Women's Monte Carlo Classic,
Monte Carlo, Monaco
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.
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:
"Ive 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 wasnt going to happen
for me. But I was staying in there and competing, so it was okay from
Top Seeds Through To
Monte Carlo Final
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
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.
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
Waters Waltzes Into
Monte Carlo Semis
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
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
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 .
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
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 didnt win, I had a game plan
and was pleased to be hitting at the right pace, said Lloyd-Walter
Mixed Fortunes For
World Open Heroines In Monte Carlo
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
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!
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.
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."
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.
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 thats a career in squash for you!
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.
seeded to retain the title she won for the first time last year.
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.
Before Their Match
L to R Soraya Renai, Camille Serme, Charlotte Delsinne, Celia Allamargot
Carlo Classic 2006
Stade Louis II, Monaco,
 Vanessa Atkinson
9/6, 3/9, 9/2, 9/2 (47m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
9-6, 9-1, 8-10, 9-2
9-4, 0-9, 9-2, 9-0 (41m)
9/2, 9/6, 9/2 (33m)
 Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
9/1, 9/7, 9/4 (40m)
Lauren Briggs (Eng)
 Madeline Perry (Irl)
9/6, 9/0, 9/0 (26m)
[Q] Runa Reta (Can)
4-9, 10-8, 9-1, 9-6
 Alison Waters
7/9, 9/3, 9/2, 9/0 (43m)
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
[Q] Sarah Kippax
10/9, 2/9, 9/5, 9/0 (46m)
 Annelize Naude (Ned)
9-0, 9-3, 9-2 (30m)
9-3, 9-5 (34m)
Tegwen Malik (Wal)
9/3, 9/3, 9/0 (27m)
 Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
[Q] Manuela Manetta (Ita)
9/7, 9/4, 9/7
 Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
9-2, 9-3, 9-1 (34m)
[Q] Samantha Teran
9/1, 9/0, 9/2 (21m)
 Natalie Grinham (Aus)
 Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) v Qualifier
 Natalie Grinham (AUS) v Qualifier
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)