Strikes Gold In Texas
Top-seeded Malaysian Nicol David overcame defending champion Natalie Grainger
for the second time in seven days when she beat her US rival in the final of the
But the world number one had to fight back from a game down, then survive extra
points in the second game, before prevailing in 39 minutes over world number two
Grainger in the climax of the eighth staging of the established event at Life
Time Fitness in Plano.
"It was a close one and it wasn't an easy task that's for sure," said the
delighted 25-year-old from Penang at the post-final presentations.
"She was well into playing every shot imaginable in the first game and in the
second I started to get a little bit into my own game. Then, trailing at a
crucial 10-8, I managed to pull it through and got the match to one-all.
"Afterwards, I kept my game and Natalie started to make a few unforced errors to
give me a better lead. The last game was very tight right throughout, but I knew
I had to keep working hard to make this final go my way. Finally, everything
worked out for me at the end.
"I'm glad to win my first Texas Open title," concluded David.
It was a confidence-boosting win for the Malaysian superstar who fell to
Grainger in the final of the KL Open, on home soil, in March - thereby ending a
remarkable 56-match, 17-month unbeaten WISPA Tour run.
The win marks the 36th Tour title of Nicol David's career - and not brings her
appearances in successive WISPA finals to 15 since October 2007, but also raises
her total number of Tour finals to 51, thus drawing level with Australian Tour
rival Rachael Grinham.
David & Grainger To
Meet In Texas Final
The top two seeds Nicol David and Natalie Grainger
will meet in the final of the Women's Texas Open after prevailing in the
semi-finals of the $57,000 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event at
Life Time Fitness in Plano, near Dallas, USA.
Then opening semi-final was the first encounter between the two
Natalies since US number one Grainger succeeded fourth seed Grinham as world
number two in April. It was a pulsating clash, full of all-angle exploitation,
deft racket work and counter attack.
After a good start by Grinham, Grainger began to extend her Dutch
opponent, inducing errors from the world number four before ultimately clinching
her 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 victory in 36 minutes.
"We were both edgy in the first game and she pulled away when I
gave her easy lengths - so I had to focus on improving that in the rest of the
match," explained defending champion Grainger later.
"I am really pleased to be in the final to defend my Texas Open
title - and such a big and enthusiastic crowd is great too."
Grinham added: "It was hard because I felt that I was getting to
the ball, but missing some in the second game. I lost a bit of confidence and
to her credit she took advantage and played well. I am really disappointed that
I didn't play better in the fourth."
After upsetting third seed Rachael Grinham to reach the
semis, England's Jenny Duncalf was under pressure throughout the match
against Nicol David as ball after ball came back and anything loose was put
It was a dominant performance from the world number one from
Malaysia who notched up her 11-4, 11-3, 11-6 win after 30 minutes.
"I was just on today," said David, who will now meet Grainger in
the second WISPA final in seven days, after beating her Tour rival in last
week's Cayman Islands Open.
"I knew I had to be because she would be gunning for me, so I was
pleased with my focus and my game."
Duncalf admitted that the game was not easy: "She seemed to be
in front of me the whole time. I played pretty well but she gave me no room or
time. I tried to slow it down but nothing worked. It was hard."
Grinham In Texas Upset
England's Jenny Duncalf battled for 55 minutes to upset
third seed Rachael Grinham in the Women's Texas Open to reach the
last four of the $57,000 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event at
Life Time Fitness in Plano, near Dallas, USA.
The fifth seed from Harrogate in Yorkshire recovered from a game
behind to beat Grinham 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9 - recording her third
successive victory over the world number three from Australia since May last
The win takes Duncalf into her second surprise semi in less than
two weeks - and it was an upset over Rachael's sister Natalie Grinham
that led the England number one into the last four of the Cayman Islands Open:
"It was a risk to play in Cayman, as being fifth seed wasn't ideal - but if you
want to try and beat these players you have to put yourself in the mix,"
"Rachael has a really good touch, and puts the unexpected one in
short and it had to be in the back of my mind to cover it."
Grinham senior, who clearly found the court's unusual clear glass
right side wall difficult, added: "She is moving very well these days, which is
a bit of a pain! It is a bit hard as the court is tricky. The forehand side is
not so easy, but she held it together better than I did."
Duncalf now faces favourite Nicol David, the world number
one from Malaysia who beat France's No8 seed Isabelle Stoehr 11-5, 11-8,
made up for her Grand Cayman disappointment by beating England's sixth seed
Alison Waters 11-5, 11-9, 13-11 in an earlier quarter-final.
The fourth seed from the Netherlands now meets Natalie
Grainger - though the second seed from the USA had to fight back from 1-8
down in the second game before going on to beat unseeded Mexican Samantha
Teran 11-5, 13-11, 11-9.
Teran Takes Perry
In Texas Tussle
Unseeded Mexican Samantha Teran recorded the best win of
her career when she beat seventh seed Madeline Perry in the Women's
Texas Open to claim a place in the quarter-finals of the $57,000 WISPA
World Tour Gold squash event at Life Time Fitness in Plano,
near Dallas, USA.
"This tournament gives me good luck," exclaimed the 28-year-old
from Mexico City after her 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11 victory over Perry, the
world No9, in 57 minutes.
"The first time I won against a top 20 player was in Dallas. The
last time I got to the semis against the seeding - and now here I have won
against a top 10 player for the first time.
"I like Dallas a lot!" added world No16 Teran, Mexico's
highest-ranked player of all-time.
Teran will now line up against Natalie Grainger, the
second seed from the USA. Suffering from a head-ache, the world No2 from
Greenwich had to come from 2/1 down to overcome English qualifier Emma
Beddoes 11-6, 5-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-9.
Grainger is expected to meet top seed Nicol David in
Sunday's final. The world number one from Malaysia took just 27 minutes to
topple English qualifier Dominique Lloyd-Walter 11-6, 11-3, 11-4.
2009 Texas Open Boasts Biggest Ever Prize Fund
The Women's International Squash Players Association is
celebrating the fact that the 2009 Texas Open – the eighth edition of the
event since 2002 – will be the biggest ever.
Bucking the world financial climate, the WISPA World Tour
championship – which alternates between Houston and Dallas - will
boast a total prize fund of $57,750.
Dallas SRA President Sanjeeb Samanta is pleased to
report: "This year, we met an unprecedented milestone. While local
corporations found the economic situation a barrier to supporting the event,
nearly sixty individuals from the Dallas squash community stepped forward to
fund 100% of the cost."
This support has enabled the event to elevate to WISPA Gold
band - and already has world number one Nicol David, from Malaysia,
indicating that she will enter the event she last played in 2005.
WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley expressed delight
with the success of the Dallas SRA fund-raising operation: "It is a tribute to
the generosity of local enthusiasts that they stepped up to the plate when there
was a danger of the tenth anniversary of the first WISPA event in Texas not
"And to take it higher too is awesome. Their reward will be a
great week of squash and lots of interaction with the players and I am sure a
great time will be had by all. They deserve it."
The event - whose title-holders include former world number ones
Natalie Grainger, Vanessa Atkinson, Rachael Grinham and
Carol Owens - takes place from 12-17 May at Life Time Fitness in
Plano, near Dallas.