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Grainger Clinches Cleveland Hat-Trick

Burning River Classic 2009
30 Jan-04 Feb, Cleveland Racket Club, Ohio, $39k

Round One
01 Feb
02 Feb
 03 Feb
04 Feb
[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
11-5, 11-13, 11-4, 11-2
[Q] Line Hansen (Den)
Rachael Grinham
11-5, 11-5, 11-8
Tania Bailey
Rachael Grinham
11-2, 11-4, 11-5
Alison Waters
Alison Waters
9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-4
Natalie Grainger
[6] Madeline Perry (Irl)
11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-3
Tania Bailey (Eng)
[3] Alison Waters (Eng)
11-13, 13-11, 12-10, 11-4 (69m)
Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
Alison Waters
11-6, 11-8, 13-11
Jaclyn Hawkes
[8] Samantha Teran (Mex)
14-12, 13-15, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 (101m)
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
[Q] Sarah Kippax
11-4, 11-3, 11-6
[5] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (Eng)
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
11-9, 11-6, 11-8
Natalie Grainger
Lauren Briggs (Eng)
11-3, 11-9, 13-1
[4] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
[Q] Latasha Khan (Usa)
11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 11-5
[7] Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
Rebecca Chiu
11-2, 11-8, 11-8
Natalie Grainger
[Q] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
11-7, 11-3, 11-6
[2] Natalie Grainger (Usa)

Grainger Clinches Cleveland Hat-Trick


Natalie Grainger secured a hat-trick of WISPA World Tour squash titles in Cleveland when she beat unexpected English opponent Alison Waters in the final of the $39,000 Women's National City Burning River Classic in front of a capacity crowd at the Cleveland Racquet Club in the US state of Ohio.


The event, which first ran in 2007, has known no other winner than Grainger – the second seed from the USA who put on a masterful display against Waters, the world number six from London who shocked top seed Rachael Grinham to reach the final.


It was by no means a one-sided affair, however, as Waters made her intent for the crown felt in the first game, taking it 11-9 after an electric display of squash.


Grainger came out in the second game looking like a player on a mission:  It was not through the underdog’s careless play that the USA star romped to a 10-0 lead, more an aggressive accuracy that the Cleveland crowd had yet to experience.


The third game was more of the same as Natalie moved 2/1 up.  Waters started the fourth in good spirits leading 3-1.  But Grainger came back to set up another run of eight straight points as she headed to the 9-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-4 victory which marked her 12th successive match win in the event.


The Burning River Classic title gives Grainger the 21st WISPA World Tour title of her career – and the 10th on home soil since the England-born 31-year-old became a US citizen in February 2007.


Waters Stuns Top Seed Grinham In Cleveland


England's Alison Waters delivered one of the standout performances of her career when she crushed top seed Rachael Grinham in the semi-finals of the Women's National City Burning River Classic to secure an unexpected place in the final of the $39,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike in the US state of Ohio.


"Alison put on a display of the highest calibre as she kept the former world number one on the defensive then finished rallies with some decisive shot-making," said tournament organiser Nathan Dugan.


"Rachael was only able to put two points on the board in the first game but it was not through errors that she found herself in the position - Alison took advantage of any loose ball by burying the next shot in a straight nick!


"What the packed crowd witnessed stunned them into almost a breathless silence as the disbelief of what they were seeing sunk in," added Dugan after the 11-2, 11-4, 11-5 victory which takes the 24-year-old world No6 into her sixth Tour final.


Waters now faces defending champion Natalie Grainger, the second seed from the USA who is looking to win a hat-trick of successive Cleveland crowns.  While Waters has, in fact, won three out of her last four encounters with Grinham, the Londoner will be hoping to end a run of five defeats in a row by the US number one.


Grainger, the world No4 from Greenwich, extended her unbeaten run at the Cleveland Racquet Club to 11 matches with an 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 win over Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, the fifth seed from England.


After winning the opening game, Grainger raised her game another notch as she jumped on anything that could be volleyed.  The Lancashire lass did not have the response to the assault and despite playing some excellent squash herself was always chasing rather than being out in front.


"If both finalists produce the quality of play they brought to the court this evening then the Cleveland Racquet Club crowd will be in for a treat tomorrow," concluded Dugan.

Laura Leaps Into Cleveland Semis


Laura Lengthorn-Massaro ensured surprise English interest in both semi-finals of the Women's National City Burning River Classic after upsetting Egypt's fourth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy in the quarter-finals of the $39,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike in the US state of Ohio.


The 25-year-old world No8 from Lancashire battled for four games to topple Abdel Kawy, ranked one place higher in the world list, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4.


Lengthorn-Massaro, the fifth seed, will now face US star Natalie Grainger for a place in the final.  Second seed Grainger - twice winner of the event, in 2007 and 2008 - secured her tenth successive win in the Cleveland championship by beating Rebecca Chiu, the No7 seed from Hong Kong, 11-2, 11-8, 11-8.


"Natalie took early leads in every game and never really looked threatened throughout the match despite some determined retrieving from the 2002 Asian Games gold medallist," said tournament organiser Nathan Dugan.


Alison Waters will carry English hopes into the other semi-final:  The third seed from London ended Jaclyn Hawkes's run in the event when she beat the unseeded New Zealander 11-6, 11-8, 13-11.


Waters will take on top-seeded Australian Rachael Grinham, a straight games winner over surprise opponent Tania Bailey.  The unseeded English player was unable to reproduce the form which saw her upset Ireland's sixth seed Madeline Perry 24 hours earlier, and went down 11-5, 11-5, 11-8 to the former world number one from Queensland.


Tania Takes Out Perry In Cleveland Upset


England's unseeded Tania Bailey claimed a significant scalp in her comeback campaign after almost a year out with injury when she beat sixth seed Madeline Perry in the opening round of the Women's National City Burning River Classic, the $39,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike in the US state of Ohio.


Bailey, the former world No4 now languishing at 18 after undergoing knee surgery last April, took control of the match from the start, working the Irish number one up and down the backhand side of the court.  With the exception of a lapse in the second game where Perry was able to take advantage of seven errors from her opponent, Bailey always seemed to be heading to victory.


It took four games, but Bailey won 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-3 in the pair's first Tour meeting for over six years! 


The 29-year-old from Lincolnshire now goes on to face top seed Rachael Grinham, the world No3 from Australia who also needed four games to overcome Danish qualifier Line Hansen 11-5, 11-13, 11-4, 11-2.


There was further notable English success when third seed Alison Waters beat Egypt's Engy Kheirallah to avenge the Londoner's defeat in the deciding match of last year's Women's World Team Championship final in Cairo which led to Egypt claiming the title for the first time.


Waters will now face Jaclyn Hawkes after the unseeded New Zealander battled for one hour and 41 minutes to beat eighth seed Samantha Teran.


"This is certainly longer than anything we have seen in the previous two years and amazingly this is with the new scoring system that was questioned for making matches too short!" commented tournament organiser Nathan Dugan.


There was little between the players throughout the whole match.  The Mexican had her chances to win the match, holding a 9-7 lead in the deciding game but Hawkes put four consecutive points on the board to end a marathon encounter 14-12, 13-15, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9.