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06/11/2011
WORLD OPEN 2011 (Women)
 

Nicol Supreme For Six

Reports
  Final      Semi Finals      Quarter Finals     2nd Round    1st Round   Preview

Draw

click on images for larger view

Final

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 opponent.
 
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.
 
Six 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 support me.

"My 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

Women's Draw
World Open Squash 2011
Round One
01 Nov
Round Two
02/03 Nov
Quarters
04 Nov
Semis
05 Nov
Final
06 Nov
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11/3, 11/6, 11/5 (29m)
Delia Arnold (Mas)
Nicol David
11/7, 11/6, 11/7 (32m)
Nour El Sherbini
Nicol David
11/7, 12/10, 11/4 (41m)
Kasey Brown
Nicol David
11/9, 11/4, 11/6 (44m)
Natalie Grinham
Nicol David
11/2, 11/5, 11/0 (28m)
Jenny Duncalf
[13] Donna Urquhart (Aus)
10/12, 11/8, 13/11, 9/11, 11/2 (61m)
[Q] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)
[11] 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)
Kasey Brown
[6] Kasey Brown (Aus)
 11/6, 11/5, 11/4 (32m)
Orla Noom (Ned)
[7] Camille Serme (Fra)
 12/10, 11/7, 2/1 rtd (28m)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
Camille Serme
11/4, 12/10, 2/11, 11/7 (31m)
Low Wee Wern
Low Wee Wern
11/7, 11/7, 11/5 (47m)
Natalie Grinham
[16] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
 11/6, 11/9, 11/8 (42m)
[Q] Latasha Khan (Usa)
[12] Natalie Grinham (Ned)
 11/5, 11/3, 11/9 (37m)
[Q] Aisling Blake (Irl)
Natalie Grinham
11/6, 11/5, 11/8
Madeline Perry
[4] 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)
[3] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
Rachael Grinham
4/11, 11/2, 11/3, 12/10 (53m)
Samantha Teran

Samantha Teran
11/6, 11/8, 11/9 (36m)
Dipika Pallikal
Samantha Teran
11/9, 11/4, 11/7 (36m)
Jenny Duncalf
[Q] Tesni Evans (Wal)
11/5, 11/3, 11/7 (24m)
[15] Samantha Teran (Mex)
Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
11/8, 9/11, 11/8, 11/7 (52m)
[14] Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
Dipika Pallikal
11/6, 11/7, 11/7 (37m)
Kanzy El Dafrawy
[Q] Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy)
 12/10, 11/9, 12/10 (35m)
[8] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
[Q] Yathreb Adel (Egy)
 11/9, 11/7, 11/6 (41m)
[5] Laura Massaro (Eng)
Laura Massaro
11/9, 11/7, 11/6 (40m)
 Annie Au
Laura Massaro
11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (45m)
Jenny Duncalf
Joey Chan (Hkg)
13/11, 11/6, 7/11, 11/6 (46m)
 [9] Annie Au (Hkg)
[Q] Gaby Huber (Sui)
11/7, 11/6, 11/6 (35m)
[10] Joelle King (Nzl)
Joelle King
11/8, 7/11, 11/1, 11/3 (52m)
Jenny Duncalf
Line Hansen (Den)
 11/9, 12/10, 11/7 (32m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)

Qualifying finals:
Women's Qualifying Round Two

Aisling Blake
(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 (45m)
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, 12/10 (59m)
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 (46m)
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 (54m)
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, 11/8 (42m)
Kanzy El Dafrawy (Egy) bt Birgit Coufal (Aut) 11/8, 11/9, 0/11, 13/11 (42m)
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)

Semi Finals

Duncalf 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 Mexico.

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," admitted Duncalf.

"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 record tomorrow.

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!"

 

Quarter Finals

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.”

Her 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.

 

2nd Round

Teran takes out Third seed Grinham

Day six of the World Open Squash 2011 at Rotterdam's Victoria Squash opened up with the 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.


 

1st Round

'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 openers. 

"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 slip."

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."

Another upset followed when
 Dipika Pallikal, 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 too."

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 son.

Two contrasting women's matches followed. France's seventh seed
 Camille Serme, 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 third.

Fourth seed
 Madeline Perry went 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 David started 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 El Sherbini, 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 matches.

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 hour.

"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 ...



 

Preview

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 today.

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 champion.

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.