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Rachael Grinham
Hangs on to Number One by a Wire

London, May 1, 2004 by Ron Beck ©
2005, photos © Debra Tessier and SquashTalk © 2004


  
SQUASH
TALK
  WOMEN’S NEWS


Vanessa
Atkinson … still #2 on the WISPA computer … © 2005 Debra
Tessier

Vanessa
Atkinson momentarily took the world points lead midway through last month
after she charged through the draw to win the richer-than-ever Texas Open
in Dallas.

But
with #1 on the line, she faltered in late April in Qatar, allowing Australia’s
Rachael Grinham to remain number one for the tenth successive month in
the May Women’s World Squash Rankings, which are published today (04 May)
by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association (WISPA).

The 28-year-old from Toowoomba in Queensland made certain
of holding off her near rival Vanessa Atkinson after winning last month’s
Qatar Airways Challenge, the WISPA Grand Prix event in Doha in which world
champion Atkinson was a surprise second round casualty. The event was
Grinham’s first WISPA title win of the year, which took her career haul
to 18 titles in seven years.

After dashing her hopes of reaching the top of the rankings,
Atkinson now remains in second place for the fifth consecutive month.
In an unchanged top eight, Rachael’s sister Natalie Grinham stays at No3,
ahead of Malaysian Nicol David at four and USA’s Natalie Grainger, runner-up
in Doha, at five.

A stunning run in the Qatar Airways Challenge by 14th
seed Tania Bailey takes the Englishwoman up to 11 in the new list – her
highest position for 15 months. The 25-year-old from Lincolnshire, who
beat Atkinson en-route to the semi-finals, finally seems to be distancing
herself by from the series of injury and illness problems which have held
her back over the past few years.

Two other Englishwomen – team-mates in England’s successful
defence of the women’s European Team Championship title in Amsterdam at
the weekend – celebrate career-best world rankings in the May list: Jenny
Duncalf, 22, from Yorkshire, moves up one place to nine, while Londoner
Alison Waters, the 20-year-old WISPA ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’
in 2004, rises two places to a best-ever number 18.

In the new WISPA ‘Rising Stars’ (under 19) listing, also
released this month, Belgium’s Charlie de Rycke has moved into the top
spot, edging ahead of Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily, the WISPA ‘Young Player
of the Year’.


1 [1] Rachael Grinham AUS
2 [2] Vanessa Atkinson NED
3 [3] Natalie Grinham AUS
4 [4] Nicol David MAS
5 [5] Natalie Grainger USA
6 [6] Linda Elriani ENG
7 [7] Vicky Botwright ENG
8 [8] Jenny Tranfield ENG
9 [10] Jenny Duncalf ENG
10 [9] Omneya Abdel Kawy EGY
11 [14] Tania Bailey ENG
12 [12] Madeline Perry IRL
13 [11] Shelley Kitchen NZL
14 [15] Annelize Naude NED
15 [13] Fiona Geaves ENG
16 [16] Isabelle Stoehr FRA
17 [17] Rebecca Chiu HKG
18 [20] Alison Waters ENG
19 [21] Stephanie Brind ENG
20 [18] Pamela Nimmo SCO

OTHER AMERICAS
PLAYERS IN TOP 100 AS OF MAY 1 2005:

23 [23] Latasha
Khan USA
32 [33] Runa Reta CAN
33 [37] Samantha Teran MEX
39 [39] Katie Patrick CAN
40 [40] Alana Miller CAN
42 [48] Melaine Jans Burke CAN
53 [50] Marnie Baizley CAN
58 [55] Lily Lorentzen USA
59 [53] Tara Mullins CAN
61 [59] Shabana Khan USA
62 [58] Meredith Quick USA
63 [64] Louisa Hall USA
64 [67] Nicolette Fernandes GUY
86 [87] Ashley Clackson CAN
104 [100] Carlin Wing USA
105 [101] Britt Hebden USA
112 [111] Michelle Quibell USA
116 [109] Ivy Pochoda USA

[complete
rankings for February ’05]




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