David Sets Sights on 4th Successive Crown
After notching up her 40th WISPA World Tour squash title at the Forexx Women’s World Open Championship in Amsterdam last month, Nicol David is going for her fourth crown in a row this week in Hong Kong where the Malaysian is seeded to win the Women’s Cathay Pacific Gale Well Hong Kong Open.
The $74,000 WISPA Gold event gets underway at the Hong Kong Squash Centre on Wednesday (14 October) following two days of qualifying. Semi-finals and final action will take place on an all-glass court at the Plaza Hollywood Shopping Mall.
David, who has held the world number one ranking continuously since August 2006, will face top-ranked Dane Line Hansen in the opening round - and is expected to go on to face Asian rival and local star Rebecca Chiu in the next round before coming up against a pair of English opponents, Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters, as she sets up her predicted place in the final.
Remarkably, the anticipated battles with fifth seed Duncalf and fourth seed Waters would be repeats of last month’s quarter-final and semi-final World Open clashes!
The draw suggests that Nicol David’s opponent in Sunday’s final will be Dutch rival Natalie Grinham, the Australian-born world number two who finished as runner-up in Amsterdam. Grinham is seeded to reach the final after overcoming her third-seeded sister Rachael Grinham in the penultimate round. World number four Rachael was runner-up last year, while younger sister Natalie was the beaten finalist in 2007.
The 2009 championship has already incurred one casualty - in addition to world number three Natalie Grainger, whose foot injury prevented her entering: England’s Tania Bailey, the former world No4 who finished as runner-up in 2006, has withdrawn following a streptococcal infection.
Women’s 1st round draw:  Nicol David (MAS) v Line Hansen (DEN)  Rebecca Chiu (HKG) v Qualifier  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Qualifier  Annie Au (HKG) v Engy Kheirallah (EGY)  Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier  Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v Qualifier  Laura Massaro (ENG) v Qualifier  Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) v Latasha Khan (USA)  Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) v Qualifier  Madeline Perry (IRL) v Lauren Briggs (ENG)  Kasey Brown (AUS) v Sarah Kippax (ENG)  Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Delia Arnold (MAS)  Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) v Aisling Blake (IRL)  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v Qualifier  Camille Serme (FRA) v Joey Chan (HKG)  Natalie Grinham (NED) v Qualifier
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