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08/06/2008
WOMEN'S SEOUL OPEN
 

David Celebrates Seoul Success

Seoul Open 2008
Korea, Seoul, 02-07 Jun, $60k
Round One
03/04 Jun
Quarters
05 Jun
Semis
06 Jun
Final
07 Jun
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
9-2, 9-3, 9-1 (28m)
[Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
Nicol David
9-5, 8-10, 9-5, 9-5 (50m)
Jenny Duncalf
Nicol David
10-8, 9-7, 9-5 (44m)
Alison Waters
Nicol David
9/5 10/9 9/6 (41m)
Rachael Grinham
[5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
10/8, 9/5, 9/4, (43m)
Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
[4] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
7/9, 9/1, 9/10, 9/5, 9/6 (89m)
Kasey Brown (Aus)
Kasey Brown
6-9, 9-6, 9-5, 7-9, 9-4 (67m)
Alison Waters
[7] Alison Waters (Eng)
9-2, 9-3, 9-1 (20m)
[Q] Elise Ng (Hkg)
[Q] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
9-3, 9-1, 10-8
[8] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (Eng)
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
10-9, 10-8, 10-8 (45m)
Madeline Perry
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
6-9, 9-6, 9-4, 9-5 (61m)
Rachael Grinham
Madeline Perry (Irl)
6/9, 9/2, 9/5, 9/0 (41m)
[3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
[Q] Emma Beddoes (Eng)
9-4, 9-3, 9-1
[6] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
Vanessa Atkinson
9-6, 9-0, 9-6 (26m)
Rachael Grinham
Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
10/8, 4/9, 9/1, 9/6 (47m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (Aus)

3-Jun, Qualifying Finals
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) bt Park Eun Ok (Kor) 9/1, 9/1, 9/2 (24m)
Emma Beddoes (Eng) bt Song Sun-Mi (Kor) 9/6, 9/6, 9/3 (38m)
Elise Ng (Hkg) bt Ahn Eun Chan (Kor) 9/7, 9/6, 8/10, 7/9, 9/2 (79m)
Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Mami Nishio (Jpn) 10/8, 9/7, 9/6 (34m)

02-Jun, Qualifying 1st Round

Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) bye
Park Eun Ok (Kor) bye
Emma Beddoes (Eng) bye
Song Sun-Mi (Kor) bt Kim Ga-Hye (Kor) 6/9, 1/9, 9/1, 9/3, 9/6 (61m)
Ahn Eun Chan (Kor) bt Imelda Salazar Martinez (Mex) 9/3, 9/4, 9/3 (21m)
Elise Ng (Hkg) bye
Mami Nishio (Jpn) bt Miwa Maekawa (Jpn) 9/0, 9/1, 9/1 (19m)

David Celebrates Seoul Success

 

Malaysia's Nicol David triumphed in straight games over her great rival Rachael Grinham in the final of the Women's Seoul Open to win the $60,000 squash event in its second year in the South Korean capital Seoul in glorious style.

 

The Australian world champion led in all three games, but the 24-year-old from Penang always had an answer on the al-glass court in Seoul Plaza - and after 41 minutes clinched a 9-5, 10-9, 9-6 victory to maintain her unbeaten record in 2008, and extend her winning run on the WISPA World Tour since October to 26 matches.

 

Second seed Grinham summed up her performance, saying:  "I donít think that I am going to win by playing length against Nicol.  At 7-2 in the first, she dug in more and in that game and the others maybe I was sometimes too eager to get in short."

 

The Cairo-based 31-year-old from Queensland had been undergoing intense physiotherapy treatment for a back problem since arriving in Seoul:  "I definitely cannot complain, as I played much better than I expected at the beginning of the week," added Grinham.  "I am happy to have had an okay game against Nicol.  And the crowd helps as they get really excited."

 

The victor was asked about her opponent going in short on a regular basis:  "I sort of knew that it would happen," replied the Malaysian super star.  "If it comes in it goes in.  I couldnít do much for a while until I could get her away from the tee.

 

"I was really excited to come back to Seoul. There is such a great welcome from everybody," added the new champion.

 

With both finalists boasting 27 Tour titles apiece before the final, the success takes David ahead of Grinham.  Now leading the pack of current WISPA players, David shares fourth place in the all-time WISPA title-winners list with England's former world number one Cassie Jackman, now retired.  In her sights in the top three places are New Zealand's Susan Devoy and Australians Sarah Fitz-Gerald (62 titles) and Michelle Martin (56).


David & Grinham Renew Rivalry In Seoul Final

Two of the greatest rivals on the WISPA World Tour will meet in the final of the Women's Seoul Open after world number one Nicol David and Rachael Grinham, the world number three, survived contrasting semi-finals in the $60,000 squash event in its second year in the South Korean capital Seoul.
 

David, the 24-year-old top seed from Malaysia, battled to a 10-8, 9-7, 9-5 win in 44 minutes over England's Alison Waters, the No7 seed. 

Waters had game ball at 8-4 in the first and had a strong lead in the second:  "I was disappointed to lose 3/0 after being well up in the first two - it was annoying not to get a game," said the 24-year-old from London.  "While I was patient in the rallies and put it in short when it seemed right, Nicol played the big rallies better than I did and that is what I need to work on."

Second seed Grinham, the Cairo-based World Open champion from Australia, took out another English opponent - but the 31-year-old needed four games and 61 minutes to defeat eighth seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro 6-9, 9-6, 9-4, 9-5.

"Considering that I very nearly pulled out on the first day, I was pleased to win the first match," said the Queenslander who has been having physiotherapy treatment every day for a back twinge.  "Getting through the quarters (against former world champion Vanessa Atkinson) was my best result of the year!  And now I have made my seeding and picked up a few ranking points.  It's about time I did this year," added Grinham.

The two finalists have competed in 86 WISPA Tour finals between them - David having won 27 out of 41, and Grinham 27 from 45!  Furthermore, this will be the pair's 25th clash since first meeting in the final of the Milo Open in Malaysia in April 2000.

 

English Duo Battle Into Seoul Semis

England team-mates Alison Waters and Laura Lengthorn-Massaro claimed unexpected places in the semi-finals of the Women's Seoul Open - but it was at the expense of unseeded opponents in the quarter-finals of the $60,000 WISPA World Tour squash event in the South Korean capital Seoul.

Waters, the No7 seed from London, faced Kasey Brown, the unseeded Australian who stunned New Zealand's fourth seed Shelley Kitchen in the opening round. The British National champion led 2/1 and 7-5 in the fourth game - but Brown battled to take the game and force a decider.

But Waters kept her focus and clinched a 6-9, 9-6, 9-5, 7-9, 9-4 victory after 67 minutes to move into her second WISPA Gold semi-final this year.

Eighth seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro faced determined Irish star Madeline Perry, the surprise winner over third seed Omneya Abdel Kawy in the first round. The fast-improving Englishwoman was taken the full distance in each of the three games - Perry having game balls in two - before prevailing 10-9, 10-8, 10-8 in 45 minutes.

"I had a game plan and when I stuck to it, it worked well - but I was a bit patchy," explained the 24-year-old from Lancashire. "In the second and third when I was down, I was pretty pleased to come back. I stopped going short too soon to try and finish rallies. Against Madeline I knew I should keep her back, wait for my opportunities and not hit the ball too hard as that is how she likes it."

Waters will now face favourite Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who dropped a game before beating England's fifth seed Jenny Duncalf 9-5, 8-10, 9-5, 9-5 in 50 minutes - in a repeat of last month's British Open final.

Lengthorn-Massaro's opponent for a place in the final will be Australia's second seed Rachael Grinham, who defeated a lacklustre Vanessa Atkinson, the sixth seed from the Netherlands, 9-6, 9-0, 9-6 in just 26 minutes.

Qualifiers Quashed In Seoul

After the unusual experience of playing in the rain on the first day of action of the Women's Seoul Open, the competitors on the second day of first round action in the $60,000 WISPA World Tour squash event in the South Korean capital Seoul enjoyed better conditions, albeit cloudy and overcast.

In addition to a canopy over the all-glass court in the open air at Seoul Plaza, the central square of Seoul city, additional protective covering had been installed for invited VIPs and TV cameras - but, in fact, the rain abated and play continued without interruption.

English qualifier Emma Beddoes was celebrating her maiden experience in a WISPA Gold event - and facing experienced Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion from the Netherlands.

Entering the court to begin the third game, the 22-year-old underdog from Nottingham bizarrely managed to close the court door on her own finger! Ice was called for, the digit examined, and play duly continued.

The incident did little to improve the debutante's performance and sixth seed Atkinson romped to a 9-4, 9-3, 9-1 victory - and a place in the quarter-finals.

 

"How embarrassing for me to do that on TV - typical of me to do something really silly," said Beddoes afterwards. "But I was always on the back foot against Vanessa - she hits such a good length and whenever I got it back loosely she made me pay. I have to get used to playing a match at that sort of pace and accuracy."

 

Earlier, event favourite Nicol David cruised into the last eight with a 9-2, 9-3, 9-1 win over New Zealand qualifier Jaclyn Hawkes. The 24-year-old world number one from Penang is expected to reach the Seoul final for the second year - and pick up her fourth Tour title of the year.

 

English players claimed the other two quarter-final places on offer in the session. Alison Waters, the seventh seed from London, beat Hong Kong qualifier Elise Ng 9-2, 9-3, 9-1 while new world number nine Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, the No8 seed from Lancashire, defeated Egyptian qualifier Raneem El Weleily 9-3, 9-1, 10-8.

 

Seeds Slump As Perry & Brown Succeed In Seoul

 

Ireland's Madeline Perry and Australian Kasey Brown - both unseeded - pulled off significant upsets in the first round of the Women's Seoul Open to claim unexpected places in the quarter-finals of the $60,000 WISPA World Tour squash event in its second year in the South Korean capital Seoul.

 

After qualifying finals earlier in the day at the Lemilleur Club, first round action was set to be played on an all-glass court in the open air at Seoul Plaza, the central square of Seoul city - uncharacteristically awash with heavy rain!

 

Whilst the court itself was covered with a canopy - which only extended a few feet out from the court glass walls - the seating was uncovered. The court itself was dry, and after a cover was hastily erected to protect the match officials, it was decided that play would commence!

 

First on were Kasey Brown and New Zealander Shelley Kitchen - who were uncertain about the court conditions, but willing to 'give it a go'.

 

"As it turned out, there were no problems for them as they alone were in the only really dry area," explained WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley. "Rain was pelting down feet from their feet!"

 

Kitchen had been in a rich vein of form and raced to a 7-2 lead in the first before Brown found her rhythm, and although the fourth-seeded Kiwi edged home, it had taken 23 minutes. The dynamics were reversed in the second with Brown rampant - but Kitchen won the third after saving a nine-all game ball.

 

But from that point the New Zealander was always being stretched. Brown was purposeful, hunting the ball and always just ahead in the last two games before claiming her 7-9, 9-1, 9-10, 9-5, 9-6 upset in 89 minutes.

 

"I have never played in the rain, this was a first," said the jubilant Brown afterwards. "But though it was a little weird at first, the court was fine and I blocked things out pretty quickly. Once I hit some good length and took the ball a little earlier it was better Ė especially as I havenít got a very good record on glass," added the 22-year-old from New South Wales.

 

The second upset of the session followed when Madeline Perry, the world No16 from Belfast, despatched Egypt's third seed Omneya Abdel Kawy. The 22-year-old from Cairo started brightly enough - but her game slowly subsided as Perry became crisper and romped to a 6-9, 9-2, 9-5, 9-0 victory in 41 minutes.

Perry was understandably delighted to have got the scalp of the seed, and professed to have been playing well recently so thought that she had a chance.

Abdel Kawy, put her downfall down to a wedding - that of her brotherís, of which she was chief organiser! "I have only trained for four days. He is my brother and I had to help him. I hoped that I would play better than this but she played well. I just wasnít comfortable," concluded Abdel Kawy.