Natalie retains ToC title in NY

Beth Rasin reports 

Natalie Grinham successfully defended her J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title with a dominating straight games victory over Kasey Brown, 11-6,11-6,11-5.

13TC26538The 34-year-old tour veteran, known for her lightning speed and competitive focus, executed a near flawless game plan against her 28-year-old Australian opponent. “I wanted to get good length and width on the ball to take away any opportunities for Kasey to volley,” Grinham said in her post- match interview.

The two-time ToC champion appeared supremely confident as she prevented Brown from establishing any consistent rhythm in the match and was on top of every ball. “When I am moving well, I feel I should be able to get every ball back.”

Although the lead exchanged hands in the early part of each game, Grinham’s consistency and court coverage gave her the upper hand and she broke away to take a winning lead by the midpoint of each game.

SP_1225Grinham gave some of the credit for her relaxed and focused play to the presence of her 2½ year old son Kieran on this trip.

“I am feeling a bit more tired than usual because looking after Kieran takes a fair amount of energy. But that has turned out to be a good thing because I don’t have that extra energy that causes nervousness.”

“At the beginning of the week, I wouldn’t have thought I would win again,” Grinham reflected after the match, alluding to the fact that there were three higher ranking players in the draw.

“It still hasn’t quite sunk in that I have won the Tournament of Champions again.”

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