Stops Samantha In Marathon Cayman Upset
England's Sarah Kippax became the only qualifier to make
it through to the last eight of the Women's Cayman Islands Open after
upsetting Mexico's eighth seed Samantha Teran in a marathon first
round battle in the $55,300 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event – the
third of the year - on Grand Cayman.
It was a see-saw encounter in which Kippax took the first game
with two dying drives before Teran saved two game balls at 8-10 to draw level
after a tie-break. The 26-year-old from Cheshire did the same in the third to
regain the lead, but the Mexican was always marginally ahead in the fourth.
Teran, the world No12 and highest-ranked Mexican of all-time, led
the decider 5-2 and 9-7 and reached match ball when a risky long drop shot from
Kippax hit the tin.
But Kippax fought back to take the match into its third tie-break
game – and finally clinched victory with a drop shot that Teran was unable to
"It's always a tough one against Samantha," Kippax said after her
11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10 triumph in 72 minutes.
"She's so gutsy and picks everything up. At two-one, I actually
thought it was two-all, it was that tough!
"I'm really pleased: This is the best I've done in a tournament
of this level so I'm delighted," added the world No21, who now faces third seed
Rachael Grinham. "I need to work out my tactics against Rachael, she's a
very tricky player - but for now I'll just enjoy the win."
Grinham earlier cruised to an 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 victory over
Italian qualifier Manuela Manetta.
Later, in one of the first matches on an all-glass court erected
at Camana Bay, Malaysia's Nicol David successfully began the defence of
her title by beating New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes 11-3, 11-5, 11-3.
Hawkes, the world No15 from Auckland, was clearly not lifted by
an on-court Haka which preceded the match as part of the event launch
"When you come onto court in a setting and in front of a crowd
like this, you just want to give it your best," said champion David after her
win. "The Haka was fascinating. I've never seen one close up before - it was
exciting and it got me going, to be honest!"
Rising French star Camille Serme disappointed the packed
crowd by despatching local star Marlene West 14-12, 11-4, 11-5.
Wild card West, a former Jamaican and five-time Caribbean
champion, made the world number 11 work for her win, matching her opponent point
for point for most of the first game before saving three game balls.
"It's great having all the top players here, but we didn't invite
you over so that you could beat our players," joked Tournament Director Dan
Kneipp to Serme post-match.
Click images for larger view
Stoehr Strikes Out Grainger In Grand Cayman Upset
France's Isabelle Stoehr produced the first upset in the
Women's Cayman Islands Open when she defeated USA's fifth seed
Natalie Grainger in a hard-fought five-game first round battle in the
$55,300 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event – the third of the year - on
It was Stoehr's first win over a higher-ranked player for almost
a year and a half – and came just 24 hours after WISPA President Grainger, a
former world number one, was appointed to the new position of WISPA Principal.
Grainger was making a long-awaited return to the WISPA Tour after
an eight-month layoff caused by a foot injury. But the 32-year-old from
Greenwich showed signs that she had fully recovered from her setback after
winning the US national singles title for the fourth successive year in March -
and the US Mixed Doubles title this month.
Grainger twice came back after the 30-year-old from Montpelier
took the first and third games – but it was Stoehr who ultimately triumphed
after a tie-break in the fifth to win 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10 in 44
"I know Natalie's just come back, and she can play better,"
Stoehr said after her unexpected win. "But I've got so much respect for her -
we all have - it makes it hard to play her. She certainly made me work hard to
beat her today!"
Grainger was not too downbeat: "When I saw the girls playing in
qualifying, and today, I was amazed at their shots, fitness and speed - I just
hoped I could produce something like that myself. And, although I lost, I don't
think I did too badly!"
In the first match of the day, Australia's Kasey Brown
took exactly an hour to overcome Malaysian qualifier Low Wee Wern 11-6,
11-8, 10-12, 11-2.
"I felt good at the start, I knew I needed to keep in front of
her," said the sixth seed from New South Wales. "It got a bit exciting in the
third, I made some bad decisions at the end of it, but I felt confident I could
come back to take the next game as long as I came out hard and made sure I
didn't make those mistakes again."
There was further Malaysian disappointment when Kuala Lumpur-born
qualifier Delia Arnold went down 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 15-13 to Ireland's No4
seed Madeline Perry in 55 minutes.
"The first two games were great," said Belfast-born Perry. "But
Delia got a lot better. I was just hanging in there in the end and I was quite
lucky to win it 3/1 really."
England's second seed Jenny Duncalf secured the fourth
quarter-final place on offer on the opening day when she beat Donna Urquhart
in five games. It was a fast and furious match, with Duncalf narrowly surviving
an attacking onslaught from the unseeded Australian to win 11-7, 6-11, 11-7,
7-11, 11-7 in 44 minutes.
"It was pretty up and down, a bit patchy," admitted the world No2
from Harrogate. "But she was attacking more than I was and I always find her
difficult to read, especially on the forehand, so it was pretty tough!"
Arnold & Low Triple Malaysian Interest In Cayman Islands Open
Defending champion Nicol David will be joined by
compatriots Delia Arnold and Low Wee Wern in the main draw of the
Women's Cayman Islands Open after the Malaysian pair survived the
qualifying finals of the $55,300 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event – the
third of the year - on Grand Cayman.
Low Wee Wern became the youngest player to make the first round
after beating experienced Canadian Alana Miller 11-9, 11-2, 11-4. The
19-year-old from Nicol David's home town of Penang now faces sixth-seeded
Australian Kasey Brown.
Delia Arnold took on local favourite Nicolette Fernandes,
from Guyana. And the reigning Caribbean champion won the opening two games as
the main draw beckoned for the 26-year-old world No71.
But Arnold, only two positions outside the world top 20, dug deep
to reclaim the advantage – ultimately closing out a 10-12, 3-11, 11-6, 11-4,
11-7 in 74 minutes to earn a first round clash with Ireland's fourth seed
and Manuela Manetta also earned places in the main draw of the event for
the first time. England's Kippax held off South Africa's Tenille Swartz
to win 11-8, 11-6, 11-7, while Italian Manuela Manetta took only 21 minutes to
quash US veteran Latasha Khan 11-1, 11-8, 11-8.
Fernandes Brings Caribbean Colour To Cayman
Guyana's Nicolette Fernandes took unexpected Caribbean
interest through to the qualifying finals of the Women's Cayman Islands Open
when she beat higher-ranked Australian Melody Francis in the
first qualifying round of the $55,300 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event
on Grand Cayman.
Caribbean champion Fernandes, currently ranked 71 in the world,
beat world No57 Francis 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7 in 38 minutes - and will now face
Malaysia's Delia Arnold, the world No22, for a place in the main draw.
South African Tenille Swartz also staged a significant
upset. Ranked 66 in the world, the 22-year-old from Parys reached almost 20
places above her to overcome Canada's Miranda Ranieri 11-8, 8-11, 11-4,
Swartz will now line up against the qualifying event's top seed
Sarah Kippax, the world No21 from England.
The world's top players have arrived on Grand Cayman to compete
in the second staging of the Cayman Islands Open, but its first as a Gold
event. Defending champion Nicol David, the world number one from
Malaysia, is looking to win her third gold crown of the year.
Qualifying finals line-up:
Sarah Kippax (ENG) v Tenille Swartz (RSA)
Delia Arnold (MAS) v Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)
Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Alana Miller (CAN)
Latasha Khan (USA) v Manuela Manetta (ITA)