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10/05/2007
HURGHADA OPEN - Egypt
 

Natalie faces Kawy in Final

TOURNAMENT:
Women's Hurghada Squash International, Cairo, Egypt

REPORTS:
QUALIFYING:
Nour El Tayeb Heads For Hurghada
FIRST ROUND:
Day 1: Omneya On Course In Hurghada
Day 2: Elise Battles To Hurghada Quarter-Final
s
QUARTER-FINALS:
Seeds Safely Through In Hurghada
SEMI-FINALS:
Fourth Final For Grinham & Kawy In Hurghada
FINAL
Grinham Regains Hurghada Title
 
DRAW FORMAT:
RESULTS:
1st round
Day 1:
[6] Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 9-4, 9-7, 9-5 (39m)
[4] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 9-2, 9-4, 9-3 (27m)
[7] Christina Mak (HKG) bt [Q] Amnah El Trabolsy (EGY) 9-7, 9-4, 6-9, 3-9, 9-6 (55m)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Georgina Stoker (ENG) 9-0, 9-1, 9-2 (19m)
Day 2:
[1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Salma Shabana (EGY) 9-7, 9-1, 9-3 (27m)
Lauren Siddall (ENG) bt [8] Joshna Chinappa (IND) 9-7, 9-2, 9-4 (29m)
[3] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt [Q] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 9-1, 9-2, 9-4 (24m)
Elise Ng (HKG) bt [5] Tricia Chuah (MAS) 5-9, 1-9, 9-5, 10-8, 9-1 (56m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Lauren Siddall (ENG) 9-2, 9-3, 9-3 (32m)
[3] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt [6] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 5-9, 9-5, 9-5, 9-7 (64m)
[4] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Elise Ng (HKG) 9-0, 9-1, 9-2 (21m)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [7] Christina Mak (HKG) 9-0, 9-2, 9-1 (22m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [3] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) 9-2, 9-7, 3-9, 9-2 (67m)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [4] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 9-7, 9-2, 9-3 (28m)

Final:
[1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 9-4, 9-6, 9-4 (44m)


QUALIFYING
Qualifying finals:
Salma Shabana (EGY) bt Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY) 10-8, 9-4, 9-0 (23m)
Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Farida El Dahab (EGY) 9-4, 9-6, 9-6 (27m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Sarah El Noumany (EGY) 3-9, 9-0, 9-2, 9-1 (29m)
Amnah El Trabolsy (EGY) bt Salma Nassar (EGY) 9-0, 9-1, 9-6 (23m)
 [top]  

REPORTS:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FINAL:
Grinham Reclaims Hurghada Crown

Australia's Rachael Grinham celebrated her fifth successive appearance on the final of the Hurghada Squash International by reclaiming the WISPA World Tour Silver event trophy from Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy on the all-glass court on The Plaza in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

A packed crowd cheered on the local favourite - and second seed Kawy established leads in all three games. But Grinham, the 30-year-old top seed from Queensland, each time pulled back the deficit - and went on to beat her 21-year-old opponent 9-4, 9-6, 9-4 in 44 minutes, thus avenging her defeat in last year's final.

"It was a real relief," said the new champion afterwards. "I was just happy to have played well and to have been really focused. If anything it was better than yesterday.

"Sometimes it has been a bit disappointing to come off court recently knowing I could have played a bit better but didn't.

"I wasn't confident coming into the event, but I played well against Engy (Kheirallah) and carried it forward tonight. The mental thing is very important when you are playing a top player," added Grinham.

The former world number one from Toowoomba, who is based in Cairo, now boasts 23 WISPA World Tour titles - and has extended her lead above Malaysian rival Nicol David as the current player with the most Tour titles.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 SEMI-FINALS:
Fourth Final For Grinham & Kawy In Hurghada


Australia's Rachael Grinham and Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy will contest the final of the Hurghada Squash International for the fourth successive year after contrasting semi-final wins in the WISPA World Tour Silver event staged on an all-glass court on The Plaza in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

Title-holder Kawy, the second seed from Cairo, needed only 28 minutes to despatch third-seeded compatriot Raneem El Weleily, the 18-year-old world junior champion from Alexandria, 9-7, 9-2, 9-3.

Winner of the title for the first time last year, Kawy is celebrating her 14th appearance in a WISPA World Tour final.

Top seed Grinham, whose bid for a hat-trick of titles was foiled by Kawy last year, was stretched to four games - and 67 minutes - by her Egyptian opponent Engy Kheirallah in the other semi-final.

Supported not only by the packed crowd, Kheirallah also had her fiancé Karim Darwish, the world No12, in her corner. The 25-year-old from Alexandria led 5-3 in the opening game, but Grinham recovered to win the match 9-2, 9-7, 3-9, 9-2.

Clearly relieved to get home in four games, the Cairo-based Queenslander commented afterwards: "I always have tough games with Engy these days. But today I felt comfortable on the court, it wasn't too hot and I was concentrating well."

After a rest day - while the Hurghada Plaza on which the all-glass court is erected will host a street music festival - Grinham will contest her 39th WISPA World Tour final, but her first this year.

 [top]  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

QUARTER-FINALS:
Seeds Safely Through In Hurghada
 
The top four seeds safely negotiated the quarter-finals of the Hurghada Squash International - leaving Australia's favourite Rachael Grinham as the sole 'foreigner' amongst three Egyptians contesting the semi-finals of the WISPA World Tour Silver event staged on all-glass court on The Plaza in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada. 
 
On course for a fifth successive appearance in the final of the established Tour event in Hurghada, Grinham beat England's unseeded Lauren Siddall 9-2, 9-3, 9-3. 
 
When asked about the chances of recapturing the title she lost to Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy last year, Grinham grinned enigmatically:  "It is still a long way away.  For now it is about dealing with the heat.  It breaks your concentration as you stop and think how hot it is," said the Queenslander who is based in Cairo.
 
The Australian world No3 will face third seed Engy Kheirallah, who ruined the 24th birthday celebrations of Sarah Kippax by beating the sixth seed from England 5-9, 9-5, 9-5, 9-7 in 64 minutes.
 
"I could have played a bit better but she played really well," said Kheirallah of her opponent.  "Her game has improved a lot.  I needed to be 100% focused, but got nervous in patches and lost concentration.  It was hot and not easy and I am really happy to have got away with it."
 
The birthday girl from Chester had been pleased with her performance despite losing:  "It is the best I have played on glass.  And the crowd were great.  They really got involved even though they were not for me!"
 
The other semi-final will see title-holder Omneya Abdel Kawy, the second seed, take on fourth seed Raneem El Weleily.  Both players despatched Hong Kong opponents, El Weleily beating Elise Ng 9-0, 9-1, 9-2 in just 21 minutes and Kawy needing a further minute to defeat No7 seed Christina Mak 9-0, 9-2, 9-1.
 
"Raneem and I have tough matches," said Kawy after hearing who she'll meet in the semis.  "She is so talented and fast and plays shots like me.  On a hot court there will be lots and lots of running!"
 [top]  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FIRST ROUND
Day 2:
Elise Battles To Hurghada Quarter-Finals

Hong Kong's unseeded Elise Ng caused one of two upsets on the second day of first round action in the Hurghada Squash International when she beat fifth-seeded Malaysian Tricia Chuah after recovering from a two-game deficit in the WISPA World Tour Silver event staged on all-glass court on The Plaza in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

Demonstrating the same form which took her to her maiden Tour title in the Hellendoorn Open last month in the Netherlands, Ng defeated Chuah 5-9, 1-9, 9-5, 10-8, 9-1 in 56 minutes.

England's unseeded Lauren Siddall also claimed a confidence-boosting win on the all-glass court when she upset No8 seed Joshna Chinappa, the Indian number one from Chennai ranked 15 places higher, 9-7, 9-2, 9-4 in 29 minutes.

Siddall, the 22-year-old Norwegian Open champion from Pontefract in Yorkshire, fought back from 2-7 down in the first game - and maintained her authority thereafter.

"She came out pretty quickly, but at 7/2 down I hit a couple of lucky shots that gave me confidence," said Siddall, candidly. "Actually, I like glass courts in general as they give me time and the chance to see the ball."

In her first appearance in a WISPA Silver quarter-final, Siddall will now face Australia's top seed Rachael Grinham, a two-times winner of the title and finalist for the past four years. Grinham, a Cairo resident for a number of years, despatched Egyptian qualifier Salma Shabana - a former world No20 and now mother of two young children - 9-7, 9-1, 9-3.

The packed crowd roared third-seeded Egyptian Engy Kheirallah on to a 9-1, 9-2, 9-4 victory over future Indian star Dipika Pallikal, a 15-year-old qualifier from Chennai who is currently based in Cairo under the tutelage of Egyptian Mohamed Hafiz.

"I was very nervous at the beginning, playing on the glass court, but the fun of everybody cheering for Engy let me enjoy it and I went for it," said the youngster after her Tour debut.
 [top]  

Day 1:
Omneya On Course In Hurghada

Defending champion Omneya Abdel Kawy took just 19 minutes to secure her place in the second round of the Hurghada Squash International when she beat England's Georgina Stoker in straight games on the opening day of action in the WISPA World Tour Silver event staged on all-glass court on The Plaza in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

It was well into the second game before Stoker claimed her first point, but the 21-year-old from Merseyside was unable to stop the second seed from Cairo, also 21, from romping to a 9-0, 9-1, 9-2 victory.

Nour El Tayeb, the 14-year-old Egyptian schoolgirl who was making her debut on an all-glass court after fighting through the qualifiers in Cairo, met her match in compatriot Raneem El Weleily - who won the first round encounter 9-2, 9-4, 9-3 in 27 minutes.

However, fourth seed El Weleily was full of praise for her younger opponent: "I was in Nour’s place four years ago and I wasn't as good as she is today. You need time to get used to the glass and the place, but she really took to it well," said the 18-year-old World Junior Champion from Alexandria.

Before leaving to head back to Cairo to face some school exams, El Tayeb maturely reported: "It was an enjoyable match and, although she was too good for me, I managed to fight and had some good points. It was a good experience for me,” she added.

The toughest clash of the day saw Hong Kong's No7 seed Christina Mak down Egyptian qualifier Amnah El Trabolsy 9-7, 9-4, 6-9, 3-9, 9-6 in 55 minutes.

El Trabolsy, in the final stages of an industrial engineering degree, is clearly better than the 88 WISPA ranking suggests. The large Hurghada crowd came to life from the outset as the 22-year-old from Alexandria went 7-0 up in the first game - but Mak soon settled in and overtook her opponent.

England's Sarah Kippax will celebrate her 24th birthday on Thursday with a quarter-final match. The sixth seed from Chester was too strong for Delia Arnold, beating the unseeded 21-year-old from Malaysia 9-4, 9-7, 9-5.
 [top]  

QUALIFYING
QUALIFICATION FINALS:
Nour El Tayeb Heads For Hurghada

A 14-year-old Egyptian schoolgirl is heading to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada to make her debut on the women's professional squash circuit after fighting through the qualifying finals of the Hurghada International at the Cairo Stadium in the Egyptian capital.

One of the latest talents to emerge from the Egyptian junior production line, Nour El Tayeb first beat England's Lauren Selby, then despatched compatriot Sarah El Noumany 3-9, 9-0, 9-2, 9-1 in the qualifying finals to earn her first appearance in the main draw of a WISPA World Tour event.

The teenager will now travel to Hurghada with fellow qualifiers Dipika Pallikal, a 15-year-old Cairo-based Indian from Chennai, and fellow Egyptians Salma Shabana and Amnah El Trabolsy.

El Tayeb, who won the British Junior U13 Open title in January 2005, faces compatriot Raneem El Weleily, the 18-year-old fourth seed from Alexandria.

Australia's former world number one Rachael Grinham is top seed in the established women's event which is played on an all-glass court set on The Plaza in Hurghada. Grinham, a finalist for the past four years, is expected to face Egypt's title-holder Omneya Abdel Kawy in the climax on Sunday.
 [top]  
DRAW
[1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [Q] Salma Shabana (EGY)
[8] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v Lauren Siddall (ENG)
[3] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) v [Q] Dipika Pallikal (IND)
[6] Sarah Kippax (ENG) v Delia Arnold (MAS)
[5] Tricia Chuah (MAS) v Elise Ng (HKG)
[4] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[7] Christina Mak (HKG) v [Q] Amnah El Trabolsy (EGY)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v Georgina Stoker (ENG)
 [top]