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Nicol David Celebrates Singapore Hat-Trick

CIMB Singapore Masters 2009
03-08 Aug, Singapore

Round One
05 Aug
06 Aug
07 Aug
08 Aug
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/5, 11/8, 11/7 (27m)
[Q] Samantha Teran (Mex)
Nicol David
12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7 (55m)
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro
Nicol David
11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 (37m)
Alison Waters
Nicol David
11-9, 11-8, 11-9 (40m)
Natalie Grinham
[7] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (Eng)
11/8, 11/6, 12/10 (27m)
[Q] Delia Arnold (Mas)
[4] Alison Waters (Eng)
12/10, 11/5, 11/4 (33m)
[Q] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
Alison Waters
9-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9 (81m)
Jenny Duncalf
[5]Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
11/8, 11/9, 11/5 (35m)
Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
Pamela Chua (Sin)
11/2, 11/1, 11/2 (17m)
[8] Madeline Perry (Irl)
Madeline Perry
11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 (60m)
Natalie Grinham
Natalie Grinham
11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8 (50m)
Rachael Grinham
Kasey Brown (Aus)
11/7, 11/3, 11/3 (25m)
[3] Natalie Grinham (Ned)
Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
11/3, 12/10, 11/9 (31m)
[6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-5, 13-15, 11-2, 11-4 (45m)
Rachael Grinham
[Q] Sharon Wee (Mas)
11/9, 11/3, 11/3 (30m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (Aus)

Nicol David Celebrates Singapore Hat-Trick


World number one Nicol David underlined her dominance in womenís squash by defeating Natalie Grinham, the world No3, in straight games in the final of the CIMB Women's Singapore Masters to win the $53,500 WISPA World Squash Tour Gold title at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore for the third year in a row.


It was a masterful performance by the 25-year-old from Malaysia in her third successive final against a Grinham - beating Natalie this time and in 2007, and elder sister Rachael Grinham in between.


Game one was cut-and-thrust as both players tried to work each other, with Grinham intent on keeping David at the back of the court with lobs.  The Dutch player was able to stay level with the world champion until eight-all, when David was able to stretch ahead and wrap up the game.


Grinham junior came out firing in the second game, mixing up her shots with good effect.  From 6-1 in front, the Australian-born 31-year-old stretched the lead to 8-2.  And that was when David started clawing back the points, one by one.  Playing patiently, the Malaysian won the next nine points to move 2/0 ahead.


Given a sniff of victory, David was not about to let up in the third game. And despite a mid-game blip when she allowed Grinham to close the scores, the Malaysian kept her composure to complete her 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 victory in 40 minutes.


"I thought I did quite well to put pressure on Nicol throughout all three games," explained Grinham later.  "The second game was pretty important, but I donít think I did much wrong, rather it was Nicol who fought her way back.


"The past couple of years Iíve struggled with injury, which hasnít helped, but now itís all coming good and Iím becoming stronger and stronger mentally.  So I really wanted to come back and win Singapore," added the runner-up after her 34th final appearance on the WISPA Tour.


As for David, it was sweet to pick up her 39th WISPA title.  More than that, she wants to keep her focus to stay ahead of the chasing pack.


"I think itís a matter of working on the little things, making sure I do everything right, instead of worrying about what others are doing.  And to make sure I bring my best each time I step onto the court," explained the champion after her fifth successive Tour title triumph this year.


Natalie Upsets Sister Rachael To Reach Singapore Final


Natalie Grinham upset her older sister Rachael Grinham in the semi-finals of the CIMB Women's Singapore Masters to earn a clash with title-holder Nicol David in a repeat of the 2007 final of the $53,500 WISPA World Squash Tour Gold event at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore.


It was the siblings' 21st WISPA Tour meeting since 2000 - but the first since last year's Hong Kong Open semi-finals when Rachael prevailed.  The latest battle took 50 minutes, and Natalie - now ranked three in the world, ahead of Rachael - avenged her Hong Kong defeat to win 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8.


In the final, Grinham junior - now representing the Netherlands - hopes it will be her turn to put her mark on the world No1:  "I will go out and do my best and run everything down and hopefully come out the champion."


The second semi-final, between favourite Nicol David and England's fourth seed Alison Waters, was an outstanding affair.  "Long rallies, incredible shot-making, and superb retrieves that left the capacity crowd ooh-ing and aah-ing in delight," said event spokesman Joyce Poon


Despite an exhausting 80-minute quarter-final last night against fellow countrywoman Jenny Duncalf, Londoner Waters gave her very best against the world's best player.


After dropping the first two games, Waters upped the aggression in the third and with it her accuracy. Shooting to a 4-0 lead, she did not relinquish her lead, winning 11-7.


The fourth game was all David, however, as the long rallies took their toll on Waters, with the Penangite running out an 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 winner.


Looking ahead to the final with Natalie Grinham, whom she beat in the 2007 title match, David said: "I played her last week in Kuala Lumpur, and beat her in the World Games final in Kaohsiung.  We have some good matches together but knowing this is the final, I just want to give it a good go."


Asked if itís important for her to land the hat-trick here in Singapore, David replied: ďFor me itís just important to play well, and if I do play well, then the result will come."


Grinhams Line Up For Singapore Semi


There will be a Grinham in the final of the CIMB Women's Singapore Masters.  But will it be third seed Natalie Grinham, the world No3, or her elder sister Rachael Grinham - ranked just one place below her, but the tournament's second seed - who will contest the climax of the $53,500 WISPA World Squash Tour Gold event at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore.


The first quarter-final pitched Natalie Grinham against eighth seed Madeline Perry - and the hour-long match set the scene for the rest of the evening.  The pair traded games before taking the match into a fifth game.  And in the decider, there were never any more than two points between the two before Irish champion Perry had a late lapse of concentration to allow Grinham to go ahead.


The game ended on a stroke to the Dutch star and, despite initially thinking it was a harsh decision, Perry conceded later that it was a fair call.


The Irish girl felt she had her chances to win: "I really felt I could win. We were at 8-all in the final game and then I played a weak volley boast there and just dropped off for a couple of points and gave her the match point," said Perry after her 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 defeat.  "Still on match ball, I felt I could win, but I couldnít quite do it."


For Grinham, it was a different kind of struggle:  "I played well in some points, other points I felt I was mistiming the ball. I played on the back courts yesterday, and the show courtís a little bit different. So my timing was a little bit off sometimes.  It was a patchy match, and Iím happy to get through it."


Rachaelís match against Egyptian enigma Omneya Abdel Kawy was more straightforward.  Except for a second game blip, the 32-year-old from Toowoomba, Australia, was always ahead despite playing with a sore ankle.


"The night before I had my first round, I just went over on my ankle, crossing the street unbelievably," explained Rachael Grinham after her 11-5, 13-15, 11-2, 11-4 win.  "And Iíve already done my ankle a couple of times this year, so itís already quite weak. So I wasnít really sure I was going to be able to move alright.


"I thought tonight against Omneya, I was really going to struggle because sheís usually quite good in the front.  So I went out there with a plan to just try and keep her in the back so that I probably wouldnít have to move much and hopefully she would make some errors."


About playing her sister in the semis, Rachael continued: ďNatalie and I donít play each other that much these days, because weíre both struggling a bit to make it through the rounds.  Itís always good because we always know that one of us is getting through to the final."


The third quarter-final - an all-English affair between fifth seed Jenny Duncalf and fourth seed Alison Waters - was nip and tuck all the way.  But it was Londoner Waters who prevailed 9-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9 in the 81-minute tussle to set up a second meeting in a week with favourite Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who beat her in the CIMB Malaysia Open final last Saturday.


For Duncalf, it was disappointing to be edged out:  "There wasnít a lot in it, Alison nicked it in the end. Iím disappointed to lose but I didnít think I played too badly.  I probably should have capitalised on my lead in the fifth, but Ali came back strong and took it in the end."


The crowd stayed to see top seed Nicol David in action and for a while there, it seemed they were going to witness an upset.  England's world No9 Laura Lengthorn-Massaro played like the rising star she has been for the past two years, running Nicol close before losing the first game 12-10.


Laura then won the second 11-7 but that was when Nicol found the extra gear that she often does, taking the third 11-7. Nicol shot to a 6-0 lead in the fourth and despite a mini-comeback from Laura, the Malaysian stayed focused to wrap up the match in 61 minutes.


Laura took heart from her defeat: ďI thought I played OK. My game plan was good but it was the execution that let me down.  I was confident because the last we met was 3/2, so I know that I can get games, itís just turning the games into wins, so next time, I learnt a lot from this."


Now one win away from her third successive final, David agreed she was not at her best:  "I was not having the best focus today but Laura played really well today and worked the court well.  I got sucked into her game but then I managed to find my own game and bring it to her at the end."


David Despatches Teran In Pursuit Of Singapore Hat-Trick Bid


It took top seed Nicol David just 27 minutes to overcome Mexican opponent Samantha Teran at the Kallang Squash Centre in Singapore as the world number one from Malaysia began her bid to win a successive hat-trick of titles in the CIMB Women's Singapore Masters, the $53,500 Gold event on the WISPA World Squash Tour.


The 25-year-old from Penang shot off like a rocket, taking the first game 11-5, before taking the next two 11-8 and 11-7.


The favourite was pleased to get over the first hurdle: "Samantha has been playing well lately, she keeps going and going.  So I wanted to start off strong and keep the mistakes to the minimum."


Second seed Rachael Grinham was equally clinical in despatching Malaysiaís Sharon Wee 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 to stay on course for a repeat of last yearís final.  The Australian next meets Omneya Abdel Kawy, the sixth seed from Egypt who downed Isabelle Stoehr 11-7, 11-3, 11-3.


Madeline Perry attended a radio recording in the morning, alongside WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley, and Singapore players Mao Shi Hui and Pamela Chua.


The Irish number one not only put up a good performance during at the 938LIVE radio studios in the morning, but in the evening took just 17 minutes to brush aside Singapore hope Pamela Chua.


Perry, the world No8, now lines up against 3rd-ranked Natalie Grinham, while her Singaporean opponent, ranked 137 in the world, heads next to the United States for tertiary studies.  And while Madeline will continue as a touring pro to study the angles of a squash court, Pamela will be doing undergraduate studies in Mathematical and Computational Science!


Englandís Laura Lengthorn-Massaro defeated Malaysiaís Delia Arnold 11-8, 11-6, 12-10 to earn a meeting with favourite Nicol David.