Duncalf Survives Hong Kong Marathon

England’s world number two Jenny Duncalf secured her anticipated place in the last four of the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open – but only after coming through a 79-minute five-game marathon against eighth seed Kasey Brown in the quarter-finals of the $74,000 WISPA World Tour squash event, the seventh WISPA Gold championship of the year.

“That’s the best Kasey’s ever played against me,” admitted a relieved Duncalf to www.squashsite.co.uk after her 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8 win. “I had game balls in both the games I lost, which was a bit of a downer, especially the first – but I managed to regroup.

“It was so dead on there. I was struggling to find the balance between defence and attack, and I even thought of asking for the ball to be changed. It’s been bouncy on there in practice, but not today.”

The 27-year-old from Harrogate will now face England team-mate Alison Waters for a place in the final. Fourth seed Waters extended her unbeaten run against Omneya Abdel Kawy by beating the fifth seed from Egypt 9-11, 11-1, 14-12, 11-6.

The other semi-final will herald the 30th WISPA Tour meeting – and fourth in Hong Kong over the past five years – betweenNicol David, the top seed from Malaysia, and Rachael Grinham, the No3 seed from Australia.

David, the world number one chasing her sixth successive Hong Kong title, recovered from a game down to defeat England’s seventh seed Laura Massaro 7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4, while Grinham, twice a runner-up, saw off sixth seed Madeline Perry 12-10, 14-12, 11-5.

It was the disappointing end of a fine run of form from Ireland’s Madeline Perry who won the biggest Tour title of her career at the Australian Open earlier in the month.

“After taking the first I was ahead in the second, but when she came back to 9-6 I didn’t expect to win it,” admitted Grinham. “I just tried to make her win the points rather than give them away, so having a 2/0 lead was a good bonus for me.

“I thought I was playing well, working her front and back, and she got a bit tired in the third. It’s also harder to get yourself up when you’re 2/0 down. I was more confident with a 2/0 lead so I just kept going for it.”

A dejected Perry responded: “She played really well, and her drops were just ridiculous!”

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [7] Laura Massaro (ENG) 7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (36m)
[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [6] Madeline Perry (IRL) 12-10, 14-12, 11-5 (37m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt [5] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 9-11, 11-1, 14-12, 11-6 (51m)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [8] Kasey Brown (AUS) 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-8 (79m)