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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

World Series Finals (WSA): Top stars hit form

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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Jenny Duncalf on her way to victory on day one

Top stars hit form at day one of World Series Finals

In its first ever competitive appearance at an ATCO World Series Final event, the newly rebranded WSA (formerly WISPA) saw eight of its top professional players battle it out in the first round of group stage matches.

Split into two groups, the World Series Final event looks to emphasise the sport’s aggressive and dynamic qualities by enforcing the ‘best of three games’ rule in order promote a more attacking style of play on the ATCO glass show court.

Group A pairing, Madeline Perry and Donna Urquhart were first onto court this afternoon.  World no3 Madeline Perry started well, climbing to an 8/4 lead against her Australian opponent before closing out the first game 11-7.  In a similar run of form to the first game, she led the second 8/2 with Urquhart unable to respond with a successive run of points.  The Irish international closed out the match in 18minutes, 11/7, 11/6.

Also in Group A, World Champion Nicol David showed the kind of form that makes her the favourite to win the WSA event, as she dispatched Camille Serme of France in 17minutes.  The Malaysian never allowed Serme into the match and a comfortable scoreline of 11/6, 11/6 is evidence of David’s desire to progress through to the final stages of the event, to be broadcast live on SkySports this weekend.

The first Group B match was contested by an all-English pairing.  Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro clashed a number of times in 2011 with the higher seed Duncalf winning only once in four, though she did claim the last battle in the World Open quarter-finals.  Massaro started the sharper of the pair winning four points on the bounce to extend an 8/4 lead and closing out the game 11/5.  The World No2 responded well though, capitalising on some lose front-court play from Massaro to claim the second game 11/6 and force the first three-game match of the tournament.  Duncalf continued her punishing form into the third game, despite a stern effort from her opponent, and pulled ahead at 6-all to claim five points in a row and the first win in Group B.

Experienced Aussie, Rachael Grinham then faced Low Wee Wern of Malaysia in the final WSA match of the day.  Wern came from behind to surprise Grinham in the first game, coming from 5/9 down to win 11/9.   A refocused Grinham came back to court and leapt to a 6-point lead before closing out the second game 11/8.  She then fought her way through a close third game and despite taking a nasty looking fall into the front of the court, finished the match 11/9.

Day1 Group Results:

Madeline Perry bt Donna Urquhart – 11/7, 11/6  (18mins)

Nicol David bt Camille Serme – 11/6, 11/6  (17mins)

Jenny Duncalf bt Laura Massaro – 5/11, 11/6, 11/6  (32mins)

Rachael Grinham bt Low Wee Wern – 9/11, 11/8, 11/9  (36mins)

Day2 Fixtures:

Madeline Perry vs Camille Serme

Nicol David vs Donna Urquhart

Jenny Duncalf vs Low Wee Wern

Rachael Grinham vs Laura Massaro

WSA Women’s Groups

Group A
Nicol David (Malaysia)
Madeline Perry (N.Ireland)
Camille Serme (France)
Donna Urquhart (Australia)
Group B
Jenny Duncalf (England)
Rachael Grinham (Australia)
Laura Massaro (England)
Low Wee Wern (Malaysia)

 

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