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Squash - 18. May 2012.

King Triumph Ensures New British Open Champion

King Triumph Ensures New British Open Champion*

Reigning champion *Rachael Grinham* crashed out the *Allam British Open
Squash Championships *yesterday after a thrilling five-game spectacle
against seed* Joelle King*.

The No6 seed from Australia won the last British Open event back in 2009,
but was unable to halt the momentum of the resilient New Zealand
international.  Experience played a part as King looked uncomfortable in
the early stages of the match and Grinham wasted no time in raising a
substantial lead.  More settled in the second, the No12 seed’s length began
to find the back corners, and her superior reach was invaluable to her
retrieval efforts.

King took the lead after the third game after enjoying a successful run of
play in which she volleyed well and succeeded in making life difficult for
the Australian.  Her opponent, four-time British Open champion, refused to
lie down however and mounted a successful comeback to draw level at 2-all
and force the fifth and final game.  This proved a cat-and-mouse-like
affair, as neither play could extended their lead further than three
points, and at the tie-break it was eventually the younger of the pair that
broke the stalemate to claim progression to the quarters.

“I was quite nervous early on I think,” explained a delighted King.  “She’s
obviously a great player and I rushed a bit at the start.  I used to flake
a bit under pressure, but today was much better and I’m very happy to win.

“This is my first time in the British Open quarter-finals, so it feels
pretty special.  I’ve reached WSA World Series quarters before in Oz and
Malaysia, but to be in the British Open here is pretty special.”

*Camille Serme* continued her maiden run in the $95K World Series event by
beating King's Kiwi team-mate *Jaclyn Hawkes* in the first match of the

The tenth seed from Paris, France started brightly and dominated the first
game.  In contrast, Hawkes adjusted slowly to the new court and was unable
to find a decent length throughout the early stages.  Her opponent was in
no mood to allow her to settle and closed out an 11/2 win in just

Hawkes looked more energetic in the second.  Her length had improved and
consistently found the back corners.  This new found consistency put the
Frenchwoman under more pressure and her error count rose as a result.  More
tins allowed Hawkes the opportunity to challenge for the game, but a slight
increase in pace from Serme put the game to bed.  It was to be the closest
game of the clash, as Hawkes’ presence wilted in the third game.  Some good
straight length play was hindered by lose cross courts and Serme, lethal on
the volley, was more than willing to pounce on the loose balls and ended
the tie 11/2, 11/9, 11/5.

Serme progresses to face home hope *Laura Massaro* in the quarter-finals,
after the No3 seed won a hard-fought battle against* Natalie Grinham*.
Massaro just edged a close tie-break first game and repeated the feat
eleven minutes later to make it 2-0.  From there, Grinham’s resistance
faltered as her English opponent pushed higher and higher up the court,
volleying well and forcing errors from the Dutch international.  Strong and
assertive throughout, Massaro seemed to relish the stage set at the O2
Arena and completed her 3-0 win to join the other seeds in the next round.

“It doesn’t feel too cold when you’re on court,” said the world No4.  “But
it’s cool, which makes it important to hit a good length and then pounce on
the return!

“To play Natalie in the last 16 was always going to be a tough one so I
knew it was one I had to prepare for.  It was a tough start but I’m pleased
to get through the first match on the glass.”

World No1 *Nicol David* was last on court for round two, facing close
friend and British Open roommate*Samantha Teran* of Mexico.  The Malaysian
star has been top of the WSA World Rankings for over five years now, and
put in a typically confident display in front of the buzzing London crowd.
Tight length and consummate volleying saw David extend comfortable leads in
the first two games, although Teran’s retrieval play was excellent
throughout.  Constantly under pressure, the Mexican’s front court volleying
was often loose, only to be picked off by her opponent and David was able
to close out the win in under 30-minutes, 11/7, 11/7, 11/3.

*Quarter final draw:*

12.00 - [7] Annie Au (HKG) vs [16] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

14.15 - [2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [5] Raneem El Weleily (EGY)

18.00 - [3] Laura Massaro (ENG) v [10] Camille Serme (FRA)

20.15 - [1] Nicol David (MAS) v [12] Joelle King (NZL)

*Round two results:*

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [11] Samantha Teran (MEX)          11-7, 11-7,
11-3 (28m)

[12] Joelle King (NZL) bt [6] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-11, 11-5, 11-8, 5-11,
15-13 (60m)

[3] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [9] Natalie Grinham (NED)        15-13, 12-10,
11-6 (39m)

[10] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)    11-2, 11-9, 11-5 (23m)

[7] Annie Au (HKG) bt Alison Waters (ENG)  9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7

[16] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [4] Madeline Perry (IRL)        11-6, 4-11,
5-11, 11-3, 11-5 (45m)

[5] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [14] Dipika Pallikal (IND)    11-4, 8-11,
11-4, 7-11, 11-7 (51m)

[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [15] Donna Urquhart (AUS)        11-2, 11-13,
11-4, 12-10 (45m)

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