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Squash - 26. June 2007.

Grainger & El Weleily To Contest LA Open Final

RESULTS:      Women's Epstein Becker & Green Los Angeles Squash Open, Los Angeles, USA

 

Semi-finals:

[1] Natalie Grainger (USA) bt [4] Lauren Briggs (ENG) 9-1, 9-0, 9-6 (27m)

[3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [6] Manuela Manetta (ITA) 9-4, 9-5, 9-3 (27m)

 


 

It took both players 27 minutes to win their semi-finals - but when favourite Natalie Grainger and third seed Raneem El Weleily meet in the final of the Women's Epstein Becker & Green Los Angeles Squash Open at the LA Athletic Club in Los Angeles, they will represent opposite ends of the spectrum of players on the WISPA World Tour.

 

Egyptian El Weleily, the 18-year-old world junior champion from Alexandria, is now in her third Tour final - but yet to see her name inscribed on a trophy - while Grainger, the 29-year-old former world number one from Washington DC in the US, is celebrating her 30th appearance in a Tour final, and already has 13 titles to her name.

 

Grainger was in formidable form as she despatched England's fourth seed Lauren Briggs 9-1, 9-0, 9-6.

 

"I was very happy with that:  High concentration, put the ball where I wanted it to go, mixed up the pace - if you meet those targets you can’t go far wrong," explained the US champion to www.squashsite.co.uk .   "Lauren’s improved over the last year and played really well yesterday so I wanted to come out hard and fast and I did just that.  I lost to her the last time we played when I wasn’t fully fit, so it’s nice to put that one right.

 

“I’ve never played Raneem before, but she’s really talented.  It feels like watching a little mini-me out there with that backhand volley of hers.  It’s going to be fun watching her develop - but not just yet!"

 

Only seven ranking positions separate El Weleily from Manuela Manetta, the sixth-seeded Italian who upset Mexico's No2 seed Samantha Teran to earn her surprise semi-final slot.

 

But despite leads by Manetta in both the second and third games, it was the Egyptian teenager who prevailed, winning 9-4, 9-5, 9-3.

 

“I played much better today - I had to," said El Weleily later.  "Never mind the score - that was really tough.  Manuela never gives up and she’s getting better and better every day.  I’ve watched her results improving.”

 

 

Issued by Howard Harding on behalf of WISPA

Women’s International Squash Players' Association

Tel: (+44) 1737-243333; Mobile: (+44) 7773-325130; Email: HowHard@aol.com

WISPA: Tel: (+44) 20 7222 1667; Email: wispahq@aol.com

WSQ 3941                     24 June 2007

 

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