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Squash - 26. June 2007.

Grainger Battles To LA Open Title

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

Final:

[1] Natalie Grainger (USA) bt [3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 4-9, 9-7, 4-9, 9-7, 9-4 (49m)


Natalie Grainger won the Women's Epstein Becker & Green Los Angeles Squash Open title as predicted by the seedings - but the experienced 29-year-old from Washington DC was taken the full distance in the final by third seed Raneem El Weleily before beating the Egyptian teenager at the LA Athletic Club in Los Angeles, USA.

Twice the US National champion had to come from behind before finally overcoming El Weleily, the 18-year-old world junior champion from Alexandria, 4-9, 9-7, 4-9, 9-7, 9-4 in 49 minutes.

"I wasn’t very fast today, I’ve been struggling with a cold all week," champion Grainger told www.squashsite.co.uk afterwards. "She got into it very quickly and I wasn’t quite there at the start. She’s very good, very skilful, reads the game well and has great touch.

"After I won the second, I thought I knew what I needed to do - but she stepped it up again and just steamrollered me in the third. I had to raise my pace to keep her at bay - I knew that if I worked her hard she could make a batch of errors, so I had to will myself to that higher pace and be ready to go after it when I could," added Grainger, who became a US citizen in February and has now won three WISPA World Tour titles since that date on her new 'home soil'.

El Weleily, who was hoping that it would be third time lucky in her third WISPA final, was pleased with her performance: "I felt really calm all the way through. I wasn’t thinking of the score at any time, just trying to win each rally, but in the end the errors I hit just killed me.

"I tried my best - I didn’t have anything more to give out there. Thanks to everyone for a great tournament."

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 3943 25 June 2007

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