Malaysia’s Nicol David has been seeded to win her third World Open title at The Hi-Tec World Squash Championships – Manchester 2008 which will run from 11-19 October at the National Squash Centre in the English city of Manchester.
The 25-year-old has been the dominant force in women’s squash since winning the first of her successive World Opens in 2005 - but suffered a shock defeat to New Zealand’s Shelley Kitchen in the second round last year, which was the first time she had failed to make the quarter-finals of a WISPA World Tour event since April 2004.
David, who was honoured earlier this year with a Datukship by her native country, bounced straight back to form and has won all nine Tour events she has played in since and has gone on to extend her stay at the world number one position for a remarkable 26 straight months.
The Penang-based star will play fellow Malaysian Sharon Wee in the opening round and is seeded to meet England’s Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (seeded 8) in the quarter-finals before a potential clash with America’s number four seed Natalie Grainger in the semi-finals.
Defending champion Rachael Grinham from Australia has been seeded two to recapture the title which she won in the first all-sister World Open final in Madrid last October when overcoming Natalie Grinham in straight games.
The 31-year-old is seeded to meet England’s Vicky Botwright (seeded 11) and Alison Waters (seeded 7) in the second and third rounds, respectively, before a potential re-match with her sister, who has been seeded three, in the semi-finals.
England’s Jenny Duncalf, who beat Rachael Grinham on her way to the final of the prestigious Dunlop British Open earlier this year, has been seeded five, and leads domestic interest in the event.
Tania Bailey, the world number seven from England, is the only notable absentee from the draw after being forced to miss out due to an ongoing troublesome knee injury which has plagued her for much of the season.
Showing the enormous global appeal of women’s squash, no fewer than eleven countries are represented among the top 16 seeds (Malaysia, Hong Kong, England, Egypt, USA, Netherlands, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Mexico and France) with England having the strongest representation with four seeds, followed by Australia and the Netherlands who have two each.
Tickets for The Hi-Tec World Squash Championships – Manchester 2008, which will see both the men’s and women’s events staged together for the first time ever in England, are now available at the official website www.worldsquash2008.com and include a special season ticket which gives admission to all nine sessions.
The complete draw for women’s event of The Hi-Tec World Squash Championships – Manchester 2008 is:
 Nicol David (MAS) v Sharon Wee (MAS)
 Rebecca Chiu (HKG) v Lauren Briggs (ENG)
 Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (ENG) v Annelize Naude (NED)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v Qualifier
 Natalie Grainger (USA) v Qualifier
 Vanessa Atkinson (NED) v Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)
 Shelley Kitchen (NZL) v Qualifier
 Madeline Perry (IRL) v Engy Kheirallah (EGY)
 Kasey Brown (AUS) v Qualifier
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Raneem El Weleily (EGY)
 Samantha Teran (MEX) v Qualifier
 Natalie Grinham (NED) v Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG)
 Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) v Qualifier
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier
 Vicky Botwright (ENG) v Qualifier
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Louise Crome (NZL)
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