Wednesday 2nd Jan
A: Laura Massaro v Natalie Grinham
A: Nicol David v Annie Au
B: Raneem El Weleily v Jenny Duncalf
B: Nour El Sherbini v Camille Serme
Thursday 3rd Jan
A: Annie Au v Natalie Grinham
A: Nicol David v Laura Massaro
B: Raneem El Weleily v Jenny Duncalf
B: Nour El Sherbini v Camille Serme
Friday 4th Jan
A: Nicol David v Natalie Grinham
A: Laura Massaro v Annie Au
B: Raneem El Weleily v Camille Serme
B: Nour El Sherbini v Jenny Duncalf
Women’s Pool A:
Nicol David (MAS)
Laura Massaro (ENG)
Annie Au (HKG)
Natalie Grinham (NED)
Women’s Pool B:
Raneem El Weleily (EGY)
Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
Camille Serme (FRA)
DAY 5 FINAL
Nicol David (MAS) bt Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-2, 11-3, 11-9
David Retains World Series Finals in London
retains the World Series Finals title in front of a
packed Queen’s Club venue with Sky Sports
broadcasting to the world.
The world No.1 brushed aside home favourite Laura Massaro
in a straight games win, dispelling any hint of an upset
following the Englishwoman’s victory over her in the group
stages early in the week.
The Malaysian started the match confidently, immediately finding
her length and setting about putting the pressure on her
opponent. She leapt to a 4-point lead with Massaro struggling
to find a competitive length early on. Massaro’s attacking
boast, which had been so dangerous in her earlier matches this
week, seemed less effective and her early attempts were punished
The rallies grew longer as the game progressed, but Massaro’s
attacking threats were mostly absorbed by the seven-time world
champion, whose consistency was a level above in this match.
closed out the first game and returned with similar vigour for
the start of the second, amassing a five point lead with Massaro
registering just one point. In her struggle to finish of the
rallies, the world No.3 began forcing the ball short earlier,
but the movement of David proved quick and she was unable to
find the killer ball.
The third game was more of a contest, as Massaro seemed to find
a decent width and length to trouble her opponent. Her body
language and court position appeared more confident and she
matched David point for point up to the latter stages of the
third. Stepping higher up the court, she found some success in
cutting the ball short, but at the business end of the game a
trademark flat-boast hit the tin to give David a 9-8 lead. The
Malaysian took the opportunity and didn’t look back.
A buoyant David spoke to the crowd after her win: “It really
means a lot to get off to a winning start in 2013, and after
losing to Laura in the week, getting back on top of things. I’m
really pleased to win 3-0, it didn’t feel like three games, it
was a really great match. Knowing that she was playing in front
of a home crowd, it really made it important to start off strong
and get the lead. I thought that if she
got ahead at all then she’d just be feeding off the crowd, so I
had to make sure I did it instead!
been tremendous to have had this event live on Sky Sports and
Eurosport this weekend. It’s been live back in Malaysia too and
it’s amazing what they’ve done with the whole TV product.
They’ve made squash look so good, showing how the live
audiences are getting involved and really showing us in a great
“It’s fantastic to be here with the men’s PSA World Tour too.
We’ve had the top eight players from both tours competing this
week; only the best players get to play here at Queens Club and
what better place to showcase our sport?”
David Returns To World Series Finals Summit
has reached the summit of the World Series Finals for a
second successive year after defeating Camille Serme in
straight games in Saturday night’s semi-final in front of a
The seven-time World Open
champion, who also won last year’s inaugural World Series Finals
at Queens Club in London, needed just 23-minutes to
defeat world No.9 Serme in a typically consummate performance,
as SkySports broadcast the match around the world.
The Malaysian stormed off to a
five-point lead early on in the first game, with Serme
struggling to get a foothold on the match. David rarely wastes
a lead of that size, and the Frenchwoman could only chip away at
the deficit as her opponent did enough to maintain her advantage
and close out the first game.
Serme was able to claim a game
when the pair played in the Hong Kong Open in December, but
despite giving it her all, and leading 6-5 at the midway stage
in the second, she was unable to force David to a deciding game.
Her game-plan was astute, but ultimately it was the error-count
that let the 23-year-old down in the final game, as her search
for the necessary winning shots against her opponent sent her
too close to the tin.
David spoke of Serme after the
match: “It’s so tough to play against someone in the Top10 in
the world. It’s the semi-finals now and everyone wants to pick
up the World Series title. That’s the best she’s played
against me so I’m very pleased to get the win today. We had
really good rallies, but she played a few errors in the middle
of the second. She’s tough and I needed to work hard and gave
her no time to settle.
David progresses to face fellow
Pool A player Laura Massaro (left in red), having lost to the
Englishwoman in straight games on day two of the event. The
Malaysian remains optimistic of her chances however, “Although
Laura played better in the pool match earlier in the week, I’ve
felt better and better as the days have gone on, so I’m looking
forward to playing her again in the final.”
Massaro seemed to start slowly
in her semi-final against compatriot Jenny Duncalf, who
was allowed to build a healthy lead in the first game following
some excellently crafted attacking play.
Duncalf attacked confidently,
and her lead was strengthened by some unforced errors from the
world No.3. She closed out the first game in comfortable style,
but Massaro raced back onto court and to a 4-0 and 8-1 lead
after utilising a highly effective front-court boast. Under
pressure, Duncalf was forced into a number of errors to increase
her opponents lead, but built up momentum following a run of
points towards the end of the game.
The world No.8 found the
confidence to step higher up the court and constructed a
comeback to 7-9, before the task became to much of an ask and
Massaro gladly brought the game to a close.
Momentum stayed with Duncalf
throughout the deciding game, as she stormed to a 4-0 and 5-1
lead. Massaro seemed dejected, but persevered with her
attacking trickle-boast and levelled the scores at 7-all with
some relentless retrieving.
With the pressure building, both
players hit a succession of errors to push the scores higher,
until Duncalf gave away a stroke to give her opponent the
advantage. Massaro, aided by a tin from her national teammate,
clinched the victory and will face David tomorrow in a repeat of
last month’s World Open final.
After the game, Massaro praised
her opponent: “Jenny played very well. She’s raised the level
of her game over the last few months so it’s great to get the
“Having already beaten Nicol
this week, it’s a big mental boost going into the final. That
said, she won’t want to lose so it’s good for my confidence but
she’ll be up for the best of five tomorrow.”
Massaro (ENG) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 6-11, 11-8, 11-9 (45mins)
David (MAS) bt Camille Serme (FRA) 11-5, 11-8
Massaro (ENG) vs Nicol David (MAS)
Duncalf Victory Maximises Home Interest For
ensures an English finalist at the World Series Finals at
Queen’s Club, London this weekend after qualifying from the
The 30-year-old from Harrogate,
Yorkshire had to beat Nour El Sherbini of Egypt to see
her progress to tomorrow’s semi-final round, where she will play
fellow home hopeful Laura Massaro.
Duncalf’s match, the longest so
far this week at 42mins, saw a marathon first game as the
players were tied at neck-and-neck from the first pointed.
Nothing was separating the pair, who were finding good range of
lengths and attacking shots. It was Duncalf who reached
game-ball first, but was unable to finish off the point before
Sherbini forced the tie-break. A 21-minute first game was
finally finished off by the experienced Englishwoman as two
backhand drops broke the deadlock, the first an outright winner,
and the second a deft flick crosscourt, sending her opponent the
Sherbini, world No.6 at just
17-years-old, stormed back onto court and to a dominant lead in
the second game, which Duncalf’s influence seeming to have
wilted since her tiebreak win. Five consecutive points saw an
8-2 lead for the teenager, and her strong hitting and deadly
front-court attacks quickly saw her level the contest at one
Another game of cat-and-mouse
ensued for the deciding contest with Sherbini just ahead for
most of the game, but with Duncalf in hot pursuit. The
aggressive play from both players forced errors on occasion, but
neither play was willing to give an inch with a semi-final place
on the line. Duncalf drew level at 8-all following a Sherbini
stroke, and at 9-all another tiebreak seemed likely.
The young teenager then hit an
unforced error in to the tin to gift the Englishwoman
match-point, and a no let against the Egyptian allowed Duncalf
to progress in second place from Pool B, and into the
Having already qualified from
Pool A, Laura Massaro played a dead-rubber against
Annie Au, who was already consigned to that fact that she
could not progress to the next round.
Playing for pride alone, the
Hong Kong international made an impressive attacking effort
against England’s top seed, and stormed to a five-point lead at
the mid-way stage. It was a gap that Massaro was unable to
close, as Au hit winners from every part of the court and the
world No.10 looked good value for her first game win.
Storming off to a three-point
lead, a similar story seemed to be unfolding in the second game.
Massaro had other ideas however, and claimed six successive
points to exert her authority on the match. Au was still
looking dangerous when given the opportunity, but Massaro
claimed the game to draw level.
Again Au took an early lead,
with Massaro seeming to lack a specific game plan to get the
ball passed her opponent consistently. Au held her lead
throughout the game, and Massaro was unable to close the gap, as
the Hong Kong player closed out a consolatory victory.
bounced back from her defeat yesterday to confirm her
progression from the group stage of the World Series Finals.
The World Open champion defeated
Natalie Grinham in straight games in the first match of
the day, to ensure her place in tomorrow’s semi-final round
ahead of the Dutchwoman.
After her loss at the hands of
Laura Massaro, David wasted no time in gaining the upper hand in
today’s clash, winning nine-points in a row to reach game-ball.
Grinham’s attacking approached seemed a little too eager and
her rush to take the ball short increased her error-count
The second game was a closer
contest, with Grinham seemingly more patient and willing to work
the rallies in her favour before taking on the winning shot. The
errors were not completely removed from her game, but she was
rewarded with a much more competitive display.
At 6-all, the world No.12 was in
a good position to make her mark on the contest, but David had
other ideas. Upping the pace, as she is renowned for doing, and
leaping onto loose balls, she closed the match out 11-8 to
ensure her progression to the weekend’s semi-finals.
David will play Camille Serme
in tomorrow’s semi-final match, in a repeat of last month’s Hong
Kong Open final. Serme, having already qualified from Pool B
with two victories, played world No.2 Raneem El Weleily
who was yet to win a match in the competition.
With the pressure off and
playing for pride, the Egyptian set about an attacking
master-class against Serme, whose own attacking fortitude was
also evident in a narrow first game. The pair continued to
trade blows in the second with the scores tied at the mid-way
stage, but Weleily crept ahead and held onto her lead to lose
out the straight-game victory.
Serme, already through,
qualifies first from Pool B and will play Pool A runner-up Nicol
David in tomorrow’s semi-final match, to be broadcast live on
SkySports from 6pm.
Nicol David (MAS) bt Natalie Grinham (NED) 11-4,
Annie Au (HKG) bt Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-5, 7-11,
Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Camille Serme (FRA)
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
18-16, 4-11, 11-9
18:00 - Laura
Massaro (ENG) vs Jenny Duncalf (ENG)
followed by Camille Serme (FRA)
vs Nicol David (MAS)
Massaro Revenge For World Open Final Defeat
was able to extract small vengeance for her World Open final
defeat after beating Nicol David on day two of the
World Series Finals.
Massaro became the second English player to cause a rankings
upset at Queen’s Club, following Jenny Duncalf’s defeat of world
No.2 Raneem El Weleily yesterday afternoon.
The first rally was a sign of things to come from both Massaro
and the world No.1, as neither player wasted any time in
attacking all four corners of the court. Massaro established a
small lead early on, but was soon pegged back by the Malaysian.
The scores stayed level throughout the first game until Massaro
reached game-ball with David just a point behind. A long,
painstaking rally ensued as Massaro waited patiently for the
opportunity to attack. An error never game though and it was
the Englishwoman who made the mistake, allowing David the
tiebreak opportunity. Two winning shots from Massaro made up
for this however, as she closed out the first game.
A similar story unfolded in the second game, with nothing
separating the pair through to the midway point. David started
to edge ahead at 8-5, but a succession of uncharacteristic
errors from the seven-time world champion allowed Massaro back
into the contest. A further tin from the Malaysian offered up an
unlikely match-ball for the world No.3 and a reaction forehand
volley drop winner completed the win for Massaro.
A beaming Laura told audiences after the match: “I feel I played
well. You have to play well against Nicol, otherwise you’re off
court before you know it. She’s just won her 7th world title,
so she’s playing well which makes winning today even more
special, given our final last week. She’s a great champion and
she’ll definitely be back.
“I was just really focussed on what I needed to do to win the
match today. She’s beaten me quite comfortably in our last few
matches. Even though they’ve been quite hard, they’ve still been
3-0 or 3-1. So it’s just a case of me trying to execute my game
plan. I’ve beaten her before so its not too much of a surprise
when I’m in a winning situation because I know that I can, but
you don’t get yourself into those situations unless you’re doing
the right things.”
The first match of the day saw Natalie Grinham keep her
competition hopes alive by gaining her first win of the World
Series Finals, beating Annie Au of Hong Kong.
The world No.12 claimed a narrow first game on the tie-break,
despite her backhand length often getting her into difficulty.
Au fought back to 8-8 after an early deficit and forced the
tiebreak with a more consistent game-plan. The Dutchwoman’s
experience paid off as she closed out the first game, and seemed
to have broken the Hong Kong international’s resolve in the
exchanges that followed.
Grinham’s retrieval was consummate, and she utilised a long
backhand drop that caused Au some serious problems. She proved
too clever for the younger player in the end, and keeps her
World Series Finals campaign alive to face Nicol David
tomorrow’s last group stage day.
In Pool B, another surprise result saw 18-year-old Nour El
Sherbini claim another unfancied victory on English soil
against compatriot Raneem El Weleily. The opening
exchanges were fairly even but Sherbini refused to give in
against the world No.2, and the familiarity between the pair
seemed to work more in the younger player’s advantage as she
closed out the first game.
The teen’s romp continued as she stormed to a 5-0 lead in the
second game, and all Weleily could do from there was to chip
away at the deficit. Sherbini looked fresh and sprightly around
the court, and was lightning quick in her retrieval of Weleily’s
attacking efforts. The older player, only 24-years-old herself,
never settled into the attacking rhythm for which she’s known,
and a sublime backhand crosscourt volley-drop from Sherbini
ended the contest, leaving Weleily’s chance of progression
Following two unlikely Pool B results yesterday, the two
victorious players Jenny Duncalf and Camille Serme
were facing each other on both the back of a promising end to
2012. Duncalf, who defeated Weleily on day one, was unable to
exert a similar performance today, and admitted her
disappointment at the way the match had gone. Serme’s attacking
play was efficient and precise throughout, crafting her points
well and working Duncalf around the court. Some excellent
length allowed her time on the tee to punish the loose return,
and this was a repeated strategy throughout her two-game win. Serme
raced to a 7-0 lead in the second game with the Englishwoman
cutting a dejected figure on court, a stark contrast to her
enthusiastic display yesterday afternoon.
“You can’t leave the ball that loose against Camille,” she
explained afterwards. “She played really well and if you put it
on her racket like that then you’re going to lose. Tomorrow’s
another day though and hopefully a good result can see me
Serme was pleased with the result after her win, but refused to
speculate about her progression to the semi-finals on Saturday.
She said: “I’m pleased with my performance today. I’ve been
working on some new things with my coach at home and it seems to
have worked really well today.
“I’m very pleased, though we have had some other upsets today so
I don’t know yet about the semi-finals. If I make it though, of
course I’ll be very happy!”
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt Annie Au (HKG) 14-12, 11-4
Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Nicol David (MAS) 12-10, 11-9
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11-8, 11-8
Camille Serme (FRA) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-7, 11-4
Confident Queen's Return For World Champion David
Reigning World Series Finals champion Nicol David made an
untroubled return to Queen’s Club in London, with a strong win on
day one of the ATCO World Series Finals.
Featuring the eight most successful World Series competitors from 2012,
the World Series Finals splits the players in to two round-robin pools,
with the top two from each group progressing to Saturday’s semi-finals.
World No.1 Nicol David moved past Annie Au of Hong Kong in
straight games, and will face Englishwoman Laura Massaro in the
second day of pool matches. David seemed a dominant mood from the start
of the match, and the Malaysian wasted no time in launching herself to a
strong lead. There were very few rallies throughout the contest, as
both players sought early winners from hard-hitting play. David was
always ahead and rarely looked troubled, and the pace of the contest
became too much for Au to cope with as David began the defence of her
title with a comfortable win.
Massaro, the world No.3, got off to a good start against experienced
Dutch international Natalie Grinham. She claimed a
straight-forward victory in the best-of-three contest, closing out the
competitive Grinham, and whilst the game scores were close, the
Englishwoman rarely looked like giving anything away. She led 7-2 in
the first game, and 8-0 in the second as Grinham’s input came too late
to have any serious positive effect on the tie.
Pool B, audiences were treated to a surprise result from home interest Jenny
Duncalf. The Harrogate-based Englishwoman got off to a great start
against second seed Raneem El Weleily, leading throughout the
first game and keeping ahead of the Egyptian until game-ball. Weleily
seemed to focus at this point, and began a more thoughtful attacking
approach, chipping away at the three game-balls and took five
consecutive points to win the first game.
Weleily returned to court having seemingly reverted back to her
error-prone first game pattern. Despite being handed numerous points,
Duncalf was still taking her own chances well, and forged a strong
four-point lead which she held throughout the mid-stages of the game.
The Egyptian focus again, tightening her length and seemed more willing
to rally, but the damage was done and she was unable to force another
Duncalf continued strongly, and wasted no time in extending a lead in
the deciding game of the contest. The world No.8 picked her chances
well, waiting for the right opportunity to mount an attack on her
opponent and with a combination of patient and attacking play,
established another promising lead. Weleily’s usual style of attack was
often error-prone, and Duncalf’s length did enough to force extra errors
from the world No.2 and she took the final game to claim an unfancied
Duncalf was pleased with her win after the game. She said:“ It wasn’t
easy dropping the first at game-ball, but there was always another game
after missing out on that. I had the same belief at 10-7 in the second
game. I’ve had a bit of a bug over new year, but I didn’t want to miss
out on this event. The court is lovely, and takes a shot well. There
aren’t too many long, gruelling, bouncy rallies so it’s good to move on
Camille Serme wasn’t expecting to make the cut for the World
Series Finals this year, until she reached the final of the Hong Kong
Open in December. She played teenage prodigy Nour El Sherbini in
the second Pool B match, which began as an even contest. Serme was
finding a good length but the talented 17-year-old kept herself in the
game and forced errors from the Frenchwoman. The more experienced Serme
had the edge in the first game, volleying well and closed out a narrow
first game win.
The world No.9 carried her form into the second game, where she
established a good lead, before a lapse in concentration allowed the
Egyptian back into the game. Serme refocused to extend her lead, and
thought she’d won after claiming a Sherbini counter-drop had hit the
tin. The referees called a let-ball however, and the teen was allowed
another opportunity to salvage the match. Sherbini closed the gap to
force the tie-break but not to be deterred, Serme finished of the
contest with a backhand cross-court volleydrop winner to get her second
World Series Finals off to the best possible start.
Wednesday - results:
A: Laura Massaro bt Natalie Grinham 11-8, 11-8
A: Nicol David bt Annie Au 11-7, 11-4
B: Jenny Duncalf bt Raneem El Weleily 10-12, 11-8, 11-8
Pool B: Camille Serme bt Nour El
Sherbini 11-9, 12-10
Confident Queen's Return For World
1st Session Results and Player Quotes