Grinham Downs Duncalf In Qatar Revenge

Avenging her straight games defeat in last year’s final, Australia’s Rachael Grinham upset England’s second seed Jenny Duncalf in four games to reach the final of the 2010 Women’s Qatar Classic, the $74,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha.

The 33-year-old former world champion will face top seed Nicol David, the reigning world champion from Malaysia who ended the giant-killing run of unseeded Egyptian teenager Nour El Tayeb.

Duncalf, the world No2 from Harrogate, took the opening game – but fourth seed Grinham regrouped and reclaimed the advantage before going onto win 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 in 41 minutes.

“Last year was a shocker really, one of those days, I just couldn’t hit anything,” the Queenslander later. “Not to mention that Jenny was chopping everything.

“Today, I felt good, and I’m rather happily surprised with the way I pulled up today,” added Grinham, now in her 58th WISPA final.

“I’m going to try and loosen myself up, to try and get prepared to play Queen Nicol! I used to beat her, I haven’t for a while though, and it’s a nice challenge to look forward to.”

After sensational upsets over the event’s third, thirteenth and sixteenth seeds, 17-year-old El Tayeb finally met her match in Nicol David, the 27-year-old world number one from Penang who is unbeaten so far this year.

The Cairo teenager, ranked 35 in the world, made her mark by taking a game off the dominant David – but the favourite went on to win 11-7, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6 in 47 minutes to reach the 65th Tour title of her career.

“I tried to keep the ball tight, and the rallies long, and to play all the shots I could possibly play, run and make her run,” explained El Tayeb afterwards. “To be honest, I’d never run as much for a single game than I did in that first one! So after that, I was a bit tired.

“This tournament has been so great, I think I am on the right track. I was in the semi final – but more importantly, I put Nicol David, world number one, under pressure!”

David admitted that she was fully aware of El Tayeb’s potential: “I’ve been watching her for a long time now, and she has come up so strong!

“Today, I was so expecting her to play like that, I was prepared to run for all the nicks, for the four corners, and did she bring her game up. And like all the Egyptian players, when she gets on a roll, she is not going to stop!”

David is now one win away from her ninth Tour title this year – but the 50th of her career!

[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-7, 11-2, 5-11, 11-6 (47m)
[4] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-5 (41m)