WORLD OPEN 2011 (Women)
Nicol Supreme For Six
click on images for larger view
Nicol Supreme For Six
Malaysian superstar Nicol
David collected a record SIXTH World Open title here at the
Luxor Theatre in Rotterdam with a supreme performance to
dismiss second seed Jenny Duncalf in straight games in just
under half an hour.
The English world number two
didn't do anything wrong, made very few unforced errors, but
it was hard to see where her points were going to come from,
such was the control that the Malaysian, moving and hitting
supremely well, was exerting on the match and on her
Nicol led 5/0 in the first
after some long opening rallies, taking it 11/2, she led 6/2
in the second, finishing it off 11/5, and was totally
dominant in the third as Duncalf's spirit visibly wilted.
titles in seven years for Nicol. Supreme.
"She was ridiculously good
today," admitted Duncalf. "I wanted to stay on there as long
as possible, but she had other ideas…"
Nicol was impressed too: "This is my best
performance ever. I didn’t expect anything but I wanted it
so badly, I didn’t want anybody to put their hands on that
trophy but me. I had a great support in the crowd, they were
magnificent, I had my parents, Liz, and a big team of
supporters from Squash City in Amsterdam that came to
World Open titles mean the world to me, but I would gladly
trade the six of them for just one Olympic Medal…"
click on images for larger view
World Open Squash 2011
11/3, 11/6, 11/5 (29m)
Delia Arnold (Mas)
11/7, 11/6, 11/7 (32m)
Nour El Sherbini
11/7, 12/10, 11/4 (41m)
11/9, 11/4, 11/6 (44m)
11/2, 11/5, 11/0 (28m)
10/12, 11/8, 13/11, 9/11, 11/2 (61m)
[Q] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)
Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
11/9, 11/9, 11/5 (30m)
Sarah Kippax (Eng)
Raneem El Weleily
4/11, 11/7, 11/3, 6/11, 11/8 (65m)
11/6, 11/5, 11/4 (32m)
Orla Noom (Ned)
Camille Serme (Fra)
12/10, 11/7, 2/1 rtd (28m)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
11/4, 12/10, 2/11,
Low Wee Wern
Low Wee Wern
11/7, 11/7, 11/5 (47m)
Low Wee Wern (Mas)
11/6, 11/9, 11/8 (42m)
[Q] Latasha Khan (Usa)
Natalie Grinham (Ned)
11/5, 11/3, 11/9 (37m)
[Q] Aisling Blake (Irl)
11/6, 11/5, 11/8
Madeline Perry (Irl)
11/8, 11/4, 7/11, 7/11, 11/3 (58m)
Emma Beddoes (Eng)
[Q] Lauren Selby (Eng)
11/7, 11/4, 11/5 (24m)
 Rachael Grinham (Aus)
4/11, 11/2, 11/3,
11/6, 11/8, 11/9 (36m)
11/9, 11/4, 11/7 (36m)
[Q] Tesni Evans (Wal)
11/5, 11/3, 11/7 (24m)
 Samantha Teran (Mex)
11/8, 9/11, 11/8, 11/7 (52m)
 Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
11/6, 11/7, 11/7
Kanzy El Dafrawy
[Q] Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy)
12/10, 11/9, 12/10 (35m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (Egy)
11/9, 11/7, 11/6 (41m)
 Laura Massaro (Eng)
11/9, 11/7, 11/6
11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (45m)
13/11, 11/6, 7/11, 11/6 (46m)
 Annie Au (Hkg)
[Q] Gaby Huber (Sui)
11/7, 11/6, 11/6 (35m)
 Joelle King (Nzl)
11/8, 7/11, 11/1,
11/9, 12/10, 11/7 (32m)
 Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Women's Qualifying Round Two
(Irl) bt Stephanie Edmison (Can) 11/8, 11/6, 11/3 (30m)
Lisa Aitken (Sco) bt Alexandra Norman (Can) 11/6, 11/5, 4/11, 11/5 (44m)
Gaby Huber (Sui) bt Imelda Salazar (Mex) 11/0, 11/2, 11/6 (22m)
Olga Ertlova (Cze) bt Zephanie Curgenven (Eng) 11/4, 11/4, 11/4 (25m)
Maud Duplomb (Fra) bt Manuela Manetta (Ita) 12/10, 11/7, 4/11, 11/7
Lauren Selby (Eng) bt Lucie Fialova (Cze) 11/12, 11/13, 9/11,
11/9, 11/9 (91m)
Nour El Sherbini (Egy) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) 11/7, 11/5, 10/12, 7/11,
Kylie Lindsay (Nzl) bt Leonie Holt (Eng) 11/6, 11/6, 11/9 (27m)
Yathreb Adel (Egy) bt Samantha Cornett (Can) 11/6, 8/11, 12/10, 11/8
Victoria Lust (Eng) bt Salma Hany (Egy) 11/1, 11/5, 12/10 (30m)
Tesni Evans (Wal) bt Sina Wall (Ger) 9/11, 11/4, 9/11, 11/4, 11/7
Heba El Torky (Egy) bt Thaisa Serafini (Bra) 11/9, 11/6, 11/9 (18m)
Siyoli Waters (Rsa) bt Milou Van Der Heijden (Ned) 4/11, 11/4, 12/10,
Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy) bt Birgit Coufal (Aut) 11/8, 11/9, 0/11, 13/11
Lauren Briggs (Eng) bt Sally Skaarenborg (Den) 11/7, 11/4, 11/2 (20m)
Latasha Khan (Usa) bt Coline Aumard (Fra) 9/11, 11/4, 11/6, 11/4 (38m)
Makes It At Last
It's surprising that Jenny Duncalf
(right) had never reached a World
Open final, given that she's been world number two for the
best part of three years, surprising too that she'd never
before met Samantha Teran, the surprise semi-finalist from
So the opening exchanges of the first World Open Squash 2011
semi-final at the Luxor Theatre in Rotterdam were
understandably cagey. and there was little to separate the
players for most of the first game before Duncalf played two
immaculate rallies to take the lead 11/9.
She was always ahead after that, despite the best and far
from inconsiderable efforts of Teran.
But the Englishwoman was determined to seize this
opportunity too, and from 8/7 in the third an error was
followed by two winners, followed by a muted celebration and
a look of relief on Duncalf's face. She know she has another
job to do tomorrow.
"It was maybe a bit tentative at the start but I felt more
comfortable after I'd taken the first, that was massive,"
"I'm just thrilled to reach the world open final, if there
was one match you'd choose to be in, that would be it."
In that final she'll meet Nicol David, the five-time
champion who will be aiming to break Sarah Fitz-Gerald's
In comparison to the first semi-final's first meeting of the
two protagonists, Nicol's opponent was all too familiar, she
and Natalie Grinham had already contested two World
Open finals and many many more major finals too.
There were comparisons with the first match though - a tight
first game, a comfortable second and a third where a
comeback was threatened but not quite delivered.
Even the scorelines were just one point apart, but the story
was the same, and the winner was the same as in most of
their meetings, Nicol David makes another World Open final.
"It was a bit like deja vu all over again," joked Nicol,
"but playing Natalie again on her home turf, with a big
crowd like this it was always going to be difficult, and
winning that first game was crucial.
"You can't afford to think about it being a World Open
semi-final, and breaking records or anything like that, you
just have to treat it as another tournament, keep your focus
and play each match as it comes.
"It great to play in such a fantastic venue and I think the
crowd was even noisier tonight than in Amsterdam!"
Nicol David Bidding For Sixth
World Open Title
Nicol David’s bid
to win the World Open a record sixth time carried her to a notable revenge and
to the semi-finals in her adopted home country of The Netherlands. The
Amsterdam-based Malaysian overcame Kasey Brown, the sixth-seeded
Australian who beat her in the US Open in Philadelphia in August, by 11-7,
12-10, 11-4 in a match which, David said, felt like a five-setter – or “possibly
a six-setter.” The pace was at times frenetic as both players looked to step
forward to up the pace, but eventually it caught up with Brown as she faded in
the third. Afterwards David said she thought the women’s game was improving all
the time as players tried to close the gap on her.
“There’s always a challenge but every time you step up your game these girls are
still coming at you,” she said. “But I look forward to every challenge.”
next one is a repeat of the 2009 final in Amsterdam against Natalie Grinham,
(right) who prevented an all-Malaysian semi-final by beating Low Wee Wern 11-7,
11-7, 11-5 - despite a cut to her nose requiring a ten-minute injury time out
early in the third game. The former Australian turned Dutch international
returned to the court knowing that if the bandage fell off and the bleeding
restarted she would have to forfeit that game and, if it were repeated, the
match. But Grinham won, as she had against the fourth-seeded Madeline Perry,
because of the high quality of her front court game, and once again overcome the
distraction of arriving with a pram carrying baby son Kieran and having to
return to it afterwards.
The other semi-final will be between Samantha Teran, the first Mexican
ever to reach a World Open semi-final, and Jenny Duncalf, the second seed
from England. Duncalf had also gained revenge over an adversary as she downed
British Champion Laura Massaro, her conqueror in the US Open. She played
intelligent squash working the openings against an opponent who has had a fine
2011 and was one of the dark horses for the title. Teran secured her semi-final
birth with a competent straight games victory over India’s Dipika Pallikal.
The youngster appeared slightly over-awed by proceedings in the Luxor Theatre
finding the tin with frustrating frequency and never really discovering the form
that had seen her carve her way through the draw, however, that’s not to take
anything away from Teran who was extremely business like in securing a first
ever World Open semi-final.
out Third seed Grinham
Day six of
the World Open Squash 2011 at Rotterdam's Victoria Squash opened up with
biggest upset yet as Mexico's Samantha Teran, (left) seeded fourteen, beat Rachael
Grinham, the Australian who was champion in 2007 and was seeded three here.
There was no sign of what was to come as Grinham eased through the first game,
but Teran's hard-hitting game seemed to neutralise Grinham's slower, more
measured game as the Mexican totally dominated the next two games, denying her
attacking opportunities and catching her out with drops and boasts of her own.
As the tension grew Teran managed to stay ahead in the fourth, setting up match
ball at after a long rally saw a Grinham lob sail out to take it to 10/8. Teran
thought she had won it at the first attempt but was denied a stroke before
Grinham levelled it as Teran then got a no-let looking for a cheap stroke.
However, two rallies later an obvious stroke was given and the Mexican was
through to the Quarter-finals.
Having caused upsets in the the previous round Dipika Pallikal and Kanzy
El Dafrawy were both eyeing up unexpected place in the World Open
quarter-finals. It was the higher-ranked Indian who took advantage, taking the
lead in all three games and never letting her younger Egyptian get a real
foothold in the game. It the early stages of the third it looked as though
Kanzy's more physical style was beginning to unsettle Dipika, but she held her
composure and closed out the match with aplomb.
The evening session resumed with England's in-form Laura Massaro against
Hong Kong left-hander Annie Au. Massaro has just moved up to a career
best number four after her success in the US Open last month, and was looking to
celebrate her 28th birthday in style. However, Au is no is also on
the rise up to a high of 7, after reaching the final of the Monte Carlo Classic,
and is always a dangerous opponent. The match was as close as those stats would
suggest, with the Englishwoman just managing to stay ahead for most of the first
game before pulling away at the end, then having to fight back after being a
couple of points behind for most of the second. The hot bouncy conditions and
court probably suited Massaro's more conventional game more than Au's deft
boasts, drops and lob but each point had to be worked hard for with both players
covering all of the court.
An English women's semi-finalist was guaranteed when Jenny Duncalf (right)attled
past Joelle King. The hard-hitting Kiwi matched Duncalf, the second seed,
all the way for half an hour, but from the outset of the third the Englishwoman
took control, taking the last two games for the loss of just four points.
'Old Guard' Through As Kanzy KO's Kawy
The first two matches
completed saw qualifiers Lauren
Selby and Tesni Evans turn
in creditable performances against Rachael
Grinham and Samantha Teran,
both having had a good tournament and doing themselves credit in today's
"That was hard, she's a good player and
very physical," said Tesni. "But I've enjoyed my week, it's been great to
see the the top players together and to watch them play."
Selby was also satisfied: "I thought I did
alright, considering the matches I've had so far this week. Rachael's not
the easiest to play when you have heavy legs, she holds the ball so well
and you have to stop and start and turn so often. But I'm pleased with my
tournament, I thought I did credit to myself and I got my laundry done!!"
Teran was happy too:
"I'm happy to get started, and to have a tough game to get me ready for
the next round, Tesni played well. It's normally hard to adjust after the
travel from Mexico, but I've been here a couple of days already and I feel
quite comfortable, I'm in good rhythm and playing well.
There was a huge
upset in the second batch of women's matches as teenage Egyptian qualifier Kanzy
El Dafrawy ousted
eighth-seeded compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy in three delicately poised
games, 12/10, 11/9, 12/10.
"I can't believe it," said a delighted
Kanzy, "I've never even taken a game off her before. But I was playing
well, even if she isn't at her best at the moment, but when I was 10/6
down in the third I told myself I mustn't let an opportunity like this
Kanzy thought she'd won it when Kawy left a
ball that the refs called in. Cue two disbelieving faces and a let was
decided on, but it didn't delay the victory for long.
"I never felt nervous the whole match,
which is why I could play well," added Kanzy, "and I think I won today
because I always believed I could win."
followed when Dipika
who has just moved into the world's top twenty, took out 14th-seeded Kiwi
Jaclyn Hawkes in four games.
"I started well then
made too many errors in the second," said the Indian number one. "In the
third and fourth I was trying to be more steady and I thought I did that
well. I played Jackie in Malaysia in July so I knew what to expect, you
have to be prepared to run and run like she does.
"Really happy to get through, it should be
a good game against Kanzy ..."
"It was three-nil, but a hard three-nil,"
admitted Darwish, while Golan, who endured an extended injury layoff last
yer, was doubly pleased: "We were pretty close squash wise today, but I
had that 30% plus confidence in my game. It’s so good to be back."
There were no further
upsets in the afternoon session women's matches, but none ofJenny
Duncalf, Annie Au, Laura Massaro and Joelle King had
particularly easy times of it even if they never looked in serious danger.
King found Swiss qualifier Gaby Huber a bit
of a handful: "I'd never really seen her play, so it came as a bit of a
surprise to find she hits the ball as hard as I do, which I'm not really
used to," admitted the Kiwi commonwealth gold medallist, who won 11/7,
11/6, 11/6. "It's good to get started though and I'm very happy to win
that one three-nil."
King now meets second seed Duncalf, who had
just as tough a time of it against Line Hansen, coming through 11/9,
12/10, 11/7 in just over half an hour.
Meanwhile Duncalf's English team-mate
Massaro managed to quell the lively young Egyptian Yathreb Adel 11/9,
11/7, 11/6 and she'll meet Annie Au, who won her all-Hong Kong match with
Joey Chan in four games. "We play each other so often, it feels strange to
come all the way over here just to play each other again," chuckled Au.
Night of the Young Egyptians ...
The ladies got their
first outing on Victoria's showcourt as locals Orla
Noom and Natalie Grinham started
their campaigns. Noom, who won the qualifying competition for the wilcard
spot, performed well enough but Australia's Kasey Brown was a tough
opponent, and the sixth seed came through in straight games despite Noom's
best efforts and a noisy partisan crowd.
"It's never easy playing the crowd's home
favourite," admitted Brown, "and they were definitely against me and
pretty loud too, but I thought I coped with it well and played pretty well
The following match, featuring four-time
finalist Grinham against her qualifier training partner Aisling Blake, was
one the crowd had altogether different expectations of, and they weren't
disappointed as the former Aussie who has just returned to the world's top
ten came through in straight games in front of her watching husband and
women's matches followed. France's seventh seed Camille
having lost to one young Egyptian (Raneem) in Qatar was in no mood to lose
to another today as she took a close first game against Nour El Tayeb,
doubled her lead with more ease in the second and gratefully accepted the
world junior champion's retirement with an ankle injury at 2/1 in the
Fourth seed Madeline
two games up as well, but her opponent, Emma Beddoes, far from conceding
stormed back to take the next two games. It was fairly comfortable for the
Northern Irishwoman in the decider, who after an tough hour long match
will be grateful for a day's rest before she takes on Natalie Grinham at
the Luxor Theatre on Thursday.
Low Wee Wern had
to work hard to secure a three-nil win over US veteran Latasha Khan, while
five-time and defending champion Nicol
off her defence on an outside court against compatriot Delia Arnold [and
wad missed in its entirety by yours truly].
"Delia was struggling with the bounce on
the court," said Nicol after her 11/3, 11/5, 11/6 win, "but I was too to
start with, it took a little time to get comfortable on there. I had to
remind myself it was the first round of the World Open and not let her get
into it, she can be very dangerous if she does."
That left Donna
Urquhart and Nour
who were by now into their fifth game too, Sherbini having taken the lead
2/1 after saving game balls in what proved to be a crucial third game. The
fifth was a relative canter, the young Egyptian finally able to celebrate
her 16th birthday with an 11/2 decider.
The men's matches started with disappointment for the Scots, but there was
better news in the women's qualifying as Lisa Aitken beat seeded
Canadian Alexandra Norman 3/0 to progress to a final against Ireland's
Aisling Blake. Gaby Huber and Olga Ertlova also
progressed in straight games, but then the drama started in the women's
England's Lauren Selby also upset the seedings, coming from
2-1 down in a bruising encounter to beat Lucie Fialova 11/9 in the fifth
after 91 minutes, the Czech finishing the match sprawled on the floor
after hitting the ball back into the middle for an obvious stroke with
Selby moving in to prove she could play the ball.
"It's just down to focus and determination when you get stuck in a match
like that," said a relieved Lauren. "I can't say I enjoyed it, but I
managed to keep my head at the crucial stages at the end."
Egypt's Nour El Sherbini also finished her match on two strokes,
and how she needed them after England's Sarah Jane-Perry recovered from
2-0 down to reach 10-9 match ball in the fifth only to have her string
break at that crucial moment.
"I gave her too much respect in the first two," admitted Perry, "and I hit
too many tins too! After that it was much better, but match ball wasn't a
good time for my strings to go, and after that I hit the corner of the
front wall twice in a row for strokes. Next time, next time ..."
Maud Duplomb, who lost a nailbiting qualifying final in Qatar last
week, added to the upsets as she beat Italy's Manuela Manetta in four,
while Kylie Lindsay's straight-game win over Leonie Holt was tough,
but thankfully lacking the drama of the preceding matches.
There was mixed success for the all-conquering Egyptians as the evening
session got under way, with a comfortable wen for Heba El Torky, a
less straightforward one for 15-year-old Yathreb Adel over Canada's
PanAm Games heroine Sam Cornett, and a straight-games defeat for Salma
Hany at the hands of England's Vicky Lust.
Germany's Sina Wall and Welsh tigress Tesni Evans had never met
before, despite "seeing each other at countless junior events". Wall twice
took the lead, but Evans fought back, established a lead in the decider
and took the match against a tiring German number one in just under an
"Too long," said Tesni, not exactly a picture of freshness herself, "I
knew it was going to be tough and it's never easy when you're always
behind, but I'm really pleased to be able to come back and win that."
The last Dutch interest in the qualifying competitions came to an end when
Siyoli Waters came from a game down to beat Milou Van Der Heijden
before a partisan home crowd.
"Milou made it hard for me, but I also made it difficult for myself,"
admitted the South African, "I made a few errors trying to create
something out of nothing and lost some good leads.
"You put more pressure on yourself to win when it's a big event like this,
so I'm just aiming to play good squash in my next match and not worry
about the score, the opponent or the crowd."
That next opponent will be Kanzy El Dafrawy who boosted the already
impressive Egyptian tally with a 3/1 win over yesterday's quickest winner
Birgit Coufal, although Kanzy needed to refocus after dropping the third
game 11/0, which she did to take the fourth 13/11.
The final pair of matches saw two of the more experienced World Open
campaigners set up a meeting in the qualifying final. Latasha Khan,
making her 12th appearance in the event, came from a game down to beat
Coline Aumard while Lauren Briggs, in her seventh World Open, ended
the hopes of Sally Skaarenburg. They've both been as high as 18 in the
world, but one of them will miss out tomorrow ...
World Open Finals Weekend Almost Sold Out
The final stages of the World
Open Squash 2011 will be
played in front of a full house, tournament organisers NextSquash confirmed
Exactly three months before the official individual World
Squash Championship for men
and women kicks off in Rotterdam,
the Netherlands' City of
Sports, 95% of the tickets for the final weekend (Saturday and Sunday)
have been sold.
The combined World
Open, featuring the 112 best men and 72 best women in the world, will
start on Friday October 28th with men's qualifying, and will end on Sunday
November 6th with both the women's and the men's finals. The first six
days of the prestigious squash championships will be played at the
renowned Victoria Squash
Club in Rotterdam, and for
the final four days an all-glass court will be erected on the podium of
Rotterdam's famous New Luxor
Theatre which has a seating
capacity of 1,400 spectators.
"It is great that we have almost sold out the final weekend
so many months in advance," said tournament director Tommy
Berden. "Once we announced that the event would take place in the New
Luxor Theatre, the interest from all over the world was overwhelming, and
the successful ticket sales are proof of this.
"Squash fans who haven't booked yet, but want to witness
the semis and/or finals, have to be quick. For both the Saturday and
Sunday there are only roughly 50 tickets left," added the former Dutch
The World Open Squash 2011 is the most important
championship on thePSA and WISPA
World Tours. The ten-day championship will feature a total prize fund
of US$418,000, a record in squash.