Urquhart downs Grinham, Sobhy stuns Duncalf

Andrew Dent reports

Australia’s Donna Urquhart scored one of the best wins of her career to beat fellow countrywoman Rachael Grinham as four of the top eight women’s seeds lost their second round matches at the HI-TEC Australian Open in Canberra on Thursday.

Urquhart came out firing against seventh seeded Grinham then held off a resurgence to win 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, her first ever win over her AIS training partner.

Second seed Jenny Duncalf of England, Hong Kong’s Annie Au (5) and Frenchwoman Camille Serme (6) all lost their matches on a day of upsets, while Australia’s eighth seeded Kasey Brown had to come back from losing the first game before beating New Zealand’s Joelle King 7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9.

Urquhart played brilliantly against former world number one Grinham, using her reach and height to great effect as she dominated her smaller opponent at the front of the court.

She won the first two games comfortably and while Grinham was able to come back and claim the third, Urquhart wasn’t to be denied as she moved into a quarter-final against third seeded Englishwoman Laura Massaro, who beat fellow countrywoman Emily Whitlock 14-12, 11-8, 11-9.

“It was a little bit quick, I couldn’t believe it was happening like that,” Urquhart said about the first two games.

“I felt in control and I was in front just by volleying and getting up high on the T. She made a few errors as well, but I think I was making it hard for her because I was in front on the court.

“But I was surprised to find myself two-love up, I’ve never even got more than one game off her in a tournament match.”

Urquhart said she had to get her concentration back once Grinham took the third to get back into the match.

“I knew I was looking for an easy way to win it in the third, I was taking the ball too short too soon and I was giving her the opportunity at the front and across the middle to move me around and send me the wrong way.”

Earlier, former world junior champion Amanda Sobhy of the US produced some stunning squash to send second seeded Duncalf crashing out.

Duncalf finished runner-up to Nicol David in Canberra last year but she had no answer against Sobhy, who combines playing squash with being a fulltime student at Harvard University.

The American took control of the match from the beginning, playing with speed and precision that Duncalf was unable to contain.
The Englishwoman fought hard and came back into the match, but Sobhy regrouped and won a pulsating encounter 11-7, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6.

“From the beginning of the match I felt really good with the pace, I was happy with how I was playing, I was attacking well,” Sobhy said. “But in the middle of the second game I couldn’t keep up with my own pace and I got a little tired, and she came back.

“I had to change my game plan because I couldn’t keep up with the fast pace. I tried to still attack as much but not hit the ball so hard.”

Au, who won the title in 2008, lost to 2010 runner-up Alison Waters of England 11-7, 11-6, 11-8, while Indian glamour girl Dipika Pallikal downed Serme 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6.

There were no such problems for top seed David, who easily accounted for fellow Malaysian Low Wee Wern 11-4, 11-1, 11-6.

Ireland’s Madeline Perry, the winner in 2010, also progressed Perry when she beat England’s Emma Beddoes 11-8, 13-11, 11-2.

Women’s Round Two:

[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [10] Low Wee Wern (Mas) 11/4, 11/1, 11/6 (32m)
Alison Waters (Eng) bt [5] Annie Au (Hkg) 11/7, 11/6, 11/8 (32m)
[4] Madeline Perry (Irl) bt [16] Emma Beddoes (Eng) 11/8, 13/11, 11/2 (37m)
[8] Kasey Brown (Aus) bt [9] Joelle King (Nzl) 7/11, 11/4, 11/6, 11/9 (50m)
[12] Donna Urquhart (Aus) bt [7] Rachael Grinham (Aus) 11/5, 11/7, 6/11, 11/4 (34m)
[3] Laura Massaro (Eng) bt Emily Whitlock (Eng) 14/12, 11/8, 11/9 (35m)
[11] Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt [6] Camille Serme (Fra) 3/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/6 (43m)
Amanda Sobhy (Usa) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (Eng) 11/7, 10/12, 11/7, 11/6

Full SquashSite Coverage |  OzOpenSquash.com

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