Laura Lands Monte Carlo Jackpot
England's Laura Lengthorn-Massaro recorded the best
win of her career when she upset Australia's world No3 Rachael
Grinham in the final of the Women's Monte Carlo Classic
to clinch - for the first time - the $25,300 WISPA World Tour
squash event in its 13th year at Stade Louis II in Monte
Carlo in Monaco.
Despite leading in both games, top seed Grinham soon found herself
2/0 down as Lengthorn-Massaro, the second seed from Preston in
Lancashire, looked set to cause a swift upset.
the packed crowd at the Stade Louis II sports centre - including
guest of honour His Serene Highness Prince Albert, a
long-time squash enthusiast - were delighted as Grinham powered back
to level the match, then move forward to seven-all in the decider.
However, Lengthorn-Massaro maintained her composure to win 11-7,
11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9 after 66 minutes, thus ending a seven-match
losing streak to the Queenslander since their first clash in 2004.
Prince Albert, one of the International Olympic Committee
members who will be evaluating the squash bid for a place on the
Olympic Games programme in 2016, entered to present the Classic
trophy, and commented how much he had enjoyed the match.
Runner-up Grinham was surprisingly upbeat: "When it finished I
wasn’t actually disappointed as I did play well. It wasn’t that I
could have played better. I was hitting well and getting a lot
back. It was just a shame that I couldn’t take at least one of the
first two games as I was leading in both.
don’t think that we could have had a better match for Prince
Albert," added the former world number one.
new champion was understandably all smiles: "I just wanted to play
similarly to the way I did yesterday. It’s easier said than done,
but I just tried to play the best I could. I knew I would have to
run as much as I could to get close to Rachael.
"This was a big win for me as I hadn’t beaten any of the top three.
I am now really looking forward to January!"
Rachael & Laura In Monte Carlo Final
top two seeds Rachael Grinham and Laura
Lengthorn-Massaro will contest the final of the Women's Monte
Carlo Classic after straight games triumphs in the semi-finals
of the $25,300 WISPA World Tour squash event in its 13th year
at Stade Louis II in Monte Carlo in Monaco.
Favourite Grinham, the world No3 from Australia who is celebrating
her second successive appearance in the final, took just 26 minutes
to despatch France's fourth seed Isabelle Stoehr 11-5, 11-3,
felt really good again," said Grinham afterwards. "And with Isabelle
making a few unusual errors it was a good combo for me. I have had
some hard matches with her and she can be really dangerous, but she
made it a bit easier for me today."
Stoehr agreed: "I didn’t find any length today and she was
controlling me," said the world No12 from Montpellier. "She is
really good even when it is tight so you can imagine when it was in
other semi saw Lengthorn-Massaro, the second seed from England, take
on third seed Vanessa Atkinson, the former world number one
from the Netherlands who was the Monte Carlo champion in 2005. The
higher-ranked English player made up for a lack-lustre performance
in the quarter-finals to claim a convincing 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 victory
in 27 minutes.
downcast Atkinson said later: "For the first half of the opening
game I just thought that I needed to wake up. I felt heavy and my
body was not reacting to the pace. It was the opposite of
yesterday, and she didn’t give me a chance to recover."
Lengthorn-Massaro, celebrating her first appearance in the Monaco
final, acknowledged a different approach in the semi-final: "I was
probably a bit too relaxed yesterday. Today I was focussed in my
head but relaxed on the ball. I was really sharp, volleying well
and finishing; it was probably the best that I have played for a
Laura Tested In Monte Carlo Quarters
After producing the only upset in the first round of the Women's
Monte Carlo Classic, unseeded Camille Serme looked on
course to add a second scalp to her collection when she had a
match-ball against second seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro in the
quarter-finals of the $25,300 WISPA World Tour squash event
in its 13th year at Stade Louis II in Monte Carlo in
Serme, the three-time European Junior champion from Creteil, led
after the first game – then took the fourth to force the match into
a fifth game decider. At 5-8 down, Lengthorn-Massaro took the next
four points to lead 9-8. But Serme stretched herself to claim a
match-ball at 10-9 before the experienced Lengthorn-Massaro, ranked
eight in the world, restored her advantage to win 7-11, 11-7, 11-6,
9-11, 12-10 in 46 minutes.
relieved winner said that she had felt a little flat, but was full
of praise for her opponent: “Camille has improved a lot since I
played her last time. I learnt a lot for the next time! When she
hit those tins in the fifth it relaxed me and I thought aha, I am
back in this!”
Englishwoman will face former champion Vanessa Atkinson for a
place in the final after the third seed from the Netherlands beat
Egypt’s Engy Kheirallah 11-8, 11-4, 11-9.
final match of the day promised a great deal, and top seed
Rachael Grinham delivered, beating England’s fifth seed Tania
Bailey 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 in 30 minutes.
“Grinham was unstoppable, so light, so fast, so assured,” said
tournament organiser Andrew Shelley. “Bailey had picked a
bad day to match up against the former world number one.”
rueful Bailey added: “She played really well I thought. Even my
best shots were coming back. She was literally on everything.”
Graham will face Isabelle Stoehr after the fourth seed from
France earned a walkover following the withdrawal of seventh seed
Annelize Naude who was suffering with a stomach virus.
Serme Storms Into Monte Carlo
Unseeded Camille Serme produced the only upset in the first
round of the Women's Monte Carlo Classic when she beat
England's eighth seed Dominique Lloyd-Walter to become the
second French player to reach the quarter-finals of the $25,300
WISPA World Tour squash event in its 13th year at Stade Louis
II in Monte Carlo in Monaco.
Serme, the three-time European Junior champion from Creteil, battled
through two tie-break games - saving three game-balls in the second
- before beating world No22 Lloyd-Walter 12-10, 18-16, 9-11, 11-8 in
"I remembered the last two close matches and thought I would have a
chance to win," recalled 19-year-old Serme later. "Although I was
tired in the fourth game, I was tired more mentally than physically
so I said to myself that I must keep focussed."
Serme's focus takes her into a surprise last eight clash with
another English opponent Laura Lengthorn-Massaro. The second
seed from Preston brushed aside Adel Weir, beating the South
African qualifier 11-1, 11-4, 11-4 in just 18 minutes.
Beaten 2007 finalist Rachael Grinham cruised into the
quarters with an 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 win in 19 minutes over French
qualifier Celia Allamargot. The top-seeded Australian will
now face England's fifth seed Tania Bailey for a place in the
Former champion Vanessa Atkinson will also feature in the
quarter-final line-up: The third seed from the Netherlands, winner
of the title in 2005, beat England's Laura Hill 11-5, 11-4,
11-8 and will now face Egypt's sixth seed Engy Kheirallah.