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Squash - 29. April 2007.

Natalie Ends Nicols Run In Seoul

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


[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [1] Nicol David (MAS) 9-4, 9-4, 9-0 (43m)

Natalie Ends Nicol's Run In Seoul

After five successive defeats since September, Australia's Natalie Grinham finally beat Nicol David in the final of the Women's Seoul Open Squash Championship to bring to an end the 51-match unbeaten run of her Malaysian rival in the spectacular setting of the final of the inaugural WISPA World Tour Gold event staged on an all-glass court in Seoul Plaza in the centre of the South Korean capital.

And the 29-year-old from Toowoomba in Queensland achieved her breakthrough in stunning style, winning 9-4, 9-4, 9-0 in 43 minutes - demonstrating the same dominate form which saw the younger Grinham sister win a record three Commonwealth Games gold medals in her home country just over a year ago.

A packed crowd witnessed the unexpected climax to the fifth WISPA Gold event of the year - and the fifth time in a row that the world's top two players had faced each other in a Tour final, all four of which had produced dramatic battles which had extended for more than an hour.

But this was to be Natalie's night, and the Netherlands-based Australian maintained a lead throughout the encounter.

"Today I was more relaxed than for a while when I went on court, not that I am sure why," said the beaming victor, clutching her magnificent trophy. "When I was ahead, I knew that I had to keep focused and did that for a change.

"I always knew that I could win, just today everything came together well. Now I am finally going to have a week off and hope that the sun is still shining when I get back home," added world No2 Grinham.

Asked about the loss, David suggested: "I was thinking too much and my focus wasn’t right, but she played really well. I was trying to do things, but she got comfortable and I couldn’t find my way in.

"I am pleased with what I have done this year, but after a short break now I will get back into business. There is more to be done," added the 23-year-old from Penang who has topped the world rankings since August last year.

The Seoul Open was a stunning success for Seoul Squash Federation and Korean squash generally. So much so that Mr Lee, Lee Jae, Secretary of the Seoul Sports Council, was moved to announce that the championship would definitely be back and bigger next year. "I think that Squash is a really great sport for Seoul and our citizens," he said.

"Seoul Plaza is a symbol of Seoul and through the matches here we expect to develop more top-ranked players and increase the popularity of the sport here.

"We look forward to welcoming this event back every year as we prepare our players to try to win medals at the Asian Games in Korea in 2014."

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 3844 29 April 2007

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