10-13 Jan 2002, New York, USA, $20k/$25k


In a sensational climax to the first international squash circuit event of the New Year, third-seeded Australian Natalie Grinham claimed the women's title and Canadian qualifier Shahir Razik took the men's trophy in the Marsh & McLennan Apawamis Open in Rye, USA.

Grinham, the Netherlands-based 24-year-old from Toowoomba in Queensland, won her maiden WISPA World Tour title in convincing style - first despatching the USA's top-seeded world No3 Natalie Pohrer in straight games in the semi-finals (a remarkable victory in just 20 minutes after overcoming an 8-0 lead by Pohrer in the first game!), then outgunning England's Rebecca Macree, the No2 seed, 9-0 9-5 5-9 9-1 in the emotionally-charged 55-minute final.

"Natalie played very solid squash and made few mistakes," said a spokesman for the Apawamis Club. "She put Rebecca under a lot of pressure with her volley drops."

Grinham was playing in only her third WISPA final, and the first for almost two years - while Macree, the world No9 from London, was celebrating her 21st final appearance.

The all-Canadian men's final produced an even more dramatic upset as qualifier Razik, the 25-year-old world No40 from Toronto, beat experienced fifth-seeded compatriot Graham Ryding, the Pan Am Games champion also from Toronto and ranked 18 places higher, 15-11 12-15 15-12 15-10 in 90 minutes.

Razik had earlier overcome fellow qualifier Davide Bianchetti in the semi-finals after showing his promise in the first round where he dismissed top-seeded Welshman Alex Gough. Razik's victory marks the fourth PSA Tour title of his career, and a memorable win over his Canadian rival to whom he has lost at least three times in recent National Championships.

Natalie Grinham

Shahier Razik

NATS the way to do it

Women's Apawamis Open 2003, $20k
1st Round Fri 10th Quarters Sat 11th Semis Sun 12th Final Mon 13th
[1] Natalie Pohrer (Usa)
9/1, 9/4, 9/3
[Q] Salma Shabana (Egy)
Natalie Pohrer
9/1, 9/3, 9/6
Vicky Botwright
Natalie Pohrer

10/8, 9/4, 9/1

Natalie Grinham

Natalie Grinham

9/0, 9/5, 5/9, 9/1

Rebecca Macree




[5] Vicky Botwright (Eng)
9/1, 9/7, 9/4
[LL] Meredith Quick (Usa)
[3] Natalie Grinham (Aus)
9/3, 9/3, 9/0
[Q] Rebecca Botwright (Eng)
Natalie Grinham
Madeline Perry
[7] Madeline Perry (Irl)
9/7, 9/2, 9/3
[Q] Heidi Mather (Aus)
[6] Ellen Petersen (Den)
9/1, 9/6, 9/6
Shabana Khan (Usa)
Ellen Petersen
9/6, 9/5, 9/3
Stephanie Brind
Stephanie Brind

9/2, 9/4, 9/0

Rebecca Macree

[4] Stephanie Brind (Eng)
9/2, 9/2, 9/2
[Q] Lara Petera (Nzl)
[8] Latasha Khan (Usa)
9/7, 10/8, 9/2
Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Jenny Duncalf
9/6, 9/3, 10/8
Rebecca Macree
[2] Rebecca Macree (Eng)
10/8, 2/9, 9/3, 9/0
Wendy Maitland (Sco)
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Men's Apawamis Open 2003  $25k
1st Round Fri 10th Quarters Sat 11th Semis Sun 12th Final Mon 13th
[1] Alex Gough (Wal)
9/15, 9/15, 15/2, 15/10, 15/12
[Q] Shahier Razik (Can)
Shahier Razik
15/12, 15/10, 5/15, 15/14
Stephen Meads
Shahier Razik

12/15, 15/8, 15/10, 15/7

Davide Bianchetti

Shahier Razik


15/11, 12/15, 15/12, 15/10

Graham Ryding




[7] Stephen Meads (Eng)
15/9, 15/12, 15/7
John Williams (Aus)
[3] Nick Taylor (Eng)
15/9, 15/4, 9/15, 15/8
[Q] Lee Drew (Eng)
Nick Taylor
15/9, 15/7, 15/8
Davide Bianchetti
[8] Stefan Casteleyn (Bel)
15/11, 15/12, 15/13
[Q] Davide Bianchetti (Ita)
Rodney Durbach (Rsa)
15/9, 15/10, 15/7
[5] Graham Ryding (Can)
Graham Ryding
15/12, 15/5, 15/12
Renan Lavigne
Graham Ryding

15/7, 14/15, 15/11, 15/8

Olli Tuominen

[Q] Mike Hopkins (Eng)
15/10, 15/11, 15/9
[4] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
Wael El Hindi (Egy)
14/15, 15/11, 15/6, 9/15, 15/13
[6] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
Gregory Gaultier
11/15, 15/9, 13/15, 15/6, 15/14
Olli Tuominen
Tommy Berden (Ned)
10/15, 10/15, 15/9, 15/12, 15/10
[2] Olli Tuominen (Fin)
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RESULTS & Reports


In a thrilling 90-minute men's final at the Apawamis Club in Rye, New York, qualifier Shahier Razik claimed the Marsh McLennan title, defeating fellow Canadian 15/11, 12/15, 15/12, 15/10.

In the women's final Australia's Natalie Grinham claimed her first WISPA title, playing near-faultless squash to beat Rebecca Macree 9/0, 9/5, 5/9, 9/1 in 55 minutes.


The men's final at the Apawamis club will be an all-Canadian affair, as Shahier Razik emerged victorious from the battle of the qualifiers against Davide Bianchetti, and Graham Ryding overcame second seed Olli Tuominen.

In the women's event Australia's Natalie Grinham produced an upset victory over top seed Natalie Pohrer, and will meet Rebecca Macree in the final after Macree won her all-English semi-final against Stephanie Brind.



Qualifiers Shahier Razik and Davide Bianchetti continued their impressive runs in the Apawamis Open in Rye, New York, and will meet for a place in the final. Razik followed up his first round dismissal of top seed Alex Gough with a 3/1 victory over Stephen Meads, while Bianchetti scored a 3/0 win over third seed Nick Taylor.

In the other semi-final Olli Tuominen, who fought back from two games down in the first round, just pipped Gregory Gaultier 5/14 in the fifth to set up a meeting with fifth seed Graham Ryding.

In the women's event the top four seeds all scored comfortable victories - especially third seed Natalie Grinham, who received a walkover after Madeline Perry hurt her back during morning practice.

Top seed Natalie Pohrer, going for her third successive WISPA title, saw off the challenge of Vicky Botwright.

"Natalie's playing really well at the minute," said Botwright, "holding the ball and hitting with pace. I was having trouble playing my game and was retrieving all the time. In the third game I got into it slightly and she also made some unforced errors. But it wasn't good enough on my part."

More on Vicky's site,

First Round  

The top seeds in the men's $25k event at the Apawamis club were both involved in five-game thrillers in the first round. Top seed Alex Gough cruised into a 2-0 lead over qualifier Shahier Razik, but the Canadian staged a comeback to win the next three and remove Wales' world number 17.

It was a similar story at the bottom half of the draw, but this time it was the seed coming from two games down to move into the quarter-finals. Dutchman Tommy Berden took a 2-0 lead over second seed Olli Tuominen, but couldn't hold on as the Finn fired back to take it in five.

Italy's Davide Bianchetti was another qualifier to make the quarters, beating Stefan Casteleyn in straight games.

In the women's event the only seed to fall was the USA's Latasha Khan, beaten by England's Jenny Duncalf.

Results provided by Tommy Berden

Women's Qualifying Finals:
Rebecca Botwright bt Eman El Amir  9/5, 9/3, 9/2
Heidi Mather bt Runa Reta  9/6, 9/3, 9/4
Salma Shabana bt Meredith Quick  9/7, 9/0, 9/3  
Lara Petera bt Laura Lengthorn  7/9, 9/6, 9/7, 9/4
(Quick is 'Lucky Loser', replacing Kate Allison in main draw)

Women's qualifying first round :
REBECCA BOTWRIGHT (ENG) bt DANA BETTS (CAN) (7)  9/1, 9/3, 9/1
RUNA RETA (CAN) bt MELISSA MARTIN (AUS) (3)  9/6, 2/9, 4/9, 9/3, 9/5
HEIDI MATHER (AUS) (5) bt JULIA BEAVER (USA) (local)  9/4, 9/0, 9/5
MEREDETH QUICK (USA) (8) bt LOUISE LEFEBVRE (CAN) bt  9/1, 10/9, 9/0
SALMA SHABANA (EGY) bt AMELIA PITTOCK (AUS) (4)  9/6, 9/0, 9/1
LAURA LENGTHORN (ENG) (6) bt LINE HANSEN (DEN)  9/5, 9/6, 6/9, 10/9
LARA PETERA (NZL) (2) bt LILY LORENTZEN (USA) (local)  9/1, 9/0, 9/2

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