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04/10/2007
VASSER CLASS OF 1932 OPEN
 

Rachael Grinham Celebrates Vassar College Victory

Vassar College Class of 1932
01 - 06 Oct, Poughkeepsie, NY
Round One
Oct 03
Quarters
Oct 04
Semis
Oct 05
Final
Oct 06
[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
9/4, 7/0, 9/0, 9/0
[Q] Amelia Pittock (Aus)
Rachael Grinham
9-3, 9-7, 9-5
Rebecca Chiu
Rachael Grinham
4-9, 9-6, 9-7, 9-1 (59m)
Jenny Duncalf
Rachael Grinham
9-7, 10-8, 6-9, 1-9, 9-6 (72m)
Natalie Grainger
[5] Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
9/6, 9/1, 9/2
[Q] Tara Mullins (Can)
[3] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
2/9, 9/2, 9/2, 9/5
Louise Crome (Nzl)
Jenny Duncalf
9-4, 9-2, 9-3
Line Hansen
[7] Sharon Wee (Mas)
6/9, 9/4, 9/7, 5/9, 9/7
Line Hansen (Den)
Manuela Manetta (Ita)
9/4, 9/3, 9/5
[6] Kasey Brown (Aus)
Kasey Brown
9-2, 9-5, 9-3
Shelley Kitchen
Shelley Kitchen
9-3, 9-2, 9-6 (33m)
Natalie Grainger
[Q] Laura Hill (Eng)
9/0, 9/5, 9/2
[4] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
[Q] Lauren Siddall (Eng)
6/9, 9/2, 9/3, 9/2
[8] Latasha Khan (Usa)
Latasha Khan
9-4, 9-4, 9-3
Natalie Grainger
Tricia Chuah (Mas)
9/3, 9/1, 9/1
[2] Natalie Grainger (Usa)

Qualifying:
Finals, 02/10
Amelia Pittock (Aus) bt Nayelly Hernandez (Mex) 9-2, 9-2, 9-0
Tara Mullins (Can) bt Margriet Huisman (Ned) 9-7, 9-1, 7-9, 9-7
Laura Hill (Eng) bt Orla Noom (Ned) 9-3, 10-8, 9-0
Lauren Siddall (Eng) bt Aisling Blake (Irl) 1-9, 9-3, 7-9, 10-8, 9-6

First Round 1/10
Amelia Pittock (AUS) bt Genevieve Lessard (CAN) 9-0, 9-1, 9-0
Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) bt Neha Kumar (CAN) 3-9, 9-5, 7-9, 9-4, 9-7
Margaret Huisman (NED) bt Stephanie Edmison (CAN) 9-3, 9-4, 9-2
Tara Mullins (CAN) bt Ileana Novelo (MEX) 9-0, 9-3, 9-5
Laura Hill (ENG) bt Victoria Chishimba (ZAM) 9-4, 9-0, 9-0
Orla Noom (NED) bt Larissa Stephenson (NZL) 9-1, 9-6, 9-1
Lauren Siddall (ENG) bt Fernanda Rocha (ARG) 9-3, 9-2, 9-0
Aisling Blake (IRL) bt Shona Kerr (USA) 9-0, 9-1, 9-3

Rachael Grinham Celebrates Vassar College Victory
In a high-quality climax to the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Open, Australian favourite Rachael Grinham needed 72 minutes to seal victory over second-seeded US star Natalie Grainger to claim the WISPA World Tour Silver squash title in Poughkeepsie in the US state of New York.

Grainger led in both of the first two games - and fought back from 4-8 down in the second to draw level in the game.  But it was Grinham, the recently-crowned British Open champion, who claimed the early advantage by opening up a 2/0 lead - as the packed crowd sensed, perhaps, that this match would only go another game.

At four-all in the third, Grainger had an excellent spell and went 7-4 up - urged on by the crowd who wanted to see the match go the distance.  Grinham battled back to 7-6, but the Pan American Games champion from Washington DC maintained good length on her volleys and powered on to win the game to reduce the deficit.

"Buoyed by her success, Grainger was like a gunslinger in game four," said tournament spokesman Tony Brown.  The second seed powered to victory for the loss of just a single point.  The players had been on court for an hour, and it was all tied up at 2/2.

In the decider, Grainger led after the first two points, but the Queenslander came back to move 6-2 ahead.  Grainger managed to battle back to 6-6 - but when Grinham moved on to match-ball at 8-6, the Australian took the title when Grainger hit a volley in the front court just inches from the front wall that came back and hit the American.

"It had been breathtaking action," said Brown after Grinham's 9-7, 10-8, 6-9, 1-9, 9-6 win. "The applause was loud, long and well-deserved.  A great final and definitely the best of the seven that have taken place at Vassar.

"There were no bad rallies in this final, absolutely none at all.  This was world class squash and these athletes are second to none on this planet," added the College's Men's & Women's Rugby Coach.

"What a shame that this sport doesn't get the coverage it so richly deserves.  It is powerful and fast-paced.  It is skillful and would test the fittest athletes in the world.  Above all it is a huge test of character and these WISPA players are quite simply superb.  It is inspiring to watch the incredible shot-making and one marvels at the fitness displayed."

Grinham's success extends her record over Grainger to nine successive Tour wins since November 2002.  The triumph also take her career WISPA title tally to 26 - four more than her nearest rival, Nicol David, on the current Tour, and only one behind New Zealander Carol Owens and two shy of England's Cassie Jackman.

Grinham & Grainger In Vassar College Final
Top seeds Rachael Grinham and Natalie Grainger will contest the final of the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Open after convincing semi-final victories in the WISPA World Tour Silver squash event in Poughkeepsie in the US state of New York.

Jenny Duncalf, the third seed from England described by tournament spokesman Tony Brown as being "cool as a cucumber", confidently took the first game against Grinham, the favourite from Australia. The English underdog from Harrogate in Yorkshire twice led in the second, but Grinham drew level.

The third game proved crucial as world No3 Grinham raced to a 3-1 lead, only for Duncalf to reclaim the advantage to move 6-3 ahead. But the Australian, who won her third British Open title last month, stepped up the pace to clinch the game.

Grinham pounced on the tired and disappointed Duncalf, ranked 12 in the world, in the fourth game: "A quick fourth game seemed harsh for Duncalf as she had done so much to make this a good match," explained Brown, the College's Men's & Women's Rugby Coach.

However, Grinham ran away with it to take the match 4-9, 9-6, 9-7, 9-1 in 59 minutes - and earn a place in her fourth WISPA World Tour final in a row, and the 43rd of her career.

By contrast, the other semi-final was over in half the time - "and the rallies tended to be shorter and more direct". Grainger, the reigning Pan American Games champion from Washington DC, faced fourth seed Shelley Kitchen, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist from Auckland in New Zealand.

Grainger, the 2005 champion, had a simple plan and executed it well. The US star played a host of long drop shots to the front left corner that lured Kitchen up, then blasted the ball deep to the back right corner.

Grainger claimed her sixth WISPA World Tour final appearance on home soil this year after just 33 minutes - the 9-3, 9-2, 9-6 victory also earning the 31-year-old a place in the 32nd Tour final of her career.

Top Seeds Safely Through At Vassar College
The top four seeds safely negotiated the quarter-finals of the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Open to earn their anticipated places in the semi-finals of the WISPA World Tour Silver squash event in Poughkeepsie in the US state of New York.

Maintaining the form which saw her win her third British Open title last month, Rachael Grinham despatched Hong Kong's No5 seed Rebecca Chiu 9-3, 9-7, 9-5.

The top-seeded Australian will now face Jenny Duncalf after the third seed from England ended unseeded Dane Line Hansen's run in a 9-4, 9-2, 9-3 scoreline.

The other semi-final will be a US/New Zealand affair between second seed Natalie Grainger, the Pan American Games champion from Washington DC, and fourth seed Shelley Kitchen, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist from Auckland.

Kitchen defeated Australian Kasey Brown 9-2, 9-5, 9-3 while Grainger confirmed her status as the country's top player by defeated US compatriot Latasha Khan 9-4, 9-4, 9-3.


Hansen Victory Secures Vassar Quarter-Final
Unseeded Dane Line Hansen claimed the only upset on the opening day of the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Squash Open when she beat Malaysia's No7 seed Sharon Wee to earn a surprise place in the quarter-finals of the WISPA World Tour Silver event in Poughkeepsie in the US state of New York.

The 24-year-old from Odense recovered from a game down to take a 2/1 lead. But Wee fought back to level the match, then saved a match-ball at 8-4 in the decider to close the gap to just a single point.

Hansen held out, however, and clinched the match 6-9, 9-4, 9-7, 5-9, 9-7.

The Dane will now face England's Jenny Duncalf, the third seed from Yorkshire who beat New Zealand's Louise Crome 2-9, 9-2, 9-2, 9-5.

Event favourite Rachael Grinham was given a scare when fellow Australian Amelia Pittock, a qualifier, took the second game to level the score in their first round match. The three-time British Open champion upped the pace, however, and prevented Pittock from scoring a further point, winning 9-4, 7-9, 9-0, 9-0!


Lauren & Laura Land Poughkeepsie Places
English duo Laura Hill and Lauren Siddall landed places in the main draw of the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Squash Open after upsetting higher-ranked opponents in the qualifying finals of the WISPA World Tour Silver event in Poughkeepsie in the US state of New York.

Hill, taking time off from her fire-fighting duties in Derbyshire, defeated Orla Noom, of the Netherlands, 9-3, 10-8, 9-0 and will now face fourth seed Shelley Kitchen in the first round.

Kitchen, runner-up last year, arrived in New York fresh from her title-winning victory in last week's Elbow River Casino Calgary Open in Canada.

Yorkshire's Lauren Siddall twice came from behind to despatch Ireland's world No34 Aisling Blake 1-9, 9-3, 7-9, 10-8, 9-6. The 22-year-old from Pontefract goes on to face eighth seed Latasha Khan, the seven-time US champion from Seattle.

The seventh staging of the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Open is expected to climax in a final between top seed Rachael Grinham and US star Natalie Grainger. Australian Grinham, who claimed her third British Open title last month in Manchester, takes on compatriot Amelia Pittock, a qualifier, in the first round, while Pan American Games champion Grainger faces Malaysian Tricia Chuah.