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02/08/2006
PENANG OPEN
 

Penang Queen Celebrates WISPA Hat-Trick On Home Courts

Women's Hotel Equatorial Penang Open Squash Championship,
Penang, Malaysia

Final:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 9-5, 9-6, 5-9, 9-3 (55m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [3] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 9-2, 9-0, 9-5 (33m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [4] Sharon Wee (MAS) 9-4, 9-6, 9-10, 9-1 (58m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [7] Tricia Chuah (MAS) 9-2, 9-6, 9-3 (26m)
[3] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) bt Christina Mak (HKG) 8-10, 9-0, 9-3, 9-5 (55m)
[4] Sharon Wee (MAS) bt [8] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 9-2, 9-2, 9-7 (23m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Louise Crome (NZL) 9-6, 9-4, 9-4 (31m)

1st round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Jenna Gates (ENG) 9-0, 9-3, 9-0
[7] Tricia Chuah (MAS) bt [Q] Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) 9-0, 9-0, 9-1
[3] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) bt [Q] Chinatsu Matsui (JPN) 9-5, 9-6, 9-1
Christina Mak (HKG) bt [6] Melissa Martin (AUS) 6-9, 9-3, 9-3, 8-10, 9-1
[8] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS) 9-7, 9-7, 10-8
[4] Sharon Wee (MAS) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 9-0, 9-7, 9-3
Louise Crome (NZL) bt [5] Amelia Pittock (AUS) 9-7, 3-9, 7-9, 9-4, 9-3
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Lim Yoke Wah (MAS) 9-2, 9-6, 9-1

Qualifying finals:
Lim Yoke Wah (MAS) bt Low Wee Nee (MAS) 9-2, 9-5, 9-0
Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS) bt Nabilla Ariffin (MAS) 9-4, 2-9, 9-3, 7-9, 9-3
Chinatsu Matsui (JPN) bt Low Wee Wern (MAS) 9-2, 9-6, 3-9, 9-4
Delia Arnold (MAS) bt Sally Looi (MAS) 9-3, 10-9, 9-1

Penang Queen Celebrates WISPA Hat-Trick On Home Courts
Penang squash star Nicol David delighted local fans, and provided the perfect climax to the inaugural Women's Hotel Equatorial Penang Open at the Penang International Squash Centre, when she beat Australian rival Rachael Grinham in four games in today's (Saturday) final of the WISPA World Tour event in Malaysia's second smallest state.

Playing in her first competitive event in her hometown since winning a record second World Junior Championship title five years ago, world number one David cruised into the final to face second seed Grinham for the third time in four weeks.

David recorded her first WISPA win over Grinham in China in November 2004 near the beginning of the Australian's 16-month reign as world number one. But the 22-year-old Malaysian has since built up a solid sequence of victories over her top-ranked predecessor and today secured her seventh win in a row with a 9-5, 9-6, 5-9, 9-3 victory in 55 minutes.

The title marks an impressive hat-trick for David who followed her victory in the Qatar Airways Challenge in India last month with success in the CIMB Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur less than two weeks later.

Nicol David & Rachael Grinham Link Up Again In Penang
Malaysia's Nicol David will meet Australian Rachael Grinham in the final of the Women's Hotel Equatorial Penang Open Squash Championship after the top two seeds had contrasting wins in today's (Friday) semi-finals of the new WISPA World Tour event at the International Squash Centre in Penang, Malaysia.

World number one David, the favourite playing on courts in her home town, beat third seed Rebecca Chiu 9-2, 9-0, 9-5 in 33 minutes to claim her eighth successive win over Chiu since losing to her Hong Kong rival in the Asian Games final in October 2002.

Rachael Grinham, the second seed from Queensland, denied the enthusiastic crowd an all-Malaysian final when she defeated fourth seed Sharon Wee in the other semi-final. Grinham, a former world number one, needed almost an hour to quash Wee, from Kuala Lumpur, 9-4, 9-6, 9-10, 9-1.

The final will be the pair's third WISPA World Tour meeting in four weeks after David beat the Australian en-route to winning both the Qatar Airways Challenge in India and the CIMB Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur last month.

Nicol David Delights Local Crowds At Penang Open
Malaysia's Nicol David delighted her local fans in her hometown of Penang in today's (Thursday) quarter-finals of the Women's Hotel Equatorial Penang Open Squash Championship with another comfortable straight games win in the new WISPA World Tour event at the International Squash Centre.

Top seed David, the new world number one, despatched compatriot and close friend Tricia Chuah, the No7 seed, 9-2, 9-6, 9-3 in just 26 minutes to reach her 13th successive semi-final berth on the Tour since April last year.

The 22-year-old world champion will now face Asian rival Rebecca Chiu for a place in Saturday's final. Third seed Chiu, the reigning Asian Games champion, needed 55 minutes to conquer unseeded Hong Kong compatriot Christina Mak 8-10, 9-0, 9-3, 9-5.

David is playing in her first major event in her hometown since winning a record second world junior title in Penang in 2001.

I am used to competing alone, so it feels funny to be competing in Penang with people who are close to me, especially my family," Nicol told the Malaysian Star. "It is only a five-minute drive from my house to the competition venue - and I am enjoying every minute of it."

There is also Malaysian interest in the other semi-final after Sharon Wee beat Egypt's eighth seed Raneem El Weleily 9-2, 9-2, 9-7. The fourth seed from Kuala Lumpur takes on Australia's No2 seed Rachael Grinham, who ended the run of New Zealand's unseeded Louise Crome in a 9-6, 9-4, 9-4 scoreline.

David & Chuah Set Up All-Malaysian Meeting In Penang
Local favourite Nicol David cruised to a straight games win in today's (Wednesday) first round of the Women's Hotel Equatorial Penang Open Squash Championship to set up an all-Malaysian quarter-finals clash against Tricia Chuah at the International Squash Centre in Penang, Malaysia.

Penang-based David is looking for a hat-trick of successive WISPA World Tour titles after winning the Qatar Airways Challenge and the Malaysian Open last month. The new world number one beat England's Jenna Gates 9-0 9-3 9-0 and will now face Chuah for the first time since their first round meeting in the KL Open in February last year.

Chuah, the seventh seed from Kuala Lumpur who celebrates a career-high world No29 ranking this month, brushed aside compatriot Siti Munirah Jusoh, a qualifier, 9-0, 9-0, 9-1.

Hong Kong's unseeded Christina Mak pulled off a significant upset when she beat sixth seed Melissa Martin in five games. The Australian also recorded a career-best ranking this month by leaping four places to 27 but Mak ultimately proved the more powerful as she secured her 6-9, 9-3, 9-3, 8-10, 9-1 victory.

Mak will now meet fellow countrywoman Rebecca Chiu, the third seed who dashed Japan's quarter-final hopes with a 9-5, 9-6, 9-1 defeat of Kawasaki-based qualifier Chinatsu Matsui.

New Zealand's Louise Crome fought back from 2/1 down to upset Australia's fifth seed Amelia Pittock 9-7, 3-9, 7-9, 9-4, 9-3. The Amsterdam-based 28-year-old from Auckland will now face another Australian, second seed Rachael Grinham, who beat Malaysian qualifier Lim Yoke Wah 9-2, 9-6, 9-1.

Matsui Denies Malaysians Maximum Success In Penang Open Qualifiers
Japan's Chinatsu Matsui denied the host country maximum success in today's (Tuesday) qualifying finals of the Women's Hotel Equatorial Penang Open Squash Championship when she beat Low Wee Wern in four games in the first WISPA World Tour event to be held in Penang, Malaysia.

Matsui beat the 16-year-old Asian Junior champion from Penang 9-2, 9-6, 3-9, 9-4 at the International Squash Centre and will now face Hong Kong's third seed Rebecca Chiu, the Asian Games champion, in the first round.

Meanwhile, Malaysians Lim Yoke Wah, Siti Munirah Jusoh and Delia Arnold made it through to the first round of the $15,000 event which Penang squash star Nicol David helped to set up.

David, whose success in last week's CIMB Malaysian Open clinched her position as number one in the new August WISPA World Rankings, is favourite to win her third WISPA title in four weeks in her home town. The world champion faces England's Jenna Gates in the first round and is expected to go on to meet Rachael Grinham, the second seed from Australia, in Saturday's final.

Updated 1st round draw:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v Jenna Gates (ENG)
[7] Tricia Chuah (MAS) v [Q] Siti Munirah Jusoh (MAS)
[3] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) v [Q] Chinatsu Matsui (JPN)
[6] Melissa Martin (AUS) v Christina Mak (HKG)
[8] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS)
[4] Sharon Wee (MAS) v Line Hansen (DEN)
[5] Amelia Pittock (AUS) v Louise Crome (NZL)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [Q] Lim Yoke Wah (MAS)