Women's Monte Carlo Classic

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Women's Monte Carlo Classic,
Monte Carlo, Monaco

Semi Finals
Quarter Finals
Round 1

Sarah Kippax (England) Annelize Naude,
from the Netherlandss



Grinham Hits The Jackpot In Monte Carlo

After winning a record three gold medals in the in the Commonwealth Games in March, Natalie Grinham (right) rounded off the year in fine style by picking up the biggest WISPA World Tour title of her career at the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic.


The 28-year-old No2 seed from Australia beat defending champion Vanessa Atkinson, the top seed from the Netherlands , 9-2, 9-6, 9-2 in the final of the established $31,000 WISPA event in Monaco .


The event's top two seeds had reached the climax at the Stade Louis II in the Principality of Monaco in contrasting ways – favourite Atkinson conceding games in each round, with Grinham making it to the final with a 'clean sheet'.


And while Atkinson boasted a 5/2 advantage in head-to-heads over her opponent going into the final, the former world number one from The Hague had hit a poor run of form over the previous six months – failing to get past the quarter-finals in four events since winning the Tournament of Champions in March.


Meanwhile, only two weeks ago, Grinham had extended world number one Nicol David to five games in a dramatic 95-minutes World Open final in Belfast .


Grinham seemed in control as she took the first game and raced to a 7-1 lead in the second.  However, the title-holder fought back to within a point of her opponent – but after the Australian retrieved the service, she quickly closed out the game. 


Grinham's domination continued in the third and, after 33 minutes and at her third match-ball attempt, celebrated her best-ever WISPA victory.


After receiving her trophy, along with a beautiful bracelet offered by jewellers Fred of Paris, Grinham explained what needed no explanation: 


"I’ve had a really good week,” said the Netherlands-based Queenslander who is now looking forward to a short break in her native Australia .


"I have been working with fitness coach Alistair McCaw and squash coach Lucas Buit, and combining their training has been really beneficial.  I am happy with my training and it is showing in my squash," added Grinham.


Atkinson had nothing but admiration for her opponent:  "She was just too good.  She is playing very well, the court suited her and all in all it wasn’t going to happen for me.  But I was staying in there and competing, so it was okay from that standpoint."

Semi Finals

Top Seeds Through To Monte Carlo Final

Defending champion Vanessa Atkinson, the top seed from the Netherlands , takes on second-seeded Australian Natalie Grinham in the final of the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic after contrasting semi-final victories in the established $31,000 WISPA World Tour event in Monaco .


In a 'topsy turvy' encounter with England's Alison Waters – voted WISPA's "Most Improved Player" for the past two years – Atkinson needed 41 minutes to prevail against an opponent who had won their two previous encounters, in the two recent British Opens


The Dutch star, the former world No1 who has failed to achieve her seeding in four WISPA events since winning the Tournament of Champions in March, twice had to come from behind before finally overcoming fifth seed Waters 2-9, 9-4, 0-9, 9-2, 9-0.

"I assumed it would be hard as she is a player I have trouble with," conceded the 30-year-old from The Hague , now in her 33rd Tour final. "The lively court would suit her too as she hits hard and low.


"I like to move my opponents around but with the ball sitting up it was more like feeding so I had to try to be more patient!”


Atkinson, bidding to become the first player to retain the Monte Carlo title since Australia 's Sarah Fitz-Gerald after the inaugural event in 1996, now meets Natalie Grinham – the in-form Queenslander who reached the final of the World Open in Belfast last month.


Grinham confirmed her place in the final after her third successive straight games win in the championship – beating unseeded Welsh champion Tegwen Malik 9-0, 9-3, 9-5 in 34 minutes.


The Netherlands-based 28-year-old has met Atkinson six times before on the WISPA Tour – but only beaten her twice, both times in Holland ! But Grinham feels she is playing better than she was in March, when she won a record three gold medals in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne!


"I just hope that tomorrow I can play as well as I have in the last few days. I haven't played Vanessa in a WISPA event in ages," said the Australian on the eve of her 17th

Tour final.


Quarter Finals

Waters Waltzes Into Monte Carlo Semis

England's Alison Waters – voted the WISPA World Tour's "Most Improved Player" for the past two years – notched up a notable scalp in the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic when she beat Ireland 's third seed Madeline Perry to claim an unexpected place in the semi-finals of the established $31,000 Tour event in Monaco .


The 22-year-old Londoner fought back from a game down to beat Perry, the world No6 from Banbridge, near Belfast , 4-9, 10-8, 9-1, 9-6 in 59 minutes – the longest quarter-final clash of the day.


"I knew that it wasn't over when I won the third and I knew that the fourth could have gone either way," conceded Waters afterwards. "At six-all, I just managed to get in front of her a couple of times."


The young England international now has to get past top seed Vanessa Atkinson if she is to finish her year in a WISPA Tour final. Atkinson, the top seed who is eager to make up for a disappointing recent few months, overcame Egypt's sixth seed Engy Kheirallah 9-6, 9-1, 8-10, 9-2 in 49 minutes.


Kheirallah, almost back to her best after suffering with a neck injury in last month's World Open in Belfast , was unable to capitalise on saving a match-ball in the third game which ultimately forced the match into a fourth.


"I haven't played Vanessa for ages and maybe only twice before. It is hard when you don't quite know what is coming," said the sixth seed from Alexandria who celebrated her 25th birthday in Monte Carlo.


"First I was rushing as I thought I needed to move her around, but on the bouncy court it was not a good strategy. Then after I won the third I was thinking too much that she looked tired - but she wasn't!"


The other semi-final will feature unseeded Welsh player Tegwen Malik and Australia 's second seed Natalie Grinham, runner-up in the World Open at the Ulster Hall.

Malik, who upset England's fourth seed Jenny Duncalf to reach the last eight, beat English qualifier Sarah Kippax 9-0, 9-3, 9-2, while Grinham, the world No4 from Queensland, removed France's eighth seed Isabelle Stoehr in a 9-2, 9-3, 9-1 scoreline.

"I am just enjoying my squash at the moment. I am playing well and I'm fit," said Grinham, winner of a record three gold medals in March's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne .


Round 1
Kippax & Malik On A Roll In Monte Carlo

Britons Sarah Kippax and Tegwen Malik caused significant upsets on the opening day of main draw action in the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic – and will now play-off for a place in the semi-finals of the established $31,000 WISPA World Tour event in Monaco.


Kippax, a qualifier from Cheshire in England, defeated seventh seed Annelize Naude, from the Netherlands, 10-9, 2-9, 9-5, 9-0 in 46 minutes. It was the third successive first round exit in WISPA events for the 29-year-old world No16 from Amsterdam.


Malik, the Welsh champion from Swansea, also capitalised on the current frailty of a world top 20 player: Jenny Duncalf, the fourth seed from England, arrived in Monte Carlo having failed to achieve her seeding in the previous four WISPA events.


Malik became the fifth successive lower-ranked player to get the better of the world No9 from Harrogate, winning 9-3, 9-3, 9-0 in just 27 minutes.


"I know Jenny can do so much better and, while it is a bad patch that she is in now, she is too good not to come through again,” said Malik afterwards.


There was a happier outcome for favourite Vanessa Atkinson, the defending champion from the Netherlands who has also experienced disappointing form since winning the Tournament of Champions title in March.


In a repeat of their first round match in last month's World Open in Belfast, the top seed battled for 47 minutes to subdue England's Dominique Lloyd-Walter 9-6, 3-9, 9-2, 9-2.


"I learned from the match we played in Belfast and, though I didn’t win, I had a game plan and was pleased to be hitting at the right pace,” said Lloyd-Walter later.


Mixed Fortunes For World Open Heroines In Monte Carlo

Samantha Teran and Nicolette Fernandes, two emerging WISPA World Tour talents from the Americas, suffered mixed fortunes in the highly-competitive qualifying finals for the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic in Monaco.


Both players – Teran from Mexico, and Fernandes the first and only squash player ever to come out of Guyana – shocked the squash world last month by reaching the last sixteen of the World Open Championship in Belfast for the first time, as qualifiers!

Bidding for a place in the first round of the established $31,000 WISPA event in its 11th year, Samantha Teran upset England's higher-ranked Rebecca Botwright 4-9, 9-3, 9-7, 9-0 in 53 minutes. The 25-year-old from Mexico City has been drawn to meet Australia's second seed Natalie Grinham, the runner-up in Belfast, in the first round.


"Before I came on this trip, my goal was to qualify for the World Open and at Monte Carlo so I am pleased," said Teran. "It has been the first time I have been so far from home for so long."


Fernandes twice led against Manuela Manetta, but it was the Italian who ultimately prevailed 6-9, 9-1, 6-9, 10-9, 9-4 in this 95-minute marathon.


At 9-8 in the fourth game, Fernandes served for the match - but the Italian saved with a great length before going on to level the match with a short forehand volley drop that rolled.


"Manuela played really well and she forced me onto the defensive," said the 23-year-old who is now based in Harrogate in England. "I could only win a couple of rallies at a time, not a flow of points. At key stages of the game I made silly errors and it is really disappointing to end the year on a low note. But that’s a career in squash for you!”

Manetta moves on to face France's No8 seed Isabelle Stoehr, while fellow qualifiers Runa Reta (Canada) and Sarah Kippax (England) line up against Ireland's No3 seed Madeline Perry and seventh seed Annelize Naude, from the Netherlands, respectively.

Vanessa Atkinson is seeded to retain the title she won for the first time last year.


The 30-year-old former world number one from The Hague will be looking to make up for disappointments in four successive WISPA World Tour events since winning the Tournament of Champions in March. Atkinson faces England's Dominique Lloyd-Walter in the opening round – a repeat of their first round clash in Belfast – and is expected to meet Natalie Grinham in the final.

Hansen – Siddall
Before Their Match

French Foursome
L to R Soraya Renai, Camille Serme, Charlotte Delsinne, Celia Allamargot

Monte Carlo Classic 2006
Stade Louis II, Monaco,
06-09 Dec
Round One
06 Dec
07 Dec
08 Dec
09 Dec
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
9/6, 3/9, 9/2, 9/2 (47m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
Vanessa Atkinson
9-6, 9-1, 8-10, 9-2 (49m)
Lauren Briggs
Vanessa Atkinson
2-9, 9-4, 0-9, 9-2, 9-0 (41m)
Alison Waters

Vanessa Atkinson
9/2, 9/6, 9/2 (33m)
Natalie Grinham

[6] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
9/1, 9/7, 9/4 (40m)
Lauren Briggs (Eng)
[3] Madeline Perry (Irl)
9/6, 9/0, 9/0 (26m)
[Q] Runa Reta (Can)
Madeline Perry
4-9, 10-8, 9-1, 9-6 (59m)
Alison Waters
[5] Alison Waters (Eng)
7/9, 9/3, 9/2, 9/0 (43m)
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
[Q] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
10/9, 2/9, 9/5, 9/0 (46m)
[7] Annelize Naude (Ned)
Sarah Kippax
9-0, 9-3, 9-2 (30m)
Tegwen Malik
Tegwen Malik
9-0, 9-3, 9-5 (34m)
Natalie Grinham
Tegwen Malik (Wal)
9/3, 9/3, 9/0 (27m)
[4] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
[Q] Manuela Manetta (Ita)
9/7, 9/4, 9/7
[8] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
Isabelle Stoehr
9-2, 9-3, 9-1 (34m)
Natalie Grinham
[Q] Samantha Teran (Mex)
9/1, 9/0, 9/2 (21m)
[2] Natalie Grinham (Aus)

[8] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) v Qualifier
[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) v Qualifier

Qualifying finals:
Runa Reta (CAN) v Line Hansen (DEN)
Sarah Kippax (ENG) v Camille Serme (FRA)
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) v Manuela Manetta (ITA)
Rebecca Botwright (ENG) v Samantha Teran (MEX)

1st qualifying round:
Runa Reta (CAN) bt Wilma Kirsten (ITA) 9-0, 9-1, 9-4 (16m)
Line Hansen (DEN) bt Lauren Siddall (ENG) 9-3, 10-9, 1-9, 9-2 (49m)
Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Celia Allamargot (FRA) 9-3, 9-3, 9-6 (25m)
Camille Serme (FRA) bt Charlotte Delsinne (FRA) 9-0, 9-3, 9-3 (27m)
Manuela Manetta (ITA) bt Elise Ng (HKG) 9-5, 9-2, 9-5 (41m)
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt Daniela Schumann (GER) 9-1, 9-1, 9-5 (24m)
Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Soraya Renai (FRA) 9-3, 9-3, 9-2 (22m)
Rebecca Botwright (ENG) bt Violaine del Ponte (MON) 9-3, 9-3, 9-0 (16m)

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