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Rachael Retains Alexandria Title

Alexandria Sporting Club Open 2008
Alexandria, Egypt, 08-13 Aug, $25k
Round One
10 Aug
11 Aug
12 Aug
13 Aug
[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
11/8, 11/3, 11/8
Laura Mylotte (Irl)
Rachael Grinham
11/4, 12/14, 11/8, 11/3 (45m)
Laura Hill
Rachael Grinham
11-6, 11-5, 11-4 (27m)
Raneem El Weleily
Rachael Grinham
11-5, 11-2, 20-18 (37m)
Vanessa Atkinson
[5] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
11/8, 11/9, 11/13, 14/12
[Q] Laura Hill (Eng)
[4] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
11/3, 11/4, 10/12, 11/9
[Q] Heba El Torky (Egy)
Raneem El Weleily
11/9, 11/3, 11/3 (23m)
Orla Noom
[7] Orla Noom (Ned)
11/5, 11/5, 11/7
Elise Ng (Hkg)
Annie Au (Hkg)
11/6, 11/7, 11/5
[6] Christina Mak (Hkg)
Annie Au
3/11, 11/7, 11/7, 8/11, 11/8 (68m)
Engy Kheirallah
Annie Au
11-9, 11-3, 11-8 (28m)
Vanessa Atkinson
[Q] Eman El Amir (Egy)
11/3, 11/8, 11/4
[3] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
Lauren Siddall (Eng)
10/12, 11/5, 11/7, 11/8
[8] Alana Miller (Can)
Lauren Siddall
11/1, 12/10, 4/11, 8/11, 11/8 (47m)
Vanessa Atkinson
[Q] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
7/11, 11/9, 11/5, 8/11, 11/5
[2] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)

9th August
Laura Hill (Eng) bt Olga Ertlova (Cze) 11/5, 11/4, 11/5
Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Salma Hany (Egy) 11/0, 11/5, 5/11, 13/11
Eman El Amir (Egy) bt Fiona Moverley (Eng) 11/4, 11/3, 11/9
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Nouran El Torky (Egy) 11/13, 6/11, 11/9, 11/7, 11/9

Round One:
Laura Hill (Eng) bt Farida El Dahab (Egy) 11/1, 11/7, 11/5
Olga Ertlova (Cze) bt Amanda Sobhy (Usa) 11/3, 6/11, 11/1, 12/10
Salma Hany (Egy) bt Lucie Fialova (Cze) 11/8, 6/11, 5/11, 11/9, 12/10
Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Sara El Noamany (Egy) 7/11, 11/6, 11/9, 11/4
Eman El Amir (Egy) bt Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (Egy) 13/11, 11/9, 11/4
Fiona Moverley (Eng) bt Farah Abdel Meguid (Egy) 13/11, 11/9, 11/4
Nouran El Torky (Egy) bt Salma Nasser (Egy) 11/9, 11/6, 11/9
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Eliza Kargioti (Gre) 11/2, 11/2, 11/2

Rachael Retains Alexandria Title

After surviving a marathon third game tie-break, Australia's world champion Rachael Grinham beat former world champion Vanessa Atkinson in the final of the Women's Alexandria Sporting Club Open to retain her title in the $25,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at the Alexandria Sporting Club in Alexandria, Egypt.

Grinham, the Cairo-based world number three, disappointed the local crowd when she beat Alexandria star Raneem El Weleily, the No4 seed, in the semi-finals to reach the 48th Tour final of her career.

Atkinson, the second seed from the Netherlands, claimed her 34th final appearance after ending the brave run of Annie Au in the other semi - beating her unseeded Hong Kong opponent in straight games.

After dominating the first two games in the final and romping to match-ball at 10-7 in the third, it seemed likely that the title was back in Grinham's hands.  But Atkinson was not about to concede so easily and levelled the game before proceeding to three game-balls of her own.

But, at 18-18 - with the game already achieving the record as the highest 'tie-break' score since WISPA introduced its Pro-Scoring last month - Grinham held her nerve to win the next two points to claim her historic 11-5, 11-2, 20-18 victory after 37 minutes.

Asked about the marathon tie-break, the runner-up told the media:  "I was too tired to think. I was just trying to hang in there and get some balls back.  I felt I played better and better as I got the match practice and to get used to PAR.  That was the whole point of playing the event."

As for the winner, Grinham explained about the endgame. "She thought it was over and so became relaxed.  I didn't panic though.  In fact I was relaxed today and for the first time I was confident going short.  I was having a really good day until she picked it up at the end, but I always felt I would get through it even if it took another game," said Grinham, after winning her first title of the year, but the 28th of her career.

"Mind you, I always enjoy playing Vanessa as it is a fair game."

Annie Storms Into Alexandria Semis

Hong Kong's unseeded Annie Au stormed into the semi-finals of the Women's Alexandria Sporting Club Open after pulling off a sensational quarter-final upset over local star Engy Kheirallah, the third seed, in the $25,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at Alexandria Sporting Club in Alexandria, Egypt.

Au, the 19-year-old world No46 who upset top-20-ranked Australian Kasey Brown in this month's Australian Open final, fought back from a game down to lead 2/1 before Kheirallah, the world No18, forced a decider.

After romping to a 7-1 lead, Au had match-balls from 10-4 as her higher-ranked opponent produced a flurry of winners to reduce the deficit to 8-10.

But a sensational reverse backhand drop concluded matters for Au who celebrated a magnificent 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8 win after 68 minutes.

"I was a bit nervous in the middle but because I had nothing to lose I didn't worry and I played my best," said Au. "I'm a bit tired so my fitness has to get better."

Au now faces former world champion Vanessa Atkinson, the second seed from the Netherlands who beat England's unseeded Lauren Siddall 11-1, 12-10, 4-11, 8-11, 11-8.

Local interest in the semis will be led by Alexandrian Raneem El Weleily, the fourth seed who beat Dutch opponent Orla Noom 11-9, 11-3, 11-3. El Weleily will face favourite Rachael Grinham, the Cairo-based Australian who overcame English qualifier Laura Hill 11-4, 12-14, 11-8, 11-3.