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Nicol David Masters Singapore In Latest Triumph

CIMB Singapore Women's Squash Masters 2007

Kallang Squash Centre, Singapore




Semi Finals

Quarter Finals

1st Round



Round by Round Results


Nicol David Masters Singapore In Latest Triumph


Nicol David showed fans in Singapore just why she is the world squash number one with a fine display that was full of running and crafty shot-making, outlasting her closest rival Natalie Grinham 9-6, 9-5, 9-5 in 54 minutes in today's (Saturday) final to win the inaugural Women’s CIMB Singapore Masters at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore.


The straight games scoreline belied a battle of attrition where both players were not only matching physical strengths but mental agility. Natalie was no slouch, make no mistakes about that, but Nicol’s superior fitness and agility gave her the edge she needed to win the tournament.


It was all business for the two players from the word go. Natalie drew first blood, then went 3-0 up in the first game before Nicol got on the board. When Nicol tied the score at 3-3, Natalie changed the rhythm of the game by lofting the ball and slowing the game down. Evidently, she too believes that Nicol is at her best when playing fast and attacking. For a while, that tactic worked as Natalie took two points to lead 6-4.


But that was as far as she got, the hard work came undone when she gave away cheap points to allow Nicol back in, and the Malaysian proceeded to wrap up the game. For squash fans the 18-minute first game set the tone for the rest of the match.


Nicol started the second game where she left off in the first, streaking to a 4-0 lead. A well-placed winner even provoked a yell of frustration from Natalie. However, Natalie was not about to capitulate. Playing some clever boasts and flicks, and keeping the play to the front, she managed to close the score to 4-3. Again Nicol stepped up a gear, pulling to 7-3 in front, and closing out the game 9-5.


Two games down, Natalie needed something special to turn the match around – or maybe for Nicol to let up. But this was not to be her day as Nicol kept up the pressure and duly sealed the win.


Commenting on her play, Natalie said: "Nicol played really well, she didn’t make many errors and in the end I started making a few. She gets to a lot more balls than other people, but I was prepared to play longer rallies.


"I still have a bit of soreness in my Achilles, and it affected my explosiveness and push-off. I was a little frustrated with myself in the third set when I could feel the soreness. Playing Nicol you really need to be at your best, and I look forward to more matches with her," added the world No2 from Australia.


For Nicol, she acknowledged that playing Natalie was always going to be difficult. In her own words: "I really have to be mentally tough to play Natalie, I have to work hard and play long rallies to win the points. To start my season again with two wins from two tournaments is great for me. I will definitely be spending some of my prize money tonight!”


Asked about Natalie’s lofted ball tactics, Nicol commented: “You have to expect your opponent to mix things up and use whatever way possible to work the ball, so I had to be really disciplined and not try to do anything special in the air. You can’t do an attacking shot when the ball’s in the air like that so you have to be really patient.


“The key is to force the pressure back on your opponent and in the end Natalie started making a few mistakes. My focus was still up and down but I kept my rhythm and didn’t want to change anything or do anything special, I just wanted to stay tough and play my game and make her work hard.”


Two titles in seven days takes Nicol’s tally to 21 from 71 WISPA tournaments played, and sits her two tournament wins behind Natalie’s sister Rachael among the active list. Nicol’s next target is the Forexx Dutch Open from 30 August in Amsterdam, a city which both Natalie and Nicol can call home. Amsterdam is Nicol’s training base and she will have plenty of fans cheering her on there.


At the same time, Natalie’s husband and Dutch squash champion Tommy Berden will be organising the tournament, and she will be hoping for a change of fortunes. With both ladies seeded first and second, another Nicol-Natalie final could be on the cards in four weeks’ time.


"In Singapore, it is Nicol who emerged victor and the reception here has been tremendous, with the final attended by well over 500 squash fans who will surely be looking forward to the next big tournament to be held here," said event spokesman Philip Goh. "This week’s top action has certainly re-awakened interest in squash in this island republic and augurs well for more good things to come."


Round by Round Results

1st round:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Rebecca Chiu (HKG)  9-3, 9-5, 9-3 (38m)

[5] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt [Q] Line Hansen (DEN)  9-4, 9-3, 9-3 (28m)

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Engy Kheirallah (EGY)  9-6, 9-6, 9-5 (48m)

[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [Q] Sharon Wee (MAS)  10-8, 9-5, 9-6 (36m)

[8] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Tricia Chuah (MAS)  9-6, 9-1, 9-1 (27m)

[4] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt Shelley Kitchen (NZL)  9-5, 9-0, 9-0 (47m)

[7] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt Alison Waters (ENG)  9-2, 9-3, 9-2 (38m)

[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt Joannah Yue (SIN)  9-2, 9-3, 9-5 (25m)


[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5] Vicky Botwright (ENG)  10-8, 9-0, 9-3 (44m)

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)  5-9, 9-5, 9-0, 7-9, 9-4 (68m)

[4] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt [8] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)  8-10, 9-3, 3-9, 9-1, 9-1 (84m)

[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [7] Madeline Perry (IRL)  9-5, 9-5, 9-2 (38m)


[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [3] Rachael Grinham (AUS)  9-2, 9-2, 9-3 (23m)

[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [4] Tania Bailey (ENG)  9-6, 9-6, 9-1 (46m)


[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [2] Natalie Grinham (AUS)  9-6, 9-5, 9-5 (54m)



Semi finals

Red Hot Nicol Storms Into Final

Singapore, 3 August 2007 – It was full-power from the word go as World No 1 and top seed Nicol David (foreground right) took 23 mins to despatch 3 rd seed Rachael Grinham (background right) in straight games to set up a final date with Natalie Grinham in inaugural CIMB Singapore Women's Squash Masters at the Kallang Squash Centre here.


Earlier, 2nd seed Natalie took twice as long but was just as effective in downing 4th seed Tania Bailey also in straight games, avenging her defeat to Bailey a week ago in Kuala Lumpur.


It was yet another capacity turnout at the Kallang Squash Centre and mostly fans of Nicol, judging from their cheers. And they were treated to two superb matches, straight games notwithstanding.


Unlike the previous two evenings when Nicol took time to get going, the champion nicknamed the 'Duracell Bunny' stamped her authority right from the start. Playing a fast-paced game, she never allowed Rachael to settle. Displaying tremendous athleticism that wowed her admiring fans, Nicol was always faster to the ball and deadlier on the kill.


Two games down, Rachael changed her tactics in the effort to get back in, playing the ball up and slowing the game down. But Nicol was in no mood to let up and kept hitting winners.


"Knowing Rachael was going to start strong, I wasn't going to let her in to play her game. So I had to really bring my game in first. I've got more comfortable with the court now, the bounce and spacing, and started to get more of the feel of the ball, so I am playing a lot better," said Nicol.


Commented Rachael: "I was making errors when I shouldn't have. It just felt like it wasn't my day at all. I had to make her go for the ball because once I started attacking, it just became a lot more dangerous especially when she can get on to it. I had to float the ball and make sure that she had to win it. Nothing else was working anyway."


Natalie Grinham, meanwhile, was in no mood to let Tania Bailey dictate terms in the evening's first semi-final. The first game as nip and tuck and at one stage, it looked as though Tania was in the ascendant. But the younger Grinham started stretching out the rallies and Bailey tired.


Explained Tania: "I was feeling a bit tired from yesterday's match with Jenny. I've had quite a few matches in the past week and my legs were starting to get a bit heavy and I had to try and go for winners and they were clipping the tin. I was struggling a bit and obviously Natalie got a lot more confident."


"I feel good that I've got a lot of things that I've taken from these last two tournaments. And I'm going to work on them for the next six weeks and come out even better in the next tournament," Bailey added.


Said Natalie: "My plan was to move Tania around and get her tired and I think I did that well. I stayed focused for most of the match. I'm looking forward to playing Nicol again. Hopefully tomorrow I can move well enough and play well."


The world's top two players last met in late April in the final of the Seoul Open when Natalie stopped Nicol's unbeaten streak at 51 matches, winning 9-4, 9-4, 9-0 in 43 minutes.


Asked if she had revenge on her mind, having lost to Natalie the last time the pair met, Nicol said: "Not really. I just want to make sure I keep to what I'm doing, maybe bring my game up another level."


Just what these two squash queens will serve up should they bring the game up to another level, fans in Singapore cannot wait to find out. The final tomorrow will be held at 4pm local time. Admission is free and a full house is guaranteed.



Semi-finals results:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 9-2, 9-2, 9-3 (23m)

[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [4] Tania Bailey (ENG) 9-6, 9-6, 9-1 (46m)


Final at 4pm (local time) on Sat, 4 August 2007:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) vs [2] Natalie Grinham (AUS)

Quarter Finals

Seeds Stay True To Form In Singapore Quarter-finals

Nicol vs Vicky and Tania vs Natalie

Jenny Duncalf and Tania Bailey

Singapore, 2 August 2007 – It will be top seed against 3rd, and 2nd seed against 4th in the semi-finals of the inaugural CIMB Singapore Women's Squash Masters tomorrow after a pulsating – and long – evening of quarter-final matches at the Kallang Squash Centre here.


World No 1 Nicol David did not disappoint her fans, winning in straight games, despite yet again getting off to a slow start. This time, it was tournament 5 th seed Vicky Botwright who pushed David into producing her 'A' game, the first game going to deuce.


Thereafter, David took her game up a notch and was always in control, dominating the second and third games. Both players delighted the capacity Kallang crowd with deft shots and played with great sportsmanship, delivering squash of the highest order, notwithstanding the lopsided scores in the latter two sets.


Said Botwright: "Nicol is simply playing at a level higher. I was making shots that I thought were winners – and would be winners against some other girl – but she was just hitting them back. I had to then hit another 'winner', then another."


"I wanted to at least get a game and gave it my all in the first game, but when that was lost, I knew it was not going to be my night," Botwright added.


For a second time in seven days, David will be facing Australia's Rachel Grinham in a semi-final match. In Kuala Lumpur last Friday, David won 3-2 but memories of Rachael blanking her in the first game still burns.

"Against Rachael tomorrow, I hope that I can go in more on the ball. I can't let anything go with her because she is going to go for it," said Nicol.


Earlier, sixth-seed Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt brought the best out of 3rd seed Rachael Grinham in an enthralling 68min encounter which the Egyptian could have won had she been able to keep her head in the match. Omneya mixed some of the most astonishing and creative winners with loose shots that gave away cheap points, alternately thrilling and despairing her new fans in Singapore.


"Omneya was unbelievable. I just didn't know what to do at times; she just kept mixing them up. She gets into the game and then gets out of the game, and sometimes in a game itself, she would be hitting rallies when I thought she was going for winners. I just found it hard to get focussed. It was a tough match, but I'm pleased with my game right now," said Rachael, the former World No 1.


The evening got off to a rousing start with 4th seed Tania Bailey taken the distance by 8th seed Jenny Duncalf in an 84min encounter that threw the evening's playing schedule out of kilter. Bailey had to come from 2-1 down to beat Duncalf 3-2 in match that ebbed and flowed, keeping the fans spellbound.


The scene was set from the first game when Duncalf matched Bailey stroke for stroke, paying little heed to her opponent's higher ranking. Although playing catch-up for most of the game, including facing game-point, it was Duncalf who pushed on from 7-8 behind to win 10-8.


The pair then traded 9-3 games before Bailey found her groove to take the next two games to seal victory.

A relieved Bailey, who avenged her defeat to Duncalf in June's European Championship final, said: "I'd lost to Jenny the last two times we played so I wasn't too surprised to be 2-1 down. I was really struggling at one stage as she has very good hold and does a lot with the ball including little boasts that I wasn't able to get to.


"Once I settled down and relaxed, I started playing a better length and lot tighter and regained control," Bailey added.


The evening's second quarter-final went with script with Natalie Grinham showing no sign of the Achilles tendon twinge she picked up in Kuala Lumpur the previous week in despatching Ireland's Madeline Perry in straight games.

"I thought I played well and was very focused today so hopefully tomorrow I can just relax and play my game," said Natalie.


All set for two exciting semi-final matches tomorrow which promises to serve up more squash of the highest quality – with the world's top four players doing battle yet again.


Quarter-finals results:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5] Vicky Botwright (ENG) 10-8, 9-0, 9-3 (44m)

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 5-9, 9-5, 9-0, 7-9, 9-4 (68m)

[4] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt [8] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 8-10, 9-3, 3-9, 9-1, 9-1 (84m)

[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [7] Madeline Perry (IRL) 9-5, 9-5, 9-2 (38m)


Updated Semi-finals draw:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) vs [3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 8.00pm local time

[4] Tania Bailey (ENG) vs [2] Natalie Grinham

1st Round

Favourites rule in Singapore

Nicol David

Singapore, 1 August 2007 – The eight seeded players are safely through to the quarter-finals with straight games being the order of the day in Round 1 of the Main Draw at the inaugural CIMB Singapore Women's Squash Masters.


Sixth-seed Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt found tough opposition from Sharon Wee as the Malaysian qualifier put up a gritty display going down 10-8, 9-5, 9-6.

Former World No 1 Rachael Grinham was also stretched by another qualifier, Engy Kherallah of Egypt, winning 9-6, 9-6, 9-5 in a 48-minute battle.


New Zealand's Shelley Kitchen, who climbed three places to 10th in the newly released WISPA rankings, was unable to find inspiration from her latest rankings boost, going down 9-5, 9-0, 9-0 to England's Tania Bailey, despite Bailey needing an ice-pack to salve a mid-game injury.


The top two seeds found things easier. Natalie Grinham took 25 mins to subdue Singapore's Joannah Yue, while Nicol David was kept busy for 38 mins by Hong Kong's Rebecca Chiu.


Said Nicol: "It took me a while to get going. I found it hard to keep my focus but once I got locked in, it was smooth sailing. Rebecca made it really tough with lots of nifty shots."


Tomorrow's quarter-final matches will run back-to-back at the show-court which seats 400. spectators.

CIMB Singapore Women's Squash Masters 2007

Kallang Squash Centre, Singapore


Main Draw Round 1 results:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 9-3, 9-5, 9-3 (38m)

[5] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt [Q] Line Hansen (DEN) 9-4, 9-3, 9-3 (28m)

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) 9-6, 9-6, 9-5 (48m)

[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [Q] Sharon Wee (MAS) 10-8, 9-5, 9-6 (36m)

[8] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Tricia Chuah (MAS) 9-6, 9-1, 9-1 (27m)

[4] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt Shelley Kitchen (NZL) 9-5, 9-0, 9-0 (47m)

[7] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt Alison Waters (ENG) 9-2, 9-3, 9-2 (38m)

[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt Joannah Yue (SIN) 9-2, 9-3, 9-5 (25m)

Updated Quarter-finals draw:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) vs [5] Vicky Botwright (ENG) 8.45pm local time

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) vs [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 8.00pm local time

[8] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) vs [4] Tania Bailey (ENG) 6.30pm local time

[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) vs [7] Madeline Perry (IRL) 7.15pm local time


Top Seeded Qualifiers Safely Through To Main Draw

Singapore, 31 July 2007 – The four top-seeded qualifiers safely negotiated their way through to the Main Draw after qualifying rounds concluded at the CIMB Singapore Women’s Squash Masters 2007 at the Kallang Squash Centre here.


World No 15 Engy Kheirallah of Egypt defeated India’s Joshna Chinappa in straight games. A hard-fought second game proved crucial as the Indian player was unable to convert four game points.

Malaysia sent two more players through to the Main Draw to join compatriot and World No 1 Nicol David when Tricia Chua and Sharon Wee despatched Joey Chan of Hong Kong and Chinatsu Matsui of Japan respectively.


Another Malaysian, Siti Munirah Jusoh, was unable to continue her good work from the previous evening, going down in four games to Denmark’s Line Hansen.


The Main Draw commences tomorrow with eight Round 1 matches. Among the highlights, top seed Nicol David of Malaysia meets Hong Kong’s Rebecca Chiu in the top half while second seed Natalie Grinham of Australia takes on local hope Joannah Yue in the bottom half.


The tournament will run till Saturday, August 4, with the final scheduled for a 4pm (local time) start.


CIMB Singapore Women’s Squash Masters 2007

Kallang Squash Centre, Singapore


Qualifying Round 2 results; winners go through to Main Draw:

Engy Kheirallah (EGY) (1) bt Joshna Chinappa (IND) (5) 9-2, 10-8, 9-3 (29m)

Tricia Chuah (MAS) (3) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 9-5, 9-7, 4-9, 9-7 (42m)

Line Hansen (DEN) (4) bt Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) 9-3, 5-9, 9-2, 9-5 (49m)

Sharon Wee (MAS) (2) bt Chinatsu Matsui (JPN) 9-6, 9-6, 9-6 (36m)


Main Draw: Updated women's 1st round draw:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) vs Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 8pm local time

[5] Vicky Botwright (ENG) vs [Q] Line Hansen (DEN) 8pm local time

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) vs [Q] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) 8pm local time

[5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) vs [Q] Sharon Wee (MAS) 8pm local time

[Q] Tricia Chuah (MAS) vs [8] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 7pm local time

Shelley Kitchen (NZL) vs [4] Tania Bailey (ENG) 7pm local time

Alison Waters (ENG) vs [7] Madeline Perry (IRL) 7pm local time

Joannah Yue (SIN) vs [2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) 7pm local time


Three Seeds Fall In First Qualifying Round

Delia Arnold

Singapore, 30 July 2007 – Two of Malaysia’s seeded players for the Qualifying Round of the CIMB Singapore Women’s Masters 2007 failed to make it past their first assignments. Lim Yoke Wah (8th seed) fell to Hong Kong’s Joey Chan in straight sets while (7th) was ousted by compatriot Siti Munirah Jusoh in four sets.


Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Elise Ng (6th) went down to Japan’s Chinatsu Matsui in four sets.


In the evening’s opening matches, India’s Joshna Chinappa (5th) despatched local hope Serene Lee 9-1, 2-9, 9-7. 9-2. Meanwhile, Denmark Line Hansen (4) defeated Scandinavian rival Josefa Bertilsson in straight sets 9-2, 9-5, 9-1.


Action continues tomorrow at the Kallang Squash to determine the four Qualifiers for the Main Draw of the US$43,500 tournament which will run from August 1 to 4.

CIMB Singapore Women’s Squash Masters 2007

Kallang Squash Centre, Singapore


Qualifying Round 1 results:

Joshna Chinappa (IND) (5) bt Serene Lee Zhiling (SIN) 9-1, 2-9. 9-7, 9-2 (24m)

Joey Chan (HKG) bt Lim Yoke Wah (MAS) (8) 9-7, 9-6, 9-5 (44m)

Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) (7) 4-9, 9-6, 9-1, 9-4 (39m)

Line Hansen (DEN) (4) bt Josefa Bertilsson (SWE) 9-2, 9-5. 9-1 (22m)

Chinatsu Matsui (JPN) bt Elise Ng (HKG) (6) 2-9, 9-7, 9-1, 9-4 (36m)

Updated Qualifying Round 2 draw:


Engy Kheirallah (EGY) (1) vs Joshna Chinappa (IND) (5) 7pm local time

Tricia Chuah (MAS) (3) vs Joey Chan (HKG) 7pm local time

Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) vs Line Hansen (DEN) (4) 8pm local time

Chinatsu Matsui (JPN) vs Sharon Wee (MAS) (2) 8pm local time