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13th Time Lucky As Grainger Ends David's Unbeaten Run In KL Final

KL Open 2009
Men's Draw
02-07 March, Kuala Lumpur, $53k

Round One
04 Mar
05 Mar
 06 Mar
07 Mar
[1] Peter Barker (Eng)
11/3, 11/3, 11/4 (31m)
[Q] Alui Anwar Reda (Egy)
Peter Barker
11-8, 11-2, 11-5 (40m)
Farhan Mehboob
Peter Barker
11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4 (61m)
Borja Golan
Peter Barker
11-6, 11-2, 11-4 (52m)
Adrian Grant
[6] Farhan Mehboob (Pak)
7/11, 11/9, 11/4, 11/6 (56m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (Mas)
[4] Borja Golan (Esp)
11/5, 11/7, 11/2 (25m)
Jan Koukal (Cze)
Borja Golan
11-7, 13-11, 11-5 (39m)
Yasir Butt
[7] Omar Mosaad (Egy)
11/6, 11/7, 6/11, 11/9 (45m)
[Q] Yasir Butt (Pak)
[Q] Chris Simpson (Eng)
11/3, 11/6, 4/11, 11/4 (28m)
[8] Mansoor Zaman (Pak)
Chris Simpson
11-6, 13-11, 11-9 (57m)
Adrian Grant
Adrian Grant
7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (61m)
Ong Beng Hee
Tarek Momen (Egy)
11/9, 11/9, 8/11, 11/6 (73m)
[3] Adrian Grant (Eng)
[Q] Aaron Frankcomb (Aus)
11/6, 5/11, 11/6, 8/11, 11/8 (90m)
[5] Aamir Atlas Khan (Pak)
Aamir Atlas Khan
11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-1 (60m)
Ong Beng Hee
Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy)
11/3, 6/11, 11/4, 7/11, 11/6 (56m)
[2] Ong Beng Hee (Mas)


 3rd March, Finals:

 Aaron Frankcomb (Aus) bt  Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind) 11/5, 11/6, 11/6 (45m)
 Chris Simpson (Eng) bt Ivan Yuen (Mas) 11/7, 11/9, 11/9 (46m)
 Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) bt Matthew Karwalski (Aus) 11/6, 11/4, 11/7 (37m)
 Yasir Butt (Pak) bt Shamsul Islam Khan (Pak) 11/2, 11/2, 11/7 (26m)

2nd March, Round One:

Aaron Frankcomb (Aus) bt Kamran Khan (Mas) 7/11, 11/0, 12/10, 12/10 (64m)
 Ritwik Bhattacharya (Ind) bt Elvinn Keo (Mas) 5/11, 11/4, 11/9, 11/8 (43m)
 Chris Simpson (Eng) bt Graeme Wilson (Nzl) 11/6, 11/3, 4/11, 11/3 (39m)
 Ivan Yuen (Mas) bt Muhd Asyraf Azan (Mas) 9/11, 11/8, 11/9, 11/7 (64m)
 Matthew Karwalski (Aus) bt Nafzahizam Adnan (Mas)  9/11, 11/4, 8/11, 11/6, 11/6 (53m)
 Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) bt Choong Kam Hing (Mas) 11/8, 12/11, 11/6 (33m)
 Shamsul Islam Khan (Pak) bt Le Roy Leong (Mas) 9/11, 11/7, 11/2, 11/8 (32m)
 Yasir Butt (Pak) bt Ng Jo Wen (Mas) 11/2, 11/7, 11/7 (30m)

KL Open 2009
Women's Draw
02-07 March, Kuala Lumpur, $53k

Round One
04 Mar
05 Mar
 06 Mar
07 Mar
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/6, 11/8, 11/7 (26m(
Madeline Perry (Irl)
Nicol David
11-1, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 (46m)
Jenny Duncalf
Nicol David
9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (34m)
Rachael Grinham
Nicol David
11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6 (51m)
Natalie Grainger
[5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
11/8, 11/7, 11/6 (30m)
Sharon Wee (Mas)
[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
14/12, 11/4, 12/10 (24m)
[Q] Annie Au (Hkg)
Rachael Grinham
11-9, 4-11, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10 (63m)
Alison Waters
[6] Alison Waters (Eng)
6/11, 11/6, 11/9, 11/8 (45m)
Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
Kasey Brown (Aus)
11/1, 11/7, 1/11, 11/6 (40m)
[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 (42m)
Natalie Grainger
Natalie Grainger
9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 (51m)
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
[Q] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
11/7, 11/7, 4/11, 19/17 (33m)
[4] Natalie Grainger (Usa)
[Q] Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
11/7, 17/15, 11/3 (26m)
[8] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (Eng)
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (23m)
Natalie Grinham
[Q] Lauren Briggs (Eng)
13/11, 11/8, 11/9 (29m)
[2] Natalie Grinham (Aus)


  3rd Mar, Finals:

  Annie Au (Hkg) bt Rebecca Chiu (Hkg) 11/9, 11/8, 11/7 (27m)
  Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Low Wee Wern (Mas) 11/5, 13/11, 11/8 (31m)
  Lauren Briggs (Eng) bt  Delia Arnold (Mas) 11/4, 11/6, 4/11, 11/6 (53m)
  Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) bt Emma Beddoes (Eng) 11/7, 11/5, 11/8 (39m)
2nd Mar, Round One:

Rebecca Chiu (Hkg) bt Joelle King (Nzl) 11/8, 11/8, 8/11, 9/11, 11/6 (57m)
  Annie Au (Hkg) bt Lisa Camilleri (Aus) 11/9, 11/6, 4/11, 11/4 (30m)
  Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Lauren Siddall (Eng) 11/8, 8/11, 11/3, 11/5 (38m)
  Low Wee Wern (Mas) bt Donna Urquhart (Aus) 12/10, 11/6, 11/1 (25m)
  Delia Arnold (Mas) bt Joshna Chinappa (Ind) 14/12, 11/3, 11/5 (29m)
  Lauren Briggs (Eng) bt Kylie Lindsay (Nzl) 11/4, 11/6, 10/12, 6/11, 14/12 (45m)
  Emma Beddoes (Eng) bt Annelize Naude (Ned) 7/11, 11/6, 11/3, 11/13, 11/3 (51m)
  Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl) bt Lim Woke Yah (Mas) 11/9, 11/7, 6/11, 11/3 (32m)

13th Time Lucky As Grainger Ends David's Unbeaten Run In KL Final


In a sensational climax of the women's CIMB KL Open at Berjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Natalie Grainger of the USA stunned defending champion Nicol David in five games - thus ending the 17-month, 56-match, unbeaten WISPA World Tour run by the world number one from Malaysia.


David - last beaten in the World Open in Madrid in October 2007, since when she has won 12 titles in succession - went into the championship as firm favourite to win the title for a sixth time.


In the final of the $53,000 WISPA Gold event, Grainger put pressure on the local heroine from the outset.  The 31-year-old from Greenwich, who already had two Tour titles to her name this year, won the first game then saved a game ball in the second before eventually losing 12-10 as David drew level.


World No4 Grainger moved ahead after winning the third game - but, again, the 25-year-old from Penang struck back to force the match into a fifth game decider.


A backhand drop took the US underdog to match-ball at 10-6 - then Grainger again delivered a perfect winning drop response to a ball that David scraped off the back wall to clinch victory.


An ecstatic Grainger raised both arms aloft to celebrate her historic 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6 upset after 51 minutes.  It was 13th time 'lucky' for the WISPA President who has lost 12 times to Nicol David since last beating her in October 2003!


"I took six or seven poundings from Nicol as she is such a great champion and always closing out," admitted Grainger afterwards.  "But I feel that I have been playing well the last two years, probably the most consistent of my life - and it all came together today in front of this great audience."


David had no excuses:  "If you are not spot on against Natalie you are in trouble and, fair play to her, she was great today," said the former champion.  "You have to accept it, I had to bring something more, but this time I couldn't get it on."


The final of the men's $50,000 PSA Tour squash event was an all-English affair between favourite Peter Barker and England team-mate Adrian Grant - the third seed who ousted Malaysian hope Ong Beng Hee, the defending champion, in the semi-finals.


Grant, who tumbled over his opponent in mid court in the first game of the final, was unable to reproduce the form he showed in the previous round as Barker recorded an 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 victory in 52 minutes over his fellow left-hander.


"It was a bit up and down as I had a bad slip in the first game and my right hamstring jarred," said the disappointed runner-up.  "After that I wasn't so confident moving."


Barker, whose PSA Tour title tally now rises to 13, admitted that he tried to ignore Grant's setback:  "I definitely noted a bit of a change in his movement after he fell. But I tried to carry on playing my own game - being steady and boringly British!"


Grant Sets Up All-English Final In KL


Third seed Adrian Grant battled for 61 minutes to end local interest in the men's CIMB KL Open when he upset defending champion Ong Beng Hee to set up the first ever all-English final of the $50,000 PSA Tour squash event at Berjaya Times Square in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.


The left-hander from London recovered from a game down to beat second-seeded Malaysian Beng Hee, ranked three places higher in the world top 20, 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-8.


"Beng Hee was under pressure as defending champion and made some errors today that gave me the advantage," said a delighted Grant, now in the 22nd Tour final of his career.  "It may be two British players in the final - but we'll be worth the admission money!"


A downcast Ong Beng Hee added:  "After the re-draw it got tougher for me. I had gruelling matches but Adrian played exceptionally well and deserved the victory. I am going to come back stronger for the Malaysian Open though!"


Grant will face England team-mate Peter Barker - who is also a left-hander and also from London.  The top seed faced fourth seed Borja Golan - and beat the in-form Spaniard 11-7, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4 to set up his 18th final appearance. 


Although the final will be the Englishmen's fourth Tour meeting - it will be their first for more than two years, and the first in a final.


Hopes of a Malaysian on the winner's podium were well-and-truly kept alive in the women's $53,000 WISPA World Tour Gold event when Penang queen Nicol David, the favourite, beat Australian rival Rachael Grinham 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8.


Fresh from a six-week training spell in Australia with former world number one Sarah Fitz-Gerald, David is making her 2009 Tour debut in KL - and expected to win her country's capital city open crown for the sixth time.


"I am trying to get my momentum going for this year, but it is tough as all the girls are out to get me," admitted the 25-year-old after her sixth win in a row over Grinham.  "I am just watching my back and trying to stay on the ball."


In the 49th WISPA final of her career, David will meet another long-time Tour rival:  Natalie Grainger, the fourth seed from the USA, ended the run of England's surprise semi-finalist Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, beating the eighth seed 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 in 51 minutes.


"I finished the fourth really strongly and managed to get a few tactics straight in my head," said Lengthorn later.  "But Natalie came out too strong, a little too strong.  She is so precise that it is tough mentally and physically."


Grainger, the WISPA President who is looking for her third title this year, has reached a significant milestone in her illustrious career:  The 31-year-old from Greenwich is celebrating her 40th Tour final appearance.


Laura Lands First Win Over Natalie In KL


In her first ever victory over the world number two, England's Laura Lengthorn-Massaro beat second seed Natalie Grinham in the CIMB KL Open to claim an unexpected berth in the semi-finals of the $53,000 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.


Only days after celebrating a career-high world No7 ranking, the 25-year-old from Lancashire beat Grinham junior, now representing the Netherlands, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 to record one of the finest wins of her career.


Grinham, runner-up for the past two years, was still suffering the after-effects of whooping cough - and had only recently returned to full-time training.


The win takes the eighth seed through to a clash with another Natalie - Pan American Games gold medallist Natalie Grainger.  The fourth seed from the USA took four games to overcome Egyptian star Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9.


Local heroine Nicol David did not have it all her own way at the top of the draw.  The top-seeded Malaysian, going for her sixth title, won the first game against Jenny Duncalf and led 10-6 in the second.  But the fifth seed from England held her nerve to level the match before David raised her game to record an 11-1, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 victory after 46 minutes.


World number one David will now take on Rachael Grinham for a place in the final.  The third seed from Australia was taken the full distance by Alison Waters before ultimately beating the sixth seed from England 11-9, 4-11, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10 after 63 minutes.


Local hero Ong Beng Hee was taken to five games for the second time in 24 hours in the menís $50,000 PSA Tour event.  The second seed from Penang, winner of the title 12 months ago, took exactly one hour to overcome Pakistan's fifth seed Aamir Atlas Khan 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-1.


Beng Hee will now face Adrian Grant after the third seed survived an all-English clash with qualifier Chris Simpson, winning 11-6, 13-11, 11-9.


There will also be English interest in the other semi where top seed Peter Barker takes on Borja Golan, the fourth seed from Spain.


Londoner Barker toppled fellow left-hander Farhan Mehboob, the sixth seed from Pakistan, 11-8, 11-2, 11-5, while Golan also despatched a Pakistani in his 11-7, 13-11, 11-5 victory over qualifier Yasir Butt.


Nicol David On Song In 2009 Campaign Opener In KL


Malaysian squash star Nicol David began her 2009 campaign on home soil in fine style when she beat Madeline Perry in straight games in the first round of the CIMB KL Open, the $53,000 WISPA World Tour Gold event in the Malaysian capital.


Undefeated since October 2007, the world number one from Penang is seeded to reach the womenís KL Open final for the ninth time since 1999 - and win the title for the sixth time!


David despatched Perry, the 10-time Irish champion from Belfast, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 in just 26 minutes Ė and will now face Englandís Jenny Duncalf for a place in the semi-finals.  Duncalf, the fifth seed from Harrogate, reduced Malaysian interest in the womenís event by 50% when she beat Malacca-born Sharon Wee 11-8, 11-7, 11-6.


Second seed Natalie Grinham is another WISPA star starting out on her 2009 trail.  The Australian-born Dutch 30-year-old defeated English qualifier Lauren Briggs 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 - and will meet another English opponent when she faces eighth seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro en-route for her expected place in the final for the third year in a row.


Two seeds failed to claim their anticipated places in the second round of the menís $50,000 PSA Tour event.  Pakistani qualifier Yasir Butt secured the biggest scalp by beating Egyptís No7 seed Omar Mosaad 11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9.


English qualifier Chris Simpson continued his recent run of form with an 11-3, 11-6, 4-11, 11-4 defeat of eighth seed Mansoor Zaman, also from Pakistan.


Simpson will now face fellow countryman Adrian Grant Ė but the third seed from London was kept on court for 73 minutes before prevailing 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6 over unseeded Egyptian Tarek Momen.


Local hero Ong Beng Hee was also taken the full distance before stemming the advances of the sportís bright new star Mohamed El Shorbagy.  The 18-year-old twice recovered from behind to force the match into a decider Ė but defending champion Beng Bee battled on to win 11-3, 6-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6 after 56 minutes.

WISPA Trials Mobile Streaming In Pioneering Initiative At KL Open


Action from this week's semi-finals and final of the CIMB KL Open - the first Women's International Squash Players Association (WISPA) Gold event of the year - can be viewed on mobile phones for the first time in a ground-breaking trial that extends squash's regular TV and streaming options.


"WISPA have partnered with Squash Stars who will arrange for the uploading so that the potential of this medium can be assessed," commented WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley.  "Squash Stars - who have spearheaded this, and for whom Nicol David is a leading light - have mobile platform arrangements that make this possible.  While it will not be live for this experiment, it will be free of charge and available worldwide."


The service can be automatically accessed from mobile phones by logging into www.squashstars.com/mobile via phone web browsers.


Local star Nicol David also begins her 2009 campaign as top seed in the $53,500 CIMB KL Open, from 4-7 March.  Unbeaten since October 2007, the world number one from Malaysia will be hoping to reach the final for the ninth time since 1999 - and win the title for the sixth time!


David will arrive in KL fresh from a lengthy New Year training session in Melbourne with former world number one Sarah Fitz-Gerald.  But the 25-year-old from Penang faces a tough opening match against in-form Irish champion Madeline Perry, the world No9 from Belfast.


The favourite will undoubtedly renew her Tour rivalry with the Australian Grinham sisters in her country's capital city.  David is expected to face third seed Rachael Grinham, the world No3, in the semi-finals - and thereafter second seed Natalie Grinham, now flying the Dutch flag, in the final, for the third year in a row!


But fourth seed Natalie Grainger cannot be ruled out:  The US champion already has two WISPA World Tour titles under her belt this year - and will be looking to upset the David/Grinham KL roadshow in a bid to extend her Tour title tally