1:02 pm
14 Jul 2024

Natalie Nets Grinham Win In Monte Carlo

16 Dec 2007

Australia's Natalie Grinham successfully defended her title in the Women's Monte Carlo Classic - but her straight games victory in the final of the $31,500 WISPA World Tour Silver squash event in the Monaco capital was sweet revenge for the loss to her older sister Rachael Grinham in the final of the World Open in Madrid in October.

The clash was the Queensland siblings' 17th WISPA Tour meeting since their first in 2001 - their third in a final and their seventh this year!

But it also followed a string of three successive wins by Cairo-based Rachael - despite the Netherlands-based Natalie being ahead in the world rankings over the period.

Rachael led 7-2 in the first game and 7-3 in the third: But on both occasions Natalie, who had not dropped a game leading to the final, regained control before clinching the match 9-7, 9-6, 9-7 in 49 minutes.

"After winning in Seoul (in April), I hurt my foot, and then later on my wrist," explained Natalie, the world No2. "I am still having treatment for that and getting a little pain. But though I am not quite 100% I am well on the way," added the 29-year-old from Toowoomba who started the year with a win and ended it on a similar high.

But the two-time Monte Carlo champion acknowledged her slow start: "Rachael had been beating me and I was unsure how to play her - and I was too defensive and not confident enough. Then I relaxed and changed my game."

Rachael Grinham, who beat Natalie en-route to both her World Open and British Open triumphs in 2007, was delighted to have made her 45th WISPA final: "I was trying hard but not making smart shot decisions. I was pleased enough to make the final but maybe Natalie was more up for it."

Natalie - now the winner of 12 Tour titles, including four this year - was delighted to be presented with her Fred of Monaco ring. Runner-up Rachael was similarly enchanted with hers - and both praised local hospitality and the organisation of the Monaco Squash Federation. The pair will leave the Principality having offered up a splendid finale to the 12th Monte Carlo Classic.

[1] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 9-7, 9-6, 9-7 (49m)