By ANDREW DENT
Two Aussies through in New York
Australian pair Rachael Grinham and Kasey Brown won through to the quarter-finals of the Carol Weymuller Open women’s squash tournament in New York after both prevailed in tight first round matches on Thursday.
Grinham beat training partner and fellow Australian Donna Urquhart 11-7, 4-11, 11-5, 11-7 before Brown saw off rising Hong Kong star Joey Chan 9-11, 12-10, 11-2, 11-6.
Australia is now guaranteed a semi-finalist, with Grinham and Brown to play each other in the quarter-finals.
Grinham played Urquhart in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in August and won easily, but she found the going much tougher this time.
Grinham took the first game comfortably only for Urquhart to find her length and come storming back, before the third seed steadied to take the next two games and the match.
“It was hard in there,” Grinham said later.
“Donna’s tough to play when she’s playing well. She hits it hard and puts it away if you give her opportunities.
“I’ve been training and playing with Donna for the last five weeks every day as we are both based in Brisbane, so it was a shame that we were drawn to play each other.
“It’s a shame I have to play another Aussie again tomorrow.”
Brown came back from losing the first game to Chan to clinch their first round match.
“I’ve been working on a few things and it’s nice to get through a match like that,” she said.
“I saw Joey play in qualifying yesterday and she played amazingly and I knew I had to be sharp today.”
First round results – prefix denotes seeding:
8-Annie Au (HKG) bt Emma Beddoes (ENG) 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11.
2-Madeline Perry (IRL) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-6, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7
Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt 4-Laura Massaro (ENG) 6-11, 11-5, 11-6, 7-11, 13-11
7-Camille Serme (FRA) bt Samantha Teran (MEX) 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10
5-Kasey Brown (AUS) bt Joey Chan (HKG) 9-11, 12-10, 11-2, 11-6
3-Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-7, 4-11, 11-5, 11-7
Joelle King (NZL) bt 6-Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-3, 11-7, 9-11, 15-17, 12-10
1-Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5