WISPA QATAR AIRWAYS CHALLENGE
David Romps To Qatar Airways Challenge Triumph In Hyderabad
WISPA Qatar Airways Challenge
All-Glass Floor in
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 couldnt 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
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
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.
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.
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
Seeds Safely Through
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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,
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
Crome Crumbles As Chinappa Takes Up Hyderabad Challenge
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
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.
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
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 49 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
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
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 4β9 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 β 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
 Rachael Grinham (Aus)
9-5, 9-2, 9-0 (26m)
[Q] Carla Khan (Pak)
9-10, 9-5, 9-2, 9-7 (68m)
9-6, 9-7, 9-3 (53m)
9-4, 4-9, 9-4, 9-2 (55m)
4-9, 9-5, 9-0, 9-0 (54m)
9-3, 9-4, 9-4 (36m)
[Q] Runa Reta (Can)
 Tania Bailey
9-4, 9-6, 5-9, 9-6 (62m)
Tegwen Malik (Wal)
9-5, 9-0, 9-0 (35m)
9-6, 0-9, 9-7, 9-7 (76m)
[Q] Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)
 Natalie Grinham (Aus)
9-3, 9-3, 9-0 (25m)
[Q] Triciah Chuah (Mas)
9-6, 9-2, 9-0 (40m)
10-8, 9-0, 9-1 (35m)
9-2, 9-5, 9-7 (38m)
Latasha Khan (Usa)
 Omneya Abdel
9-2, 9-7, 9-3 (23m)
Sharon Wee (Mas)
3-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-4 (44m)
 Laura Lengthorn (Eng)
9-5, 5-9, 7-9, 9-1, 9-5
Jaclyn Hawkes (Nzl)
Amelia Pittock (Aus)
9-0, 9-0 ret. (9m)
 Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
9-2, 6-9, 9-6, 9-3 (55m)
9-10, 9-5, 9-7 (77m)
5-9, 6-9, 9-6, 9-3, 9-0
Melissa Martin (Aus)
9-1, 9-3, 9-0 (20m)
 Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Lauren Briggs (Eng)
6-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-3 (51m)
 Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
9-7, 9-1, 9-7 (44m)
[Q] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
9-4, 9-0, 9-1 (27m)
 Vicky Botwright (Eng)
[Q] Kasey Brown (Aus)
9-3, 6-9, 9-3, 9-4 (52m)
 Pamela Nimmo (Sc)
5-9, 9-6, 9-3, 9-4 (50m)
4-9, 9-1, 9-2, 9-6 (47m)
9-2, 9-2, 9-0 (17m)
 Alison Waters (Eng)
9-4, 9-1, 7-9, 9-4 (42m)
 Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
9-6, 4-9, 9-6, 9-5 (60m)
9-3, 9-3, 9-2 (23m)
 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
Carla Khan (Pak) bt Surbhi Misra (Ind) 9/1, 9/0, 9/0 (13m)