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CANADA

NEWS

Grinham Back On Winner's Podium In Montreal
Howard Harding reports...

RESULTS: Atwater Cup, Montreal, Canada

Final:
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [3] Joelle King (NZL) 11-6, 11-7, 14-12

Grinham Back On Winner's Podium In Montreal

Less than a year after the birth of her first child, Dutch squash star Natalie Grinham gave the clearest signal that she is back to her best when she won the Women's Atwater Cup in Canada, upsetting third seed Joelle King in the final of the WISPA World Tour Silver 20 event in its third year at Club Atwater in Montreal.

Unseeded, the former world No2 ousted the fourth seed, then the No2 seed, before coming up against New Zealander King in the climax of only her seventh Tour event since the birth of her son Kieran last May.

Grinham, currently ranked 32 in the world, played flawless squash to overcome world No14 King 11-6, 11-7, 14-12 to claim the 15th Tour title of her career - but her first since winning the New Zealand Open in August 2009.

"I'm playing really well and looking forward to Caymans," said the new Atwater Club champion, who next competes in this week's Cedrus Investments Cayman Islands Open. "I'm glad Joelle's out of the qualifying as we could have played each other again tomorrow.

"I'm just looking to keep improving this year building up for the World Open in September."

King, a double medallist in last year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi, added: "I came up against a better player today but I'm happy with my game and looking forward to the next three weeks.

"I feel I am heading in the right direction and I'm excited about the next two events."

 

RESULTS: Atwater Cup, Montreal, Canada

Semi-finals:
[3] Joelle King (NZL) bt [1] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3 (40m)
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [2] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (42m)

Top Seeds Downed As King & Grinham Make Montreal Final

New Zealander Joelle King and Dutch champion Natalie Grinham will contest a surprise Women's Atwater Cup final in Canada after the two top seeds failed to survive the semi-finals of the WISPA World Tour Silver 20 squash event in its third year at Club Atwater in Montreal.

Buoyed by local support at the club which she uses as her overseas training base, third seed King battled for 40 minutes to beat favourite Vanessa Atkinson, a former world number one and world champion from the Netherlands, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3.

It was sweet revenge for the 22-year-old from Cambridge who lost her previous clash with Atkinson at the Atwater Club three years ago. It was also a confidence-boosting win for the Kiwi on the day that the new world No14 became the country's top-ranked player after overtaking compatriot Jaclyn Hawkes.

Looking forward to the final, King said: "I know it's going to be tough, as Natalie's an amazing player but I can't wait to get out there."

King will face Grinham in her second WISPA Tour final of the year, and the ninth of her career.

The unseeded world No32 from the Netherlands was in sparkling form as she despatched second seed Jaclyn Hawkes 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 in 42 minutes.

Grinham, the former world No2 is celebrating her first Tour final since giving birth to her first child last year - and also the first WISPA final since reaching the World Open climax in her home country in 2009.

"I'm playing well and happy about making the final," said a thrilled Grinham, now in her 37th Tour final. "I haven't played Joelle before so I'm looking forward to a tough match."

 

RESULTS: Atwater Cup, Montreal, Canada

Quarter-finals:
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [7] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 (38m)
[3] Joelle King (NZL) bt [5] Samantha Teran (MEX) 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10 (62m)
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 (26m)
[2] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt [6] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-3, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6 (48m)

Grinham Marches On In Montreal

Unseeded Natalie Grinham secured the shortest quarter-final win of the day in the Women's Atwater Cup to earn a place in the last four of the WISPA World Tour Silver 20 squash event in its third year at Club Atwater in the Canadian city of Montreal.

The experienced world No34 from the Netherlands stopped US teenager Olivia Blatchford, an 18-year-old qualifier from New York, 11-8, 11-2, 11-4 in 26 minutes.

"These young players have no fear, they're really hard to play because they are unpredictable," said Grinham, the former world No2 on a Tour comeback trail after the birth of her first child last year. "I'm happy to get through - and my game's going well."

The Australian-born 33-year-old will now face second seed Jaclyn Hawkes, one of two New Zealanders to reach the semi-finals.

Hawkes, the UK-based world No14 also ousted a US teenager - but needed four games to get the better of 17-year-old sixth seed Amanda Sobhy, the reigning world junior champion, 11-3, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6.

"That was a tough match," said the 28-year-old from Auckland. "I felt like I did a lot of running. She's such a good player. It was a tricky draw and I`m happy to be in the semi finals."

Kiwi interest in the other semi will be led by Joelle King after the third seed overcame Mexico's No5 seed Samantha Teran 11-7, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10 in a 62-minute battle.

"It was a tight game. I had to stay patient had wait for my opportunities as Samantha doesn't give you much to hit," said King, the New Zealand Commonwealth Games star from Cambridge.

King faces favourite Vanessa Atkinson following the top seed's 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 victory over France's seventh seed Isabelle Stoehr.

"I was happy to win the fourth as Stoehr had the momentum and she was coming back strong," explained the 12 times Dutch champion.

Semi-final line-up:
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) v [3] Joelle King (NZL)
[2] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) v Natalie Grinham (NED)

 

RESULTS: Atwater Cup, Montreal, Canada

1st round:
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 11-4, 11-7, 11-8 (28m)
[7] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5 (39m)
[3] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Miranda Ranieri (CAN) 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (26m)
[5] Samantha Teran (MEX) bt [Q] Gaby Schmohl (SUI) 14-12, 11-8, 11-2 (35m)
[Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [8] Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 (37m)
Natalie Grinham (NED) bt [4] Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 (25m)
[6] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Alexandra Norman (CAN) 11-4, 11-1, 11-5 (19m)
[2] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 (37m)

Blatchford Blasts Blake In Montreal

Teenagers Olivia Blatchford and Amanda Sobhy powerfully demonstrated the promise of US women's squash by confidently securing places in the quarter-finals of the Women's Atwater Cup, the WISPA World Tour Silver 20 event in its third year at Club Atwater in the Canadian city of Montreal.

But whilst 17-year-old sixth seed Sobhy romped to an anticipated 11-4, 11-1, 11-5 win over Canada's unseeded Alexandra Norman in 19 minutes, qualifier Blatchford scored a significant upset by ousting Ireland's No8 seed Aisling Blake 11-6, 11-5, 12-10.

The 18-year-old from New York will now face another surprise quarter-finalist Natalie Grinham. The unseeded world No34 from the Netherlands scored the biggest first round scalp by defeating Australia's fourth seed Donna Urquhart 11-5, 11-3, 11-8 - but the former world No2 is on a comeback trail after the birth of her first child last year.

The event's top two seeds progressed through to the last eight without dropping games. Favourite Vanessa Atkinson, the world No10 from the Netherlands, beat Guyana qualifier Nicolette Fernandes 11-4, 11-7, 11-8, while second-seeded New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes defeated former US champion Latasha Khan 11-6, 12-10, 11-7.

Quarter-final line-up:
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) v [7] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA)
[3] Joelle King (NZL) v [5] Samantha Teran (MEX)
Natalie Grinham (NED) v [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA)
[2] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) v [6] Amanda Sobhy (USA)

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