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Squash - 28. April 2007.

Nicol & Natalie Line-Up For Fifth WISPA Final In Seoul

RESULTS: Women's Seoul Open Squash Championship, Seoul Plaza, Seoul, South Korea


[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 9-2, 9-2, 9-1 (20m)

[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [4] Tania Bailey (ENG) 9-4, 9-3, 5-9, 9-5 (53m)

Nicol & Natalie Line-Up For Fifth WISPA Final In Seoul

The world's top two women squash players will meet in their fifth successive WISPA World Tour final since November when Malaysian Nicol David and Australian Natalie Grinham line up for the climax of the Women's Seoul Open Championship.

This inaugural WISPA Gold event, spectacularly staged on an all-glass court set in Seoul Plaza in the centre of the South Korean capital, has attracted widespread interest in the nation - and led to queues of enthusiasts eager to get the players' autographs after the semi-finals which stretched for more than 100 yards!

Top seed Nicol David, the world number one who in the previous round extended her unbeaten record to 50 matches since March last year, was in devastating form as she crushed England's unseeded Jenny Duncalf 9-2, 9-2, 9-1 in the second semi-final in just 20 minutes.

Duncalf, a former world No6 who is fighting back to top form after a disappointing run last year, made her breakthrough in Seoul with a first round win over higher-ranked compatriot Vicky Botwright. But the 24-year-old British National champion from Harrogate in Yorkshire was unable to make her mark on the dominant Malaysian.

"It was always going to be hard, as Nicol is playing very well at the minute," said Duncalf later. "I was looking forward to playing her but I had a bad start to the second which did not help things and it was too little too late in the third.

"But, as I wasn’t seeded, I am really pleased to have made a WISPA Gold semi again," she added.

World number two Natalie Grinham was given a sterner test in the opening semi-final clash by Duncalf's England team-mate Tania Bailey, the fourth seed.

Bailey forced a game out of the in-form Queenslander - but after 53 minutes the second-seeded Grinham emerged triumphant in a 9-4, 9-3, 5-9, 9-5 scoreline.

Bailey was sanguine about her performance, but recognised that Grinham and David are ahead of the pack: "I was a little disappointed as I felt like I played well, especially the way I came back in the third. But I hit what I thought were a lot of winners that Natalie got back. You think you’ve won the point and you have to do it all over again!

"I’d love to be one of the top two, but they are just a little ahead of us. I am one of the players challenging but I know I have a bit of work to do," added the 27-year-old from Stamford in Lincolnshire.

When asked about how she would prepare for Nicol David, Grinham said: "Everybody is putting the pressure on me to beat her, but I am just going to play my game and see how it goes. The pressure is on her."

Issued by Howard Harding on behalf of WISPA

Women’s International Squash Players' Association

Tel: (+44) 1737-243333; Mobile: (+44) 7773-325130; Email: [email protected]

WISPA: Tel: (+44) 20 7222 1667; Email: [email protected]

WSQ 3841 28 April 2007

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