10:32 pm
13 Jun 2024

Laura Lands First Win Over Natalie In KL

5 Mar 2009

In her first ever victory over the world number two, England's Laura Lengthorn-Massaro today beat second seed Natalie Grinham in the CIMB KL Open to claim an unexpected berth in the semi-finals of the $53,000 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Only days after celebrating a career-high world No7 ranking, the 25-year-old from Lancashire beat Grinham junior, now representing the Netherlands, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 to record one of the finest wins of her career.

Grinham, runner-up for the past two years, was still suffering the after-effects of whooping cough - and had only recently returned to full-time training.

The win takes the eighth seed through to a clash with another Natalie - Pan American Games gold medallist Natalie Grainger. The fourth seed from the USA took four games to overcome Egyptian star Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9.

Local heroine Nicol David did not have it all her own way at the top of the draw. The top-seeded Malaysian, going for her sixth title, won the first game against Jenny Duncalf and led 10-6 in the second. But the fifth seed from England held her nerve to level the match before David raised her game to record an 11-1, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 victory after 46 minutes.

World number one David will now take on Rachael Grinham for a place in the final. The third seed from Australia was taken the full distance by Alison Waters before ultimately beating the sixth seed from England 11-9, 4-11, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10 after 63 minutes.

Local hero Ong Beng Hee was taken to five games for the second time in 24 hours in the men's $50,000 PSA Tour event. The second seed from Penang, winner of the title 12 months ago, took exactly one hour to overcome Pakistan's fifth seed Aamir Atlas Khan 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-1.

Beng Hee will now face Adrian Grant after the third seed survived an all-English clash with qualifier Chris Simpson, winning 11-6, 13-11, 11-9.

There will also be English interest in the other semi where top seed Peter Barker takes on Borja Golan, the fourth seed from Spain.

Londoner Barker toppled fellow left-hander Farhan Mehboob, the sixth seed from Pakistan, 11-8, 11-2, 11-5, while Golan also despatched a Pakistani in his 11-7, 13-11, 11-5 victory over qualifier Yasir Butt.

Men's quarter-finals:
[1] Peter Barker (ENG) bt [6] Farhan Mehboob (PAK) 11-8, 11-2, 11-5 (40m)
[4] Borja Golan (ESP) bt [Q] Yasir Butt (PAK) 11-7, 13-11, 11-5 (39m)
[3] Adrian Grant (ENG) bt [Q] Chris Simpson (ENG) 11-6, 13-11, 11-9 (57m)
[2] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [5] Aamir Atlas Khan (PAK) 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-1 (60m)

Women's quarter-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-1, 10-12, 11-7, 11-9 (46m)
[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [6] Alison Waters (ENG) 11-9, 4-11, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10 (63m)
[4] Natalie Grainger (USA) bt [7] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9 (42m)
[8] Laura Lengthorn-Massaro (ENG) bt [2] Natalie Grinham (NED) 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 (23m)