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Nicol David Masters Singapore To Claim 30th Tour Title

Singapore Masters 2008
Kallang Centre, 28 Jul to 02 Aug, $53k
Round One
30 Jul
31 Jul
01 Aug
02 Aug
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/5, 6/11, 11/6, 11/3
Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
Nicol David
11-4, 13-11, 11-6
Jenny Duncalf
Nicol David
11-9, 11-9, 11-7
Madeline Perry
Nicol David
8-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (39m)
Rachael Grinham
[5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
11/7, 12/10, 11/3
[Q] Orla Noom (Ned)
[4] Tania Bailey (Eng)
7/11, 11/8, 11/8, 11/8
Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
Rebecca Chiu
11-7, 11-8, 11-9
Madeline Perry
[6] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
12/10, 11/9 11/5
Madeline Perry (Irl)
[Q] Line Hansen (Den)
11/4, 11/1, 11/4
[8] Alison Waters (Eng)
Alison Waters
7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7
Rachael Grinham
Rachael Grinham
12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4
Omneya Abdel Kawy
[Q] Alana Miller (Can)
11/2, 11/6, 11/6
[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
[Q] Lauren Briggs (Eng)
11/1, 11/7, 11/3
[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
6-11, 11-1, 11-3, 13-15, 11-5
Isabelle Stoehr
Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
5/11, 11/9, 11/8, 4/11, 13/11
[2] Natalie Grinham (Ned)

Qualifying: 28-Jul, Round One:
Sharon Wee (Mas) bt Joannah Yue (Sin) 11/4, 7/11, 11/7, 11/1
Alana Miller (Can) bt Kar Yan Koh (Sin) 11/6, 11/4, 11/4
Lauren Briggs (Eng) bt Delia Arnold (Mas) 11/9, 11/7, 7/11, 11/7
Lim Woke Yah (Mas) bt Eman El Amir (Egy) w/o
Orla Noom (Ned) bt Siti Munirah Jusoh (Mas) 11/4, 11/13, 11/8, 4/11, 11/8
Wee Wern Low (Mas) bt Louise Crome (Nzl) 7/11, 11/6, 11/7, 6/11, 11/9
Line Hansen (Den) bt Dipika Pallikal (Ind) 11/6, 11/9, 11/7
Raneem El Weleily bt Hengameh Habipour (Iri) 11/1, 11/1, 11/2

Nicol David Masters Singapore To Claim 30th Tour Title

World number one Nicol David beat world champion Rachael Grinham in the final of the Women's CIMB Singapore Masters to retain the $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event title - and mark up her 30th Tour title win at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore.

It was a thrilling encounter in front of a packed crowd - and in an intense opening game, Australian Rachael Grinham showed gritty determination to take the early lead.

But David, the world number one from Malaysia who is unbeaten on the Tour since last October, dominated the second and third games. 

However, the 31-year-old Queenslander pushed David all the way in the fourth before the Malaysian master finally emerged the champion for the second year in a row, winning 8-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 in 39 minutes.

"I was quite happy with the way I played today," said Grinham after her 47th appearance in a WISPA final.  "It was better than the last time I played Nicol in Malaysia, although I made some silly mistakes today which I feel may have cost me the game.

"Also I am getting used to this new scoring system and that will take some time.  Right now, I feel I rather panicked on court as the game can swing very quickly."

The victory marked David's eighth successive WISPA World Tour title win - and the 30th of her career.  It also extended her winning streak on the Tour to 34 matches.

"It was a good game and Rachael was on fire today, but I kept my focus and determination," explained the 24-year-old from Penang.  "Iím really excited to have won and it always feels good to be able to play in Asia.  Itís always good to be close to home. 

"These past two weeks have been great," added David, who won the Malaysian Open crown on home soil just seven days ago.  "Iím grateful for the support from the fans and sponsor CIMB, doing what we can to grow the sport here in the region.  I just want to thank everyone for everything and hope to come back again."

Nicol David & Rachael Grinham In Singapore Masters Final

World number one Nicol David (left) and world champion Rachael Grinham (below) will contest the final of the Women's CIMB Singapore Masters after surviving contrasting semi-finals in the $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event in its second year at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore.

Grinham, the third seed from Australia, put on a dominant display against her Egyptian opponent Omneya Abdel Kawy in the first semi-final. The world number three showed her elite technique to outplay her seventh-seeded opponent.

Grinham displayed her relentless determination by coming back after being on the verge of losing, to take control of the first game. To her credit, Abdel Kawy elevated her intensity to take the second game but fell in the last two as a calf strain evidently slowed down her speed on court - leaving Grinham a 12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 11-4 victor.

"Iím very happy to reach the final in this tournament as it is the first major final I have
achieved in a while," said the 31-year-old Queenslander. "It was a tight game and for a moment there, it was getting very close.

"Winning games like this always gives you the confidence to carry on into the finale," added Grinham, now in the 47th Tour climax of her career.

In the other semi, Malaysian favourite Nicol David took on unseeded Madeline Perry, from Ireland. The defending champion took the match without dropping a game, defeating her surprise opponent Perry 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 in 36 minutes.

"Madeline played very well and she pushed me all the way but I made sure I was always a level ahead throughout," explained the world's best player afterwards. "I kept a clear eye on the ball and got to play the shots I wanted to."

Looking ahead to her opponent in the final, Nicol said: "Games with Rachael are always tough. We played in the semi-finals last week in Malaysia and I always know I must prepare myself to expect anything when I step onto the court with her."

David, one win away from the 30th WISPA title of her career, is celebrating her 44th appearance in a Tour final.

Perry Progresses Into Singapore Semis

Unseeded Madeline Perry achieved her best run in a major tournament since recovering from a serious head injury last year when she reached the semi-finals of the Women's CIMB Singapore Masters after beating Hong Kong's Rebecca Chiu in straight games in the quarter-finals of the $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event in its second year at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore.

The former world No6 from Northern Ireland was in sublime form - beating former Asian Games champion Chiu 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 to reach her first WISPA Gold event semi-final since February 2006.

Perry, currently ranked 15 in the world, now faces favourite Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who is expected to win her eighth Tour title in a row in Singapore.

David (left) showed her class in the final match on the all-glass court, convincingly beating Jenny Duncalf of England. After being pushed to a tie break by the fifth seed in the second game, the 24-year-old from Penang took the match 11-4, 13-11, 11-6.

"It certainly wasnít easy in there and Jenny put up a good fight - but she made a couple of flaws in between where I got the chance to quickly seize the opportunities and take control of the game," said the Malaysian star.

"I will continue to perform to the best of my abilities for the semi-finals and look forward to having as exciting a day as I did today."

Earlier Rachael Grinham, (right) the third seed from Australia, kept up her fine form in the tournament by beating Englandís No8 seed Alison Waters to be the first person to reach the semi-finals. The world champion dropped the first game before coming back to take the next three games to win 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7.

The Cairo-based Queenslander now faces Egyptian number one Omneya Abdel Kawy after the seventh seed ended the sensational run of Isabelle Stoehr in five games. The unseeded French champion was unable to match the display she showed 24 hours earlier against second seed Natalie Grinham, going down 6-11, 11-1, 11-3, 13-15, 11-5 to the higher-ranked Kawy.

Stoehr Stuns Second Seed In Singapore Upset

Unseeded French champion Isabelle Stoehr pulled off a sensational upset in the first round of the Women's CIMB Singapore Masters by beating second seed Natalie Grinham to claim an unexpected place in the quarter-finals of the $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event in its second year at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore.

Australian-born Grinham, the world No2 now representing the Netherlands, took the first game before Stoehr stormed back to take the next two. However, Grinham valiantly played through an injured ankle and drew level - but the 29-year-old from Montpellier maintained her focus to clinch a stunning 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 13-11 victory.

It was Stoehr's second successive win over Grinham after the former Australian retired injured during their quarter-final meeting in the British Open in May.

Stoehr now faces Omneya Abdel Kawy after the seventh-seeded Egyptian made short work of Lauren Briggs from England, winning 11-1, 11-7, 11-3.

Natalieís sister Rachael Grinham had a distinctly better evening on the court. The world champion from Australia eased past Canadian qualifier Alana Miller 11-2, 11-6, 11-6.

But there were two further upsets when England's fourth seed Tania Bailey and sixth-seeded New Zealander Shelley Kitchen fell at the first hurdle.

Bailey, in only her second tournament since a four-month layoff following knee surgery, took the opening game against Rebecca Chiu. But the unseeded 29-year-old from Hong Kong struck back to win 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8.

Aucklander Kitchen was looking for her third successive Tour win over Madeline Perry. But the unseeded Irish champion, also returning to full fitness after an injury layoff, stormed to a 12-10, 11-9, 11-5 victory to set up a quarter-final clash with fellow non-seed Rebecca Chiu.

The much anticipated game of the night was between Malaysiaís world number one Nicol David and unseeded Engy Kheirallah. The Egyptian put up a good fight but was unable to match David's fierce stamina as the event favourite waltzed to a 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3 win - and her 31st successive Tour match victory.

Miller Masters Malaysian In Singapore Qualifying Upset

Canadian Alana Miller secured the scalp of a player ranked 19 places higher when she upset Malaysia's world number 20 Sharon Wee in the qualifying finals of the Women's CIMB Singapore Squash Masters, the $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold event in its second year at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore.

Miller showed great determination after coming back from losing the first game to take the next two. Wee drew level, but the 28-year-old from Winnipeg fought back to claim an impressive 5-11, 12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6 victory - and a surprise place in the main draw, where she will meet Australia's world champion Rachael Grinham.

There was also an upset in the final match of the day when Line Hansen, from Denmark, took on Egypt's Raneem El Weleily, ranked 26 in the world. The 25-year-old from Odense, ranked two places lower, beat El Weleily 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 and will now face England's Alison Waters, the eighth seed.

Malaysia's Nicol David is seeded to retain the title she won last year. The world number one from Penang takes on Egypt's Engy Kheirallah in the first round in a bid to extend her 30-match unbeaten run on the WISPA World Tour. Victory in Singapore would give the 24-year-old her eighth Tour title in a row - but the 30th of her career.