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26/06/2006
WISPA QATAR AIRWAYS CHALLENGE
 

David Romps To Qatar Airways Challenge Triumph In Hyderabad

WISPA Qatar Airways Challenge

Revised Draw

Qualifying Round Draw

All-Glass Floor in Hyderabad

 

David Romps To Qatar Airways Challenge Triumph In Hyderabad 

Malaysia's Nicol David fought back from a game down to beat Australia's defending champion Rachael Grinham in four games to win the women's Qatar Airways Challenge in Hyderabad, India.

 

The third biggest WISPA World Tour squash championship of the year has been staged on a revolutionary glass-floored glass showcourt erected in front of the Falaknuma Palace, an historic building set on a hill overlooking India's fifth largest metropolis.

 

It was the third time in as many days that world champion David had been forced to climb back after losing the opening game.  But after levelling the match by taking the second game, the top seed and world No2 romped to a sensational 4-9, 9-5, 9-0, 9-0 victory in 54 minutes without conceding a single point in the final two games.

 

"I learned from the second game as the match progressed," David said afterwards. 

 

"I started to make her run around the court – I could sense her gasping for breath.  The scoreline makes it look as if the last two games were one-sided, but it was much harder than that," explained the 22-year-old from Penang after clinching her 11th WISPA Tour title – and repeating her victory over Grinham in last December's World Open final in Hong Kong.

 

The victory takes David ahead of world number one Vanessa Atkinson in the latest world rankings points tally.  But, despite her Dutch rival having to pull out of the Hyderabad event with a back injury, David and Atkinson are due to battle for honours in the CIMB Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur later this month – and the outcome of this will determine the final placings for the next world ranking list which will be published on 1 August

 

David Defeats Duncalf In Epic Fight Back In Hyderabad

Appearing in her first WISPA Grand Prix semi-final, England's Jenny Duncalf came within three points of pulling off a mighty upset to reach the final of the women's Qatar Airways Challenge, the third biggest championship on the WISPA World Tour this year which is being staged on a revolutionary glass-floored glass showcourt erected in front of the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, India.

But top seed Nicol David, the world champion from Malaysia who was appearing in her 11th successive WISPA Tour semi-final, staged a courageous fight back from 0-2 and 1/6 down in the third game to beat the fifth seed 5-9, 6-9, 9-6, 9-3, 9-0 in 65 minutes to reach the 23rd WISPA final of her career.

"Jenny played really well – she came out at 100 mph," David said afterwards. "To be honest, I was watching and admiring her game more than playing my own!

"At 6/1 down, I knew that giving points away wasn't an option anymore – I just had to keep the rallies going, keep her behind me and make sure she made the first mistakes. Once I started to get in front, I got more confidence to play my shots and she started to get tired."

David's opponent in the final will be her long-time rival Rachael Grinham, the second seed from Australia who beat third seed Natalie Grinham to avenge the defeat by her younger sister in the Commonwealth Games final in Australia in March.

"It's my turn," declared 29-year-old Rachael after the 9-4, 4-9, 9-4, 9-2 victory in 55 minutes which earned her her 35th appearance in a WISPA Tour final.

Natalie, whose remarkable success in Melbourne also included gold medals in the Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles, summed up her sister's success: "It just depends on who's sharp on the day. Rachael played an awesome game against Tania (Bailey, in the quarter-finals) – and I told her that she couldn’t possibly play like that two days in a row!

"But I think that backfired on me, because it made her more determined to play well again," explained the 28-year-old who is based in the Netherlands .

The final will be the pair's first meeting since last December's World Open climax in Hong Kong , where David won the prestigious title for the first time.


Duncalf Despatches England Team-Mate In Hyderabad Upset

Jenny Duncalf defied both the English national rankings and the WISPA world rankings to beat her England team-mate Vicky Botwright in the only upset of today's (Friday) quarter-finals of the women's Qatar Airways Challenge on the first day of open air action on the all-glass squash court erected in front of the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, India.

In by far the longest quarter-final battle of the day, fifth seed Duncalf despatched Botwright, the fourth seed, 9-6, 9-10, 9-5, 9-7 in 77 minutes in the pair's first meeting on the WISPA World Tour this year.

The match was the first to be played on the revolutionary new ASB court featuring an all-glass floor. “I loved it,” Duncalf said afterwards. “Often the glass court floors are a bit lumpy and variable because they are moved around so much. But this was solid and sure underfoot.

"I was a bit nervy going on because, while I have played on a lot of showcourts, I have never done so well before in one of the big tournaments that move into outdoor arenas. It was very hot from the start, but when you serve and that breath of moving air comes to you as you move into the rally it feels just great.”

Duncalf, the 23-year-old world No6 from Harrogate in Yorkshire , now takes on world champion Nicol David for a place in the final of the third biggest championship on the WISPA World Tour this year.

David, the event favourite from Malaysia , had to fight back from a game behind to overcome another England international Alison Waters, the No8 seed. David won 4-9, 9-1, 9-2, 9-6 in 47 minutes to reach her 11th successive WISPA Tour semi-final.

The other semi-final will be an all-Grinham affair – between Rachael and Natalie Grinham - and a repeat of the Commonwealth Games final in March in Melbourne featuring the Australian sisters.

Second seed Rachael Grinham, the older of the two siblings, beat England 's sixth seed Tania Bailey in straight games – but it took the Cairo-based 29-year-old 53 minutes to defeat Bailey 9-6, 9-7, 9-3.

Natalie, the third seed and winner of the gold medal in Melbourne , survived a tough first game against Omneya Abdel Kawy, then dominated the next two games to beat the seventh seed from Egypt 10-8, 9-0, 9-1 in 35 minutes.


Seeds Safely Through In Hyderabad

The top eight seeds safely survived today's (Thursday) second round of the third biggest squash championship on the WISPA World Tour, but not without testing encounters in the women's Qatar Airways Challenge at the Secunderabad Club in Hyderabad, India.

Australia's second seed Rachael Grinham endured the longest battle of the day against Asian Games champion Rebecca Chiu, the 13th seed from Hong Kong. The former world No1 from Queensland, now based in Egypt, dropped the first game after a nail-biting tie-break – but then maintained the upper hand throughout the next three games to prevail 9-10, 9-5, 9-2, 9-7 in 68 minutes.

One match away from a possible semi-final clash with her younger sister Natalie Grinham, Rachael now meets England's Tania Bailey – winner of the shortest second round encounter. The sixth seed ended the brave run of Nicolette Fernandes with a 9-5, 9-0, 9-0 victory in 35 minutes over the qualifier from Guyana.

Natalie Grinham, the third seed, eased to a 9-6, 9-2, 9-0 win over England's 16th seed Dominique Lloyd-Walter – and must now overcome Egypt's seventh seed Omneya Abdel Kawy if she is to make the anticipated date with her sibling for the pair's first meeting since Natalie beat Rachael for the gold medal in March's Commonwealth Games in Australia.

A Games score was settled in Hyderabad in the second round clash between favourite Nicol David and 10th seed Shelley Kitchen. David, the world champion from Malaysia, avenged her defeat to the New Zealander in the bronze medal play-off in Melbourne by beating Kitchen 9-6, 4-9, 9-6, 9-5 in 60 minutes.

The top seed will now meet eighth seed Alison Waters after the 22-year-old from England ended the 18-match unbeaten WISPA run by Kasey Brown with a 5-9, 9-6, 9-3, 9-4 victory over the Australian qualifier.


Brown & Fernandes Lead Qatar Airways Challenge Upsets

Qualifiers Nicolette Fernandes and Kasey Brown led the upsets on today's (Wednesday) first day of action in the women's Qatar Airways Challenge, the third biggest squash championship on the WISPA World Tour, at the Secunderabad Club in Hyderabad, India.

Fernandes, the only professional squash player from Guyana, secured the best result of her career when she despatched 11th seed Annelize Naude, from the Netherlands, 9-6, 0-9, 9-7, 9-7 in 76 minutes.

The 23-year-old, who rose five places to a career-high world No38 ranking this month, now goes on to meet England's Tania Bailey, the sixth seed who needed more than an hour to overcome unseeded Welsh player Tegwen Malik 9-4, 9-6, 5-9, 9-6.

Australia's Kasey Brown maintained the momentum which saw her win four successive WISPA Tour titles on home soil – including last week's Australian Open – when she toppled Scotland's 15th seed Pamela Nimmo 9-3, 6-9, 9-3, 9-4 in 52 minutes.

England's Lauren Briggs, who has just taken up a part-time coaching role at London's prestigious RAC Club, also pulled off a notable upset. The unseeded 26-year-old from Essex recovered from a game down to beat Egypt's 12th seed Engy Kheirallah 6-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-3.

Favourite Nicol David, the world champion from Malaysia, coasted to a 9-3, 9-3, 9-2 victory over 17-year-old Egyptian Raneem El Weleily in just 23 minutes. But the world No2 from Penang now has to face 10th seed Shelley Kitchen for a place in the quarter-finals.

It will be the pair's first meeting since the New Zealander shocked David, the favourite for gold, for the bronze medal in this year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.


Crome Crumbles As Chinappa Takes Up Hyderabad Challenge

India's Joshna Chinappa became the only local player to win a place in the main draw of the women's Qatar Airways Challenge after overcoming an unwell Louise Crome in today's (Tuesday) qualifying finals at the Secunderabad Club in Hyderabad.

The first round of the third biggest championship on the WISPA World Tour this year, with a prize fund of $79,550, gets underway tomorrow (Wednesday). The final rounds will be played on a new all-glass court (featuring a glass floor for the first time ever at a major event) erected in front of the Falaknuma Palace, an historic building set on a hill overlooking India's fifth largest metropolis.

"I've been up all night being ill," said New Zealander Crome. "I just couldn't hit the ball hard and my coordination had gone."

Chinappa, the Asian Junior Champion, was 9-1 9-0 ahead when the Kiwi conceded the match. The 19-year-old from Chennai now goes on to face another New Zealander, tenth seed Shelley Kitchen, in the main draw.

Pakistan's new national champion Carla Khan secured the swiftest win of the day, beating India's 15-year-old Surbhi Misra 9-1, 9-0, 9-0 in just 13 minutes. Khan was then handed the worst draw for a qualifier when she was lined up against Australia's Rachael Grinham, the former world No1 who was elevated to second seed after the withdrawal of world No1 Vanessa Atkinson.

World Champion's Hyderabad Hopes Boosted By Atkinson Withdrawal

Nicol David's hopes of regaining her world number one squash ranking were boosted today by the withdrawal of Vanessa Atkinson from this week's Qatar Airways Challenge in Hyderabad, India.

Atkinson, the reigning world number one from the Netherlands - who is undefeated on the WISPA World Tour this year – has been diagnosed with an 'unstable disc' in her back which requires treatment for a couple of weeks.

"I am extremely disappointed not to be able to participate in the Qatar Airways Challenge in India this year," said the 30-year-old from The Hague. "I have been really looking forward to this important event and to visiting India for the first time."

The third biggest championship on the Women's International Squash Players' Association Tour, with a prize fund of $79,550, the Qatar Airways Challenge will take place from 4–9 July. After early rounds at the Secunderabad Club, the final rounds will be played on the new all-glass court (featuring a glass floor for the first time ever at a major event) erected in front of the Falaknuma Palace, an historic building set on a hill overlooking India's fifth largest metropolis.

Nicol David, the World Open champion from Malaysia who is ranked two in the world, will take over as top seed in the WISPA Gold event. In the revised draw, Australia's world No3 Rachael Grinham moves up to the second seed position.

WISPA Qatar Airways Challenge Court To Feature All-Glass Floor
A new revolution in squash court technology will be unveiled in India next week when the Qatar Airways Challenge in Hyderabad will be the first professional event to be played on an all-glass court which boasts an all-glass floor.

The third biggest championship on the Women's International Squash Players' Association World Tour, with a prize fund of $79,550, will take place from 4–9 July. After early rounds at the Secunderabad Club, the final rounds will be played on the new all-glass court erected in front of the Falaknuma Palace, an historic building set on a hill overlooking India's fifth largest metropolis.

After successful testing of the new concept by manufacturers ASB at the recent Austrian National Championships in Salzburg and at its headquarters in Germany by a number of the world's top players, a new glass court floor has been acquired by the Squash Rackets Federation of India to be used for the first time at the WISPA event in Hyderabad.

"We have developed the floor in accordance with the players' requirements and we now have a product that is absolutely anti-skid, elastic and even," said ASB founder Horst Babinsky. "The colour of the floor is determined by the colour of the surface under the glass - one of the biggest benefits being advertising, which can be placed at any area of the floor, completely visible, in any colour."

WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley added: "I am sure that we will look back upon this ASB development as a milestone for squash. The floor quality has been assured – and there is no maintenance such as panel breakage, the colour options are wide, and the ease of advertising placement is another encouragement for sponsors."

A star-studded women's field is in prospect in Hyderabad, led by world number one Vanessa Atkinson, the 2004 champion from the Netherlands, with world No2 Nicol David, the world champion from Malaysia, and the Australian sisters Natalie and Rachael Grinham the latter being the defending champion.

Qatar Airways Challenge 2006
04-09 July
1st Round
Wed 5th
2nd Round
Thu 6th
Quarters
Fri 7th
Semis
Sat 8th
Final
Sun 9th
[2] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
9-5, 9-2, 9-0 (26m)
[Q] Carla Khan (Pak)
Rachael Grinham
9-10, 9-5, 9-2, 9-7 (68m) Rebecca Chiu
Rachael Grinham
9-6, 9-7, 9-3 (53m)
Tania Bailey
Rachael Grinham
9-4, 4-9, 9-4, 9-2 (55m)
Natalie Grinham
Rachael Grinham
4-9, 9-5, 9-0, 9-0 (54m)
Nicol David
[13] Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
9-3, 9-4, 9-4 (36m)
[Q] Runa Reta (Can)
[7] Tania Bailey (Eng)
9-4, 9-6, 5-9, 9-6 (62m)
Tegwen Malik (Wal)
Tania Bailey
9-5, 9-0, 9-0 (35m) Nicolette Fernandes
[11] Annelize Naude (Ned)
9-6, 0-9, 9-7, 9-7 (76m)
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
[3] Natalie Grinham (Aus)
9-3, 9-3, 9-0 (25m)
[Q] Triciah Chuah (Mas)
Natalie Grinham
9-6, 9-2, 9-0 (40m) Dominique Lloyd-Walter
Natalie Grinham
10-8, 9-0, 9-1 (35m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
[16] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
9-2, 9-5, 9-7 (38m)
Latasha Khan (Usa)
[7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
9-2, 9-7, 9-3 (23m)
Sharon Wee (Mas)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
3-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-4 (44m) Laura Lengthorn
[9] Laura Lengthorn (Eng)
9-5, 5-9, 7-9, 9-1, 9-5 (74m)
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
Amelia Pittock (Aus)
9-0, 9-0 ret. (9m)
[14] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
Isabelle Stoehr
9-2, 6-9, 9-6, 9-3 (55m) Jenny Duncalf
Jenny Duncalf
9-6, 9-10, 9-5, 9-7 (77m)
Vicky Botwright
Jenny Duncalf
5-9, 6-9, 9-6, 9-3, 9-0 (65m)
Nicol David
Melissa Martin (Aus)
9-1, 9-3, 9-0 (20m)
[5] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Lauren Briggs (Eng)
6-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-3 (51m)
[12] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
Lauren Briggs
9-7, 9-1, 9-7 (44m)
Vicky Botwright
[Q] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
9-4, 9-0, 9-1 (27m)
[4] Vicky Botwright (Eng)
[Q] Kasey Brown (Aus)
9-3, 6-9, 9-3, 9-4 (52m)
[15] Pamela Nimmo (Sc)
Kasey Brown 5-9, 9-6, 9-3, 9-4 (50m)
Alison Waters
Alison Waters 4-9, 9-1, 9-2, 9-6 (47m)
Nicol David
[Q] Suzie Pierrepont (Eng)
9-2, 9-2, 9-0 (17m)
[8] Alison Waters (Eng)
[Q] Joshna Chinappa (Ind)
9-4, 9-1, 7-9, 9-4 (42m)
[10] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
Shelley Kitchen 9-6, 4-9, 9-6, 9-5 (60m)
Nicol David
Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
9-3, 9-3, 9-2 (23m)
[1] Nicol David (Mas)

Qualifying round :


Suzie Pierrepont (Eng) bt Jenna Gates (Eng) 9/1, 3/9, 10/8, 9/1 (46m)
Joshna Chinappa (Ind) bt Louise Crome (Nzl) 9/1, 9/0, rtd
Runa Reta (Can) bt Anwesha Reddy (Ind) 9/0, 9/2, 9/0 (16m)
Sarah Kippax (Eng) bt Orla Noom (Ned) 1/9, 10/9, 9/3, 9/5 (58m)
Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) bt Manuela Manetta (Ita) 9/2, 7/9, 9/6, 9/6 (77m)
Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Shivange Paranjpe (Ind) 9/0, 9/0, 9/1 (17m)
Tricia Chuah (Mas) bt Dipikia Pallikal (Ind) 6/9, 9/1, 5/9, 9/3, 9/2 (47m)
Carla Khan (Pak) bt Surbhi Misra (Ind) 9/1, 9/0, 9/0 (13m)