Women's World Grand Prix Finals 1999
Hurghada, Egypt, 15~19 April

Preview | Group Matches | Finals | Results | Reports


Semi-Finals - Sun 18th Final - Mon 19th Winner
Carol Owens Carol Owens
9/6 6/9 3/9 10/8 9/7
Michelle Martin
9/4 9/7 2/9 9/4
Natalie Grainger
Cassie Jackman Michelle Martin
9/5 9/3 10/9
Michelle Martin


Pool A
Seed Player MM SH LJ CO Psn
1 Michelle Martin (Aus)   3-1 3-0 1-3 2nd
4 Suzanne Horner (Eng) 1-3   1-3 0-3 4th
5 Leilani Joyce (Nzl) 0-3 3-1   0-3 3rd
8 Carol Owens (Aus) 3-1 3-0 3-0   1st


Pool B
Seed Player SF CJ NG SS Psn
2 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Aus)   scr scr 3-0 3rd
3 Cassie Jackman (Eng) w/o   3-1 3-0 1st
6 Natalie Grainger (Rsa) w/o 1-3   3-0 2nd
7 Sabine Schoene (Ger) 0-3 0-3 0-3   4th


1st Qualifying round:
Pool A:
[1] Michelle Martin (AUS) bt [4] Suzanne Horner (ENG) 6/9 10/8 9/3 9/4
[8] Carol Owens (AUS) bt [5] Leilani Joyce (NZL) 9/1 9/2 9/1

Pool B:
[2] Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS) bt [7] Sabine Schoene (GER) 9/3 9/3 9/4
[3] Cassie Jackman (ENG) bt [6] Natalie Grainger (RSA) 5/9 9/4 9/4 9/6

2nd Qualifying round:
Pool A:
[1] Michelle Martin (AUS) bt [5] Leilani Joyce (NZL) 9/2 9/5 9/3
[8] Carol Owens (AUS) bt [4] Suzanne Horner (ENG) 9/0 10/8 9/1

Pool B:
[6] Natalie Grainger (RSA) bt [2] Sarah Fitz-Geral-d (AUS) w/o
[3] Cassie Jackman (ENG) bt [7] Sabine Schoene (GER) 9/4 9/5 9/3

Final (3rd) qualifying round:
Pool A:
[8] Carol Owens (AUS) bt [1] Michelle Martin (AUS) 9/3 8/10 9/4 9/6
[5] Leilani Joyce (NZL) bt [4] Suzanne Horner (ENG) 9/6 7/9 9/1 9/5

Pool B:
[6] Natalie Grainger (RSA) bt [7] Sabine Schoene (GER) 10/9 9/5 9/0
[3] Cassie Jackman (ENG) bt [2] Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS) scr.

[8] Carol Owens (AUS) bt [6] Natalie Grainger (RSA) 9/6 6/9 3/9 10/8 9/7
[1] Michelle Martin (AUS) bt [3] Cassie Jackman (ENG) 9/5 9/3 10/9

[1] Michelle Martin (AUS) bt [8] Carol Owens (AUS) 9/4 9/7 2/9 9/4

3rd place play-off:
[3] Cassie Jackman (ENG) bt [6] Natalie Grainger (RSA) 9/3 9/2 9/6


Avenging her earlier loss in the Pool rounds, Australia's world No1 Michelle Martin defeated compatriot Carol Owens 9/4 9/7 2/9 9/4 in the 48-minute final of the $41,000 WISPA World Grand Prix Finals in Hurghada, Egypt. The Sydney star's successful defence of her title - just ten days away from her 32nd birthday - marks her 50th professional title on the WISPA World Tour.

Martin was in a determined mood as she took the opening game 9/4.  Owens, the 27-year-old world No9 from Melbourne, was equal to the task, however - and led 4/0 and 7/4 in the second, before Martin clinched it 9/7 to take a 2-0 lead.  An error-strewn Martin game followed as Owens raced 7/1 ahead, then closed the game at 9/2. Martin then tightened up her game in the fourth, re-establishing her authority to take the game 9/4 and seal her epic victory.

Owens said afterwards:  "It was the best I played against Michelle in Hurghada."  The champion responded:  "Carol played very well - I just want to cry!"

In the play-off for third place, England's 26-year-old world No4 Cassie Jackman  beat South Africa's Natalie Grainger 9/3 9/2 9/6 in 29 minutes.

Australia's Carol Owens came back from 2-1 down, and saved eight match balls in the fifth game, to beat South Africa's Natalie Grainger 9/6 6/9 3/9 10/8 9/7 in a thrilling 61-minute semi-final. Neither player was expected to reach the last four, and both were playing in the final stages of the WISPA World Tour's Grand Prix climax for the first time. Owensmade the semi-finals after coming through the pool matches unbeaten, while Grainger survived after the withdrawal through injury of world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald. Despite having her first match ball at 8/2 in the fifth she was unable to pursue her advantage over the more experienced Owens.

In an all-Australian final, and a repeat of their 3rd qualifying match in Pool A, Owens meets defending champion Michelle Martin in the Hurghada climax. The world No1 ended the unbeaten run of England's Cassie Jackman, saving two game balls to overcome the Pool B
winner in 48 minutes.

Day 3
Australia's eighth seed Carol Owens upset compatriot and defending champion Michelle Martin in 32 minutes in the final qualifying round to finish unbeaten and in top position in Pool A. Owens now faces Pool B runner-up  Natalie Grainger in the semi-finals. The sixth-seeded South African, in her World Grand Prix Finals debut, beat Germany's 7th seed Sabine Schoene in 24 minutes in the only match in Pool B. 

In the previous round, Australia's world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald had limped off the court during the warm-up of her match against Grainger, after aggravating a knee injury. Fitz-Gerald's disappointing exit from the Grand Prix climax left Schoene and Grainger to fight for the runner-up position behind Pool B winner Cassie Jackman, who meets Michelle Martin in the other semi-final.

Day 1
Australian players made a powerful start in the opening Pool matches with Carol Owens creating the only significant upset of the day when she beat Leilani Joyce to four points in Pool A. In the other Pool A match,  Michelle Martin was severely tested by Suzanne Horner and had to fight back from a game down. In Pool B  Sarah Fitz-Gerald confidently overcame Sabine Schoene,  while Cassie Jackman dropped the opening game against Natalie Grainger but fought back to beat the South African who was making her Grand Prix finals debut.


Top women compete in Grand Prix Finals in Egypt
The world's leading women players will compete in the second WISPA World Grand Prix Finals in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in Egypt beginning on Thu 15 April and reaching its climax on Mon 19th April.

England's world No3 Sue Wright has been forced to withdraw from the $41,000 event as a result of a virus infection. She will be replaced in the field by Germany's world No8 Sabine Schoene, a semi-finalist in last week's first Grand Prix event of the new year, the Citroen Classic in her hometown of Parsdorf.

Australia's world No1 Michelle Martin, defending champion and top seed in Hurghada, will record her 50th WISPA World Tour title if she retains her World Grand Prix crown. 
The Grand Prix Finals is contested by the eight players who have accumulated the most points in the ten leading WISPA World Tour events of 1998. Alongside Martin (winner of seven 1998 Grand Prix events) and Schoene in the 1999 field are world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald and fellow Australian Carol Owens; England's Cassie Jackman and Suzanne Horner; New Zealand's Leilani Joyce; and Natalie Grainger from South Africa.

The 1998 Grand Prix events were the British Open, Al-Ahram International (Egypt), Heliopolis Open (Egypt), Phil Smart Mercedes Open (Seattle), Singapore Open, Citroen Classic (Germany), World Open (Germany), Carol Weymuller Open (New York), Philadelphia Open and US Open.

The players will play in two pools.
Pool A: [1] Michelle Martin, [4] Suzanne Horner, [5] Leilani Joyce, [8] Carol Owens. 
Pool B: [2] Sarah Fitz-Gerald, [3] Cassie Jackman, [6] Natalie Grainger, [7] Sabine Schoene.

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