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Duncalf Defends US Title In Style

World No2 Jenny Duncalf defended her Women’s Carol Weymuller Open title in some style, beating her England team-mate Laura Massaro in straight games in the final of the $42,450 WISPA World Tour squash event at Heights Casino in Brooklyn, New York.

Runner-up in the championship three years ago, and winner last year when the event was combined with the US Open, Duncalf reached her third New York final after beating Kasey Brown in five games, avenging her defeat by the fast-rising Australian in last week’s WISPA Gold event in Mexico.

And Massaro had good reason to celebrate her unexpected appearance in the final after the third seed also battled to a five-game win over fancied Australian Rachael Grinham, the second seed.

Duncalf took control in the first game early on, moving her Commonwealth Games doubles partner around the court and making very few errors. After winning the game, the 27-year-old from Harrogate came out even stronger for the second.

“Jenny was on fire and couldn’t miss,” said tournament organiser Linda Elriani, the former England international who was runner-up in 1999 and 2000. “She showed us why is world number two, with her excellent skills, fluent movement and variety of shots. Laura only got one serve, but was battling hard to get her game plan to work, but to no avail as Jenny won the second game 11-1.”

Massaro, the world No8 from Preston, began to get the favourite out of position in the third and gain some control of the T. But Duncalf was just too accurate and fast – and soon closed out the match 11-6, 11-1, 11-6 to win the 2010 Carol Weymuller Open for the second year running.

“I’m really happy to win here again, especially in three games,” said a smiling Duncalf after the final. “We both had tough matches yesterday so I was pleased to keep my concentration and not let up on any of my leads in each game. I felt like I played well and managed to move her around the court.

“It’s nice to finish the trip on a high! Next stop Qatar!” exclaimed the champion after picking up the eighth Tour title of her career – but her first this year.

A downcast Massaro added: “I feel disappointed losing 3-0. I think that I felt a bit heavy in my legs today after yesterday and I felt I couldn’t really get on top. My length was a little short and she finished the ball well.”

[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-6, 11-1, 11-6

Duncalf & Massaro Celebrate First All-English New York Final

Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro will contest the first all-English final of the Women’s Carol Weymuller Open after surviving five-game semi-finals in the $42,450 WISPA World Tour squash event at Heights Casino in Brooklyn, New York.

Third seed Massaro was the first to earn a place in the final after upsetting Australia’s second seed Rachael Grinham. Down 1/8 in their career head-to-head tally, Massaro dropped the first two games – but battled back to beat the former world number one 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4 to reach the established women’s Tour event final for the first time.

“I’m really pleased to be in the final,” said the world No8 from Preston, now in the 13th Tour final of her career, but her first this year.

“Rachael is such a dangerous player and in the first two games I felt I didn’t know what to do because she was playing so well. Then I just tried to dig in more physically and make the rallies longer and I felt that I got rewards from doing that.

“I’ll be trying to play as well as I can in the final – and it’s nice, as there is no pressure on me!”

Top seed Duncalf approached the other semi-final 4/1 up in her career meetings with Kasey Brown, but the fourth seed from Australia had gained her sole victory only last week in Mexico – fresh from a three-medal triumph in theCommonwealth Games in Delhi.

But Duncalf was ready this time. The 27-year-old world No2 from Harrogate took he first game, then dropped the next two before fighting back to record an impressive 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6 victory.

Asked how she felt after her long match, Duncalf said: “Relief really! It was tough – Kasey has improved recently physically. She’s picking up a lot of balls and she’s always been good with the racket.

“I was pretty patchy at times, but I kept telling myself ‘keep pushing’,” added Duncalf, now in the 17th Tour final of her career

“I’m looking forward to playing in the final. One more match and it’s home time!”

The final will mark Duncalf and Massaro’s first competitive clash since partnering each other to Women’s Doubles silver medal success in the Commonwealth Games.

[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [4] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4

Duncalf On Course For Second Final In New York

England’s Jenny Duncalf remains on course to reach the final of the Women’s Carol Weymuller Open for the second time in three years after beating Rebecca Chiu in the quarter-finals of the $42,450 WISPA World Tour squash event atHeights Casino in Brooklyn, New York.

Top seed Duncalf, the world No2 from Harrogate, despatched the eighth seed from Hong Kong 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 and will now meet Australian rival Kasey Brown in the semi-finals.

“I felt good today,” said the 27-year-old who suffered a first career-loss to Brown in last week’s WISPA Gold event in Mexico. “The second game was crucial and I generally felt good movement-wise. I’ve enjoyed my last two matches here. After a rough week in Mexico I’m enjoying being on court at this tournament.”

Fourth seed Brown, who is experiencing the best form of her life after leaving Delhi earlier this month with threeCommonwealth Games medals, defeated Mexico’s seventh seed Samantha Teran 11-6, 11-3, 13-11.

“I felt I came out strong in the first two games and stuck to my game plan,” said 25-year-old from New South Wales. “In the third I knew I had to stay in front of her but she fought back well. I very happy to win in three!

“I’ve played Jenny quite a bit and last week in Mexico was the first time I’ve beaten her so I hope that I can consolidate on that.”

The other semi will also have English interest when Duncalf’s England team-mate Laura Massaro takes on second-seeded Australian Rachael Grinham.

Third seed Massaro defeated Egyptian nemesis Raneem El Weleily, the fifth seed, 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8, while Grinham, champion in 2006, beat 17-year-old Egyptian qualifier Nour El Tayeb 11-6, 14-12, 11-5.

“I’m really happy to have won,” said Massaro, who has lost three times this year to the 21-year-old from Alexandria. “It’s been SO tough against her in the last few matches. I thought I’d blown it after having two match balls in the third! I just so glad to be in the semis tomorrow, it’s the furthest I’ve got in this tournament.”

El Tayeb reached the quarter-finals after beating experienced compatriot Engy Kheirallah – and then admitted that Grinham, who is also based in Cairo, “is my favourite player”.

A smiling Grinham said after the match: “I really enjoyed playing tonight! I haven’t enjoyed playing as much as that in a while! I felt like I was moving really well and hitting the ball well and made very few errors. I knew it was an uphill battle for Nour once she was 2/0 down, so that helped me too.

“I haven’t played Laura in a while and it looks like she is in good shape so I hope that I play well,” concluded the 33-year-old former world number one.

[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [8] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 11-4, 11-9, 11-5
[4] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [7] Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-6, 11-3, 13-11
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [5] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-6, 14-12, 11-5

El Tayeb Takes Out Kheirallah In New York Upset

Egyptian teenager Nour El Tayeb celebrated one of her best ever wins by upsetting senior compatriot Engy Kheirallah in the opening round of the Women’s Carol Weymuller Open, the $42,450 WISPA World Tour squash event atHeights Casino in Brooklyn, New York.

In her maiden appearance in the established event which was launched in 1993, the 17-year-old qualifier from Cairo despatched sixth seed Kheirallah, ranked 12 in the world, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8.

“I don’t know what to say – I’ve never beaten Engy before,” said the excited Egyptian youngster who will now play Cairo-based Australian Rachael Grinham for a place in the semi-finals.

“She wasn’t at her best today and hit the tin a couple of times. I think that I played well, it was important to play a good length because she cuts it off so well.

“I have to play Rachael tomorrow,” added El Tayeb. “She is my favourite player! I hope that it is a good match!”

Second seed Grinham came through at the expense of England’s Tania Bailey after the unseeded former world No4 had to concede the match midway through the fourth game after experiencing breathing difficulties.

“It’s a shame the match had to end like that,” said Grinham, the 2006 champion. “She’s such an experienced player and fights so hard – so even if you are ahead you can’t let her in at all.

“I haven’t played Nour in a while, but I’m just happy to be back in court. Last week was my first WISPA event back after pulling my calf and being out for six weeks!”

Local interest in the event was represented by 17-year-old qualifiers Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford, and experienced former US national champion Latasha Khan.

Sobhy, the world junior champion from New York, put up a brave fight against Kasey Brown but went down 11-8, 11-4, 11-8 to the fast-improving fourth seed from Australia – while Egypt’s fifth seed Raneem El Weleily was too strong for Blatchford, winning 11-5, 11-5, 11-8.

But 37-year-old Khan gave seventh seed Samantha Teran a scare by taking the opening two games – before the Mexican upped her game to battle to a 5-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 win to earn her place in the quarter-finals.

1st round:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-8, 11-5, 11-4
[8] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) bt [Q] Suzie Pierrepont (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 12-10
[4] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [Q] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-8, 11-4, 11-8
[7] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 5-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7
[5] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8
[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Emma Beddoes (ENG) 11-4, 11-6, 14-12
[Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [6] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) 11-7, 11-9, 11-8
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Tania Bailey (ENG) 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 5-3 ret.

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