Nicol David Begins 2011 Campaign In Cleveland
Picture: Nicol David on top of the world
Image courtesy of www.squashstars.com
Malaysia’s Nicol David, who has topped the women’s world squash rankings unopposed since August 2006, begins her 2011 campaign at the new Cleveland WISPA Classic, the first WISPA Gold event of the year at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Cleveland in the US state of Ohio from 30 January to 2 February.
Unbeaten throughout last year, David takes on a qualifier in the first round before a likely second round clash with Kasey Brown, the sixth seed from Australia.
Brown, the world No7 from New South Wales, arrives in Cleveland fresh from a surprise title triumph in the HarrowGreenwich Open in Connecticut. Seeded four, the New York-based 25-year-old reached the final after upsetting Ireland’s second seed Madeline Perry – then despatched unseeded New Zealander Joelle King to claim the 11th Tour title of her career.
Nicol David is expected to renew her rivalry with England’s Jenny Duncalf in the final. The world No2 from Harrogate, who contested four WISPA finals in 2010 with the Malaysian, also opens her Cleveland campaign against a qualifier, before a predicted quarter-final meeting with England team-mate Laura Massaro.
The star-studded Cleveland draw also features two former world number ones Rachael Grinham, of Australia, andVanessa Atkinson, from the Netherlands. After both taking on qualifiers in the first round, the two are expected to clash head-on for a place in the semi-finals.
1st round draw:
 Nicol David (MAS) v Qualifier
 Kasey Brown (AUS) v Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Qualifier
 Vanessa Atkinson (NED) v Qualifier
 Natalie Grinham (NED) v Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)
 Madeline Perry (IRL) v Camille Serme (FRA)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v Raneem El Weleily (EGY)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Qualifier