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23/09/2010
WOMEN'S WORLD OPEN
 

Nicol David Wins Record-Equalling Fifth World Crown In Egypt

Women's World Open 2010
Sharm El Sheik , Egypt, 147k,


Women's World Open Offers Free Live Internet TV

Round One
18 Sep
Round Two
19 Sep
Quarters
20 Sep
Semis
21 Sep
Final
22 Sep
[1] Nicol David (MAS)
11-2, 11-3, 11-5 (27m)
[Q] Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY)
Nicol David
11-7, 11-7, 11-7 (30m)
Raneem El Weleily
Nicol David
11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (27m)
Low Wee Wern
Nicol David
14-12, 11-2, 11-6 (38m)
Alison Waters
Nicol David
11-5, 11-8, 11-6 (30m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
[11] Raneem El Weleily (EGY)
11-3, 11-3, 11-7 (23m)
[Q] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
[7] Natalie Grinham (NED)
11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11 (64m)
Low Wee Wern (MAS)
Low Wee Wern
8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (55m)
Isabelle Stoehr
[13] Samantha Teran (MEX)
11-8, 12-10, 11-3 (27m)
Isabelle Stoehr (FRA)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG)
11-2, 11-2, 11-3 (21m)
[Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
 Alison Waters
11-2, 11-7, 14-12 (32m)
Annie Au
Alison Waters
9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8 (56m)
Vanessa Atkinson
[16] Annie Au (HKG)
11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (38m)
[Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[6] Natalie Grainger (USA)
11-5, 5-11, 11-2, 11-6 (33m)
Sarah Kippax (ENG)
Natalie Grainger
2-11, 9-11, 13-11, 13-11, 11-9 (47m)
Vanessa Atkinson
[14] Vanessa Atkinson (NED)
11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 14-12 (43m)
[Q] Tenille Swartz (RSA)
[Q] Manuela Manetta (ITA)
11-4, 11-5, 11-3 (28m)
[10] Kasey Brown (AUS)
Kasey Brown
11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 (100m)
Madeline Perry
Kasey Brown
11-8, 14-12, 6-11, 11-5 (55m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Omneya Abdel Kawy
11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (26m)
Camille Serme
Delia Arnold (MAS)
12-10, 11-9, 11-5 (49m)
[5] Madeline Perry (IRL)
Donna Urquhart (AUS)
11-5, 11-5, 11-3 (28m)
[15] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)
Jaclyn Hawkes
11-8, 13-11, 11-4 (34m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
[Q] Tania Bailey (ENG)
11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 (46m)
[4] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[Q] Annelize Naude (NED)
9-11, 14-12, 11-4, 11-4 (48m)
[9] Camille Serme (FRA)
Camille Serme
11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 3-11, 11-6 (60m)
Laura Massaro
Camille Serme
8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5 (57m)
Jenny Duncalf
Aisling Blake (IRL)
11-3, 13-11, 11-1 (38m)
[8] Laura Massaro (ENG)
Joelle King (NZL)
2-11, 12-10, 11-8, 12-10 (53m)
[12] Engy Kheirallah (EGY)
Engy Kheirallah
11-9, 11-9, 11-2 (45m)
Jenny Duncalf
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG)  Bye

Qualifying:

Qualifying finals:
Annelize Naude (NED) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-9, 11-3, 11-8 (32m)
Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9 (35m)
Tenille Swartz (RSA) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-7, 12-10, 14-12 (40m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Lauren Selby (ENG) 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (26m)
Manuela Manetta (ITA) bt Sharon Wee (MAS) 11-9, 6-11, 13-15, 11-9, 11-7 (64m)
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-9, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Joshna Chinappa (IND) 11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9 (39m)
Tania Bailey (ENG) bt Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 11-6, 11-4, 7-11, 11-2 (52m)

2nd qualifying round:
Line Hansen (DEN) bt Siyoli Waters (RSA) 11-2, 11-9, 11-5 (29m)
Annelize Naude (NED) bt Sina Wall (GER) 9-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 (35m)
Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Sara El Noamany (EGY) 7-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-2 (39m)
Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Lucie Fialova (CZE) 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 (29m)
Tenille Swartz (RSA) bt Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6 (63m)
Heba El Torky (EGY) bt Salma Nassar (EGY) 14-12, 11-2, 12-10 (20m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Maud Duplomb (FRA) 9-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 (45m)
Lauren Selby (ENG) bt Nouran El Torky (EGY) 7-11, 13-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9 (61m)
Manuela Manetta (ITA) bt Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5 (41m)
Sharon Wee (MAS) bt Salma Hany (EGY) 9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 4-11, 11-4 (67m)
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Coline Auma! rd (FRA) 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (23m)
Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Celia Allamargot (FRA) 11-4, 13-11, 11-9 (26m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Mennat Nasser (EGY) 6-11, 11-2, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9 (56m)
Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Faustine Gilles (FRA) 2-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9 (31m)
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt Salma Hatem Youssef (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (27m)
Tania Bailey (ENG) bt Haidi Lala (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (24m)
1st qualifying round:

Sara El Noamany (EGY) bt Mayar Aly Ezzo (EGY) 11-2, 11-8, 11-3 (20m)
Salma Nassar (EGY) bt Nada Elkalaawy (EGY) 12-10, 11-4, 11-7 (22m)
Salma Hany (EGY) bt Merhan Amr Mahmoud (EGY) 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9 (42m)
Mennat Nasser (EGY) bt Yathreb Adel (EGY) 13-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-8 (55m)
Salma Hatem Youssef (EGY) bt Nihal Alaa Bayoumi (EGY) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7 (21m)
Haidi Lala (EGY) bt Karina Heredia Gonzalez (MEX) 11-4, 11-2, 11-6 (14m)

 

Nicol David Wins Record-Equalling Fifth World Crown In Egypt

 

Malaysia's Nicol David won a record-equalling fifth World Open squash title in Egypt tonight when she beat local hope Omneya Abdel Kawy in straight games in the final of the $147,000 Soho Square Women's World Open in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh.

 

It was the latest chapter in the illustrious 27-year-old from Penang's career which was marked earlier this month by her 50th successive month at the top of the world rankings.

 

The pint-sized Malaysian superstar continued the form she has shown throughout the tournament, looking supremely calm and confident, stroking the ball to all four corners and accelerating when necessary.

 

Abdel Kawy, the fourth seed from Cairo who became the first Egyptian ever to reach the world final, was unable to get a foothold in the match until the second game, which she led 3-0 and 6-3. 

 

But David was unruffled, and stepped up the pace to take the game.  And the third was soon effectively decided with David taking leads of 3-1 and 7-2 before closing out the match 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 after 30 minutes.

 

"My focus was strong throughout the tournament," said David after the successful defence of the title in which she did not drop a single game.  "I really wanted this.  I didn't want to let it slip."

 

Nicol David became the dominant force in women's world squash shortly after the retirement of Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the distinguished Australian who first notched up a fifth World Open title in 2002.

 

"It's amazing that I can do something that Sarah has done, because she's such a great player," concluded the new champion – now the winner of 48 WISPA World Tour titles from 63 final appearances.

 

Abdel Kawy Sets Up Dream World Final In Sharm El Sheikh

Omneya Abdel Kawy provided the dream climax to the $147,000 Soho Square Women's World Open Squash Championship in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh by becoming the first Egyptian to reach a World Open final in the event's maiden staging in her home country.

A beaten quarter-finalist for the past five year, the 25-year-old from Cairo finally secured her place in the last four of the richest ever WISPA World Tour squash event when she defeated rising Australian star Kasey Brown.

But awaiting the fourth seed in the next round was event giant-killer Camille Serme, the No9 seed from Paris who had become France's first ever semi-finalist after stunning England's No2 seed Jenny Duncalf.

The Egyptian favourite was in control for most of the match, with Serme at times looking tired, perhaps after her exertions in the quarter-finals. Although the world No9 never let Abdel Kawy streak ahead, in the first two games she was always playing catch-up - and the crowd favourite took advantage to take a two game lead.

Serme made a good start to the third, leading 3-0 and 5-3, but Kawy struck back, and once she had levelled at five-all the result was never in doubt.

"It was the first time I had even been in the World Open semi-final, and I was really focussed," Abdel Kawy said after notching up her 25th WISPA Tour final appearance.

"I put the pressure on myself to deliver and it worked.

"I had to win it," she added. "My home country, the fans, no way I could lose, no excuses."

In the final, Abdel Kawy will face defending champion Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who ended the English challenge with a three-game defeat of third seed Alison Waters.

Waters maintained a slight lead for most of the first game - but, just as in their two previous meetings this year in the Malaysian Open and Singapore Open, was unable to finish it off as David took a 1/0 lead.

It was downhill thereafter for the top seed as David swept through the second, and ultimately took the third to record the 14-12, 11-2, 11-6 win, and her 16th successive victory over the Londoner.

"I am just glad to be in the final," said David. "This was definitely a big hurdle to get over. Against Alison I always have to play my best game. It was a difficult match, even though the score doesn't show it.

"It's sure to be a tough match with Omneya like it always is," added the 27-year-old from Penang. "I'll have to bring everything out of my bag!"

Serme Stuns Second Seed In Major World Open Upset

Just 24 hours after upsetting the No8 seed to become the first French player to reach the event's quarter-finals, France's Camille Serme ousted England's second seed Jenny Duncalf to make the last four of the Soho Square Women's World Open, the richest ever WISPA World Tour squash event, in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh.

The 21-year-old ninth seed from Paris twice came from behind to record her sensational 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5 victory over the world No2 in 57 minutes.

"It was a strange feeling at 3-0. Straight away you start thinking about winning and I said to myself 'don't think about that'," Serme explained.

"She came back and it was close and then I played well again. I was trying to think about playing point by point and trying not to think about the score."

Serme will now face Omneya Abdel Kawy, the fourth seed from Egypt who ended the brave run of Australia's Kasey Brown, beating the tenth seed 11-8, 14-12, 6-11, 11-5.

"I had memories of the last World Open when I was up against Rachael (Grinham) and went on to lose 3/2," said Abdel Kawy, who was spurred on by the home crowd. "Kasey played attacking squash in the third, which she hadn't in the first two, and I was a bit too relaxed. She's improved a lot lately and she made it a difficult match."

The other semi-final will be the one predicted by the draw, in which favourite Nicol David will line up against third seed Alison Waters.

David, the world No1 from Malaysia, defeated fellow Penangite Low Wee Wern 11-2, 11-5, 11-2, whilst Waters took five games to see off Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion from the Netherlands, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8 in 56 minutes.

"It feels good, it's always harder to play a team-mate, especially in the quarters of the World Open," said David, who is seeded to win a record-equalling fifth world title in Egypt. "You just have to go out and play your best. I was feeling the ball really early, and I feel the best I've ever been."

England number two Waters, now in her second successive semi, said after her win: "I played well enough to get good starts, but then got to thinking too much about the next match, rather than concentrating on what I was supposed to be doing."

"She was more relaxed when she was down and showed what a great player she is, and I got a bit tense and went for winners too early," admitted the Londoner

"There's a few things to work on, but a win's a win and I'll take a World Open semi-final!"

Upsets Abound In Sharm El Sheikh World Open

Whilst the top four seeds will line up in the quarter-finals of the Soho Square Women's World Open in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh, their opponents will not be those expected by the draw of the richest ever WISPA World Tour squash event.

Camille Serme began the rout when she upset England's eighth seed Laura Massaro 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 3-11, 11-6 to become the first French player to reach a World Open quarter-final.

The 21-year-old from Paris twice led, and was pegged back twice - but in a decider characterised by long, tense rallies, it was underdog Serme who was more assertive, and found enough opportunities to utilise her volleys and delicate drops to progress.

"I think I made it because I was fresh at the end - and the match was tough physically," Serme told the official website www.sohosquareworldopen.com/2010 after her 11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 3-11, 11-6 victory in exactly an hour

"I wanted this so much and I think that made me focussed on playing the right shot at the right time. Some of the time I try to do too much at the front of the court. I try to play there like the Egyptians - and you can't do that all of the time!"

Serme will now face another English opponent Jenny Duncalf, the No2 seed who - after a receiving a bye in the first round - began her 2010 world campaign by beating Egypt's Engy Kheirallah 11-9, 11-9, 11-2.

"I was itching to get on court - watching everyone else play made me want to get on there," said the world No2 from Harrogate. "Being the only player to have a bye can work for or against you, but I guess I can't complain, everyone else would like to have a bye!"

Ireland's Madeline Perry, the fifth seed who celebrated the best win of her career at last month's Australian Open, was brought down to earth in the second round by Australia's tenth seed Kasey Brown.

But the world No8 from New South Wales had to battle for 100 minutes to overcome Perry 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8.

"Madeline's been playing well and she had a lot of confidence from winning the Australian and the Irish, but I just kind of thought to myself, 'I'm not going to lose this' - and didn't think about the result at all and just tried to play the best squash I could each point.

"It's my best World Open performance so far, for me this is the most prestigious event so to make the quarters is a big deal," added the New York-based 25-year-old.

Low Wee Wern became the only unseeded player to make the last eight when she beat France's Isabelle Stoehr, also unseeded, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8.

The 20-year-old from Penang claimed her unexpected place in the second round after upsetting four-time runner-up Natalie Grinham on the opening day,

"It was pretty close," said Low Wee Wern afterwards. "In the first she was in great form and I just had to hang in with her, she was high on confidence after a good win yesterday.

"It's great to be in the quarters for the first time."

Her next opponent will be fellow Penangite Nicol David, the top seed. David, the world number one hoping to win a record-equalling fifth world title, beat Egypt's 11th seed Raneem El Weleily 11-7, 11-7, 11-7.

Two of the sport's longest-serving professionals fought out their 17th Tour clash since 1999 when sixth seed Natalie Grainger and 14th seed Vanessa Atkinson took to the court. Former world number one Granger, from the USA, took the opening two games - but Dutch star Atkinson, also once No1 in the world, romped to an 8-3 lead in the third before Grainger reached her first match ball at 11-10.

Atkinson, 5/11 down in their head-to-head tally, saved this - and another in the next game before going on to record an impressive 2-11, 9-11, 13-11, 13-11, 11-9 victory after 47 minutes.

"She was playing so well, and I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong - it was just a question of sticking in there," Atkinson said. "She's such a good squash player that if she plays like she did in the first game and half the second game there are no weaknesses.

"I've played 15 World Opens and I think that is plenty," added the 34-year-old. "I just wanted to come here and feel that I have done myself justice - and I think I have done that."

Stoehr & Low Stun Seeds In Sharm Shake-Up

Natalie Grinham, four times a finalist in the last six years, failed to make the second round of the Soho Square Women's World Open Squash Championship after going down in five games on the opening day of main draw action in the richest ever WISPA World Tour squash event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh.

The seventh seed from the Netherlands was making only her second Tour appearance since the birth of her son Keiran in May. After four close games, Grinham looked set to advance when she reached 10-5 in the decider against 20-year-old Low Wee Wern (left).

But the young Malaysian kept it steady, held her nerve and got the better of some long, tense rallies to finally edge home 11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11 after 64 minutes.

"I hadn't played her before, but I knew her fitness wouldn't be back yet - although her shots certainly are," the world No20 from Penang told the official website www.sohosquareworldopen.com/2010 later. "I had to just keep running.

"At 5-10 in the fifth, I just had to keep it going and stay patient. I thought that if I didn't go for a winner she might, and she did make four mistakes. This is my best World Open performance."

Her next opponent claimed the day's other upset. Unseeded Isabelle Stoehr beat Mexico's 13th seed Samantha Teran 11-8, 12-10, 11-3 to become the second French player in the last sixteen.

"I hope I can continue it against Isabelle," added Low Wee Wern. "I've never played her before either."

Defending champion Nicol David successfully negotiated her first hurdle as she bids to win a record-equalling fifth title. The world number one from Malaysia beat 18-year-old Malaysian qualifier Farah Abdel Meguid 11-2, 11-3, 11-5.

Women's World Open Offers Free Live TV Internet Coverage

The Soho Square Women's World Open Squash Championship, the richest-ever event in women's squash which gets underway in Egypt today, is offering free live internet TV coverage to squash fans around the world.

The $147,000 WISPA World Tour championship has attracted the world's top players to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh - led by Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who is bidding to win a record-equalling fifth world title.

The live coverage can be accessed at www.LiveSquash.TV

"Last year from Amsterdam, we broke all webcast audience records with over 10,000 individual viewers watching the action live and taking the sport to a new and younger audience and replays and downloads have proved to be very popular," said LiveSquash spokesman Adrian Battersby.

"As usual, Replays will be available on LiveSquash.tv of every single match that we produce and replays will be loaded of all matches quickly so that they are available for your enjoyment as Live on-demand or as Downloads as soon as possible."

For all the latest information, check out the official event website: www.sohosquareworldopen.com/2010

Egyptians Flourish In World Open Qualifiers

Egyptian interest in The Soho Square Women's World Open Squash Championship was boosted when four local players clinched qualifying places in the main draw of the premier WISPA World Tour squash event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh.

Farah Abdel Meguid kicked off the assault by beating America's recently-crowned world junior champion Amanda Sobhy 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9.

"I'm speechless, I just beat the world junior champion in the world open!" the 18-year-old from Cairo told the official website www.sohosquareworldopen.com/2010 later.

"I played her in a local league match before the world juniors and won, so I knew I could do it and I had a feeling before the match I would win, but I knew it wouldn't be easy, it's a big tournament.

"Now I just hope all the other Egyptians can win."

Her wish came nearer to a reality when Nour El Tayeb got the better of England's Lauren Selby, winning 11-9, 11-8, 11-6.

"I played much better than yesterday, not the best I can but still much better," said the 17-year-old from Cairo. "I'm so pleased to be in the main draw for the second time in a row."

Nour El Sherbini, the 14-year-old from Alexandria who last week became the youngest winner of a WISPA World Tour title, took her place in the main draw after defeating India's Dipika Pallikal 11-9, 11-5, 11-2.

Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy completed the Egyptian quartet with another Indian defeat, beating Joshna Chinappa 11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9.

"When I saw the other three win before me I said yes, let's go on and make it four," exclaimed the Cairo 16-year-old. "I played well but when I was two games up I froze, I panicked and I thought I was going to lose. But I said to myself no, let's make this happen!

"I'm really happy with what I've done and I'm so happy to qualify after just missing out last year. I hope I don't get one of the top players."

There was a late revision to the main draw when Australia's former world champion Rachael Grinham announced her decision to withdraw from the event due to injury.

Swartz Beats Beddoes In World Open Qualifier

South Africa's Tenille Swartz pulled off the biggest upset in the second qualifying round of The Soho Square Women's World Open Squash Championship to stake an unexpected place in the qualifying finals of the premier WISPA World Tour squash event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh.

Swartz, playing in her second World Open but her first since 2006 due to a series of injuries, took a two-game lead over the event's third seed Emma Beddoes, but the English player fought back to level the match before the 23-year-old underdog from Cape Town asserted herself in the decider to win 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-6 in 63 minutes.

"Emma changed the pace in the third and the match became much tougher," Swartz told the official website www.sohosquareworldopen.com/2010 later.

"I've played her before so I knew what to expect - we're both runners and never give anything up. We had a good match, I really enjoyed it!"

Line Hansen, the qualifying event's top seed from Denmark, overcame South African Siyoli Waters 11-2, 11-9, 11-5 - and was a little relieved.

"I'm happy enough with that, it was a good opening match," said the 27-year-old world No29 from Odense. "We played in March and I won 3/0 then, but she's improving all the time."

The Dane will now face Dutch star Annelize Naude, who ousted Germany's Sina Wall 9-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4.

"She played well in the first, and I was a little nervous," admitted the 33-year-old from Amsterdam. "I don't know why - it's not exactly my first World Open, in fact I've stopped counting!"

World junior champion Amanda Sobhy was up next, and the 17-year-old American star was upstaged in the first game by Egyptian Sara El Noamany, who admitted earlier that she'd never seen Sobhy - a frequent visitor to Egypt - play.

Once Sobhy got into her stride, though, the teenager cruised through the next three games to claim a 7-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-2 victory.

"She took me a little by surprise in the first," admitted Sobhy. "She's strong and powerful and she caught me off my guard, but once I started to play my game I felt well in control.

"Last year I was the last player to make it into the draw, so there was no pressure on me at all - but this year I'm seeded in qualifying so it makes you a bit more nervous, but I hope I can do well tomorrow."

Farah Abdel Meguid was the first Egyptian winner of the day, creating a minor upset with a straight games win over Lucie Fialova, the 13th seed from the Czech Republic.

"I thought I played well there," said a delighted Meguid after her 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 win. "It's my first World Open - I wanted to make a good start so I had to make sure I won the first two games.

"She came back well in the third, I could have lost that but I'm pleased to make it through in straight games."

Heba El Torky added to the good news for the hosts in beating compatriot Salma Nassar 14-12, 11-2, 12-10.

"We've been playing each other since we were nine, and she's never beaten me," admitted Heba. "But the first match of a tournament, especially WISPA, especially World Open, is always hard, and in the first game especially I wasn't focused."

The final two matches of the first session both went the distance, as Egypt's Nour El Tayeb came from two games down to thwart France's Maud Duplomb 9-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-7, while England's Lauren Selby held off of typically feisty challenge from Nouran El Torky, Heba's younger sister.

The day was rounded off with victories for two experienced players, both trying to regain their former form and rankings, both up against yet more young Egyptians. Guyana's Nicolette Fernandes beat Salma Hatem Youssef 11-7, 11-5, 11-9, and England's Tania Bailey, an unusual face in qualifying, beat Haidi Lala 11-7, 11-5, 11-2.

"I haven't had to qualify since I was 19, in 1998 in Stuttgart," said 30-year-old Bailey. It was when Fitz [Sarah Fitz-Gerald] beat Michelle [Martin] 3-2 in the final. I remember it because I qualified and played Fitz in the first round!"

Nicol David Aiming To Be In ‘Seventh Heaven’ In Sharm El Sheikh

 

Undefeated throughout this year, Malaysia's world number one Nicol David hopes to be in ‘seventh heaven’ next week in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh where she is seeded to win her seventh WISPA World Tour squash title of the year at The Soho Square World Open.

 

The 2010 Women's World Open, the premier championship on the women’s tour and first in the event’s 31-year history to be held in Egypt, boasts a record prize fund of $147,000.

 

The tournament, from 18-22 September, will be staged on an all-glass show court at Soho Square Sharm El Sheikh, part of the premier resort in Sharm El Sheikh’s shopping and entertainment complex where a successful Soho Square WISPA Tour event was held in 2009.

 

Nicol David, Malaysia’s most successful sportswoman of all-time, is back at the top of her game after contrasting fortunes over the two previous years:  In 2008, the 27-year-old from Penang secured ten titles in a row without defeat, yet the following year suffered four shock defeats while ‘only’ picking up seven Tour titles.

 

David is delighted to be competing in Sharm El Sheikh for the first time:  “I've been to Sharm for a day trip, but this is my first time playing there - so I'm even more excited about it.

 

“I've heard all good things of how the event has been run in the previous squash tournaments held there - and to be at a beach resort is an added bonus!

 

“As Egypt is a big power house for squash overall, this is a great chance to showcase the sport while giving us players a chance to play in a brand new location with perks.”

 

2010 has proved to be a great year already for the Malaysian Squash Princess:  In July, David reached her eighth Malaysian Open final in a row, then celebrated her sixth successive success – and in last month’s Hong Kong Open clocked up her 47th Tour title in the 62nd Tour final appearance of her career.

 

“I'm enjoying everything about the tour and it's been great so far with the tournaments,” admitted the modest Penangite. “No doubt it's always hard work keeping up with things but I love the game so much that it keeps me going.”

 

Success in Sharm El Sheikh would give Nicol David a record fifth World Open title – an achievement she would share with close friend and mentor Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the distinguished Australian who retired with 62 WISPA Tour titles to her credit.

 

“Equalling her record would certainly be an amazing accomplishment for me, especially knowing that Sarah has done it all in the squash world and she really is a true champion,” said David.

 

“But at the moment, my main focus is working on a performance base and the results will follow accordingly.”

 

Nicol David begins her 2010 world title campaign against a qualifier – and is scheduled to face Jenny Duncalf, the world No2 and second seed from England, in the final.

 

Preview
Nicol David Seeded To Win Record-Equalling Fifth World Title In Egypt

 

Malaysia’s world number one Nicol David is set to equal Australian Sarah Fitz-Gerald’s record five women’s world squash titles in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh next month, according to the draw for The Soho Square World Open revealed today by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA).

 

The first Women's World Open ever to be held in Egypt, the leading event on the WISPA World Tour will feature a record prize fund of $147,000.

 

The tournament will be staged on an all-glass show court at Soho Square Sharm El Sheikh, part of the premier resort in Sharm El Sheikh’s shopping and entertainment complex.  Following the successful Soho Square WISPA Tour event held in 2009, the high-end destination resort built permanent squash courts, on which the three rounds of qualification will be played.

 

It was in December 2005, three years after Sarah Fitz-Gerald made history with her fifth world title in Qatar, that Nicol David began the assault on her mentor’s record.  The 26-year-old from Penang clinched her fourth world title in five years last September, beating Dutch rival Natalie Grinham in the final in her hometown of Amsterdam.

 

David, who has dominated the women’s game since first topping the world rankings in January 2006, has already overtaken one of Fitz-Gerald’s achievements - surpassing her regular Australian training partner to become the player with the third longest reign at the top of the women's rankings. 

 

Nicol David begins her 2010 world title campaign against a qualifier – and is scheduled to face Jenny Duncalf, the second seed from England, in the final.

 

But the Malaysian could come up against Natalie Grinham in the quarter-finals in a repeat of the 2009 final.  Grinham, the No8 seed, is making her Tour comeback after giving birth to her first child, son Kieran, in May.

 

Jenny Duncalf became world No2 last December following two shock wins over David.  But the Penangite re-established her authority over 27-year-old Duncalf with victories in three WISPA Gold event finals this year.

 

Duncalf faces rising Hong Kong star Annie Au in the first round and is likely to go on to meet fifth seed Omneya Abdel Kawy in the quarter-finals.  The 25-year-old Egyptian has long been a thorn in Duncalf's side – and boasts an 8-2 head-to-head Tour record over the Englishwoman.

 

If Duncalf does progress to the semi-finals, her anticipated opponent would be Rachael Grinham, the third seed from Australia who is one of two former world champions in the draw.  The 33-year-old Queenslander won the title in 2007 after beating younger sister Natalie in the final in Madrid.

 

But Grinham senior also has a tough potential quarter-final clash – with Ireland's Madeline Perry, the sixth seed who celebrated the biggest tournament win of her career at the Australian Open in Canberra on Sunday.

 

Former world number one Natalie Grainger will be returning to World Open action after missing the 2009 event because of a foot injury.  The No7 seed from the USA made her debut in the 1993 event in her then home country South Africa.  Runner-up in 2002, Grainger will face England's Sarah Kippax in the opening round in Egypt.

 

Dutch star Vanessa Atkinson will be making her 14th successive appearance in the championship.  The 2004 champion is the 15th seed, and faces a qualifier in the first round.