David and Duncalf in Seoul Final

June 8, 2009

Defending champion Nicol David and fourth seed Jenny Duncalf will meet in a surprise final of the BBQ Women’s Seoul Open after both Grinham sisters departed in the semi-finals of the $60,000 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event being staged on an all-glass court sited in front of the Hyundai I-Park Mall in Yongsan Plaza in the South Korean capital Seoul.

David’s victory over third seed Natalie Grinham takes the world number one from Malaysia into her 52nd WISPA Tour final — and the defeat of second seed Rachael Grinham in the other semi means that David moves ahead of the Australian (currently poised on 51 appearances) to record more final appearances than any other current player.

Rachael Grinham, the former world number one from Toowoomba in Queensland, boasted a 6-3 head-to-head record over Jenny Duncalf – but the English player’s wins were from their last three meetings. And Duncalf extended her current run over her higher-ranked opponent in the first semi-final by beating Grinham senior 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 in 34 minutes.

“My accuracy just wasn’t there,” said the disconsolate Australian, last year’s runner-up, afterwards. “The ball didn’t go where I wanted it to go. This court punishes you if your opponent can put the ball away, and I gave her too many chances.”

Duncalf, who slipped to six in the world rankings this month, was delighted to be in her first Seoul final – the ninth Tour climax of her career, but the biggest by far. “I am really pleased to be in the final, and no long matches means I will be as fresh as possible – and I will need to be if Nicol gets through!

“But I don’t mind who I play, I just want to enjoy it. The crowd and the court have been great, the organisers have done a great job on the setting and I like to play outside!”

Nicol David tended to control proceedings in the second semi — delivering a second defeat for the Grinham family by beating younger sister Natalie Grinham, the third seed now representing the Netherlands, 11-4, 11-6, 11-8 in 36 minutes.

“I haven’t played Nicol for a while so I was getting used to playing her again,” said Natalie later. “I was trying to find the right game plan but in the end I took her too short too much.”

The last time that Grinham had beaten David had been in the Seoul final two years ago, and now the Malaysian has taken eight in succession.

And the statistics show that Duncalf has a tough task ahead of her in the final – with the Malaysian boasting an unblemished 11-0 head-to-head record on the WISPA Tour, extended to 15-0 if you add in their other career clashes.