WOMEN’S HI-TEC WORLD OPEN SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS – SEMI-FINALS

The world's leading players from more than 30 countries have been competing in the Hi-Tec World Squash Championships – Manchester 2008, the first ever joint staging of the Men's World Open and Women's World Open in the UK.
 
Botwright, the 11th seed, is bidding farewell to the WISPA World Tour after taking up the position of Head Coach at the Centre. But, in the second round, the Manchester-based 31-year-old stunned the squash world by ousting Australian title-holder Rachael Grinham.
 
The former England number one then clinched her first appearance in the world final when higher-ranked England team-mate Jenny Duncalf retired injured after two games.
 
"I don't know what to say - it's unbelievable," said the jubilant Mancunian afterwards. "I thought I could beat her - but I didn't want to do it like that.
 
"But even if I win the title tomorrow, I will still be back at work at the centre on Monday morning!"
 
Duncalf, the fifth seed from Harrogate in Yorkshire, was devastated to have pulled out prematurely: "It was in the second rally of the match that something went in my right thigh - and I didn't know what to do. I took a three-minute injury break in the game, but the injury affected my movement and after two games I couldn't go on.
 
"I've never come off injured in my life before - it's not a great time to do it in a World Open!"
 
Botwright will face strong favourite Nicol David in the final. The world number one from Malaysia beat surprise opponent Madeline Perry, the 14th seed from Ireland, 11-6 11-8 11-6 to reach her tenth successive Tour final since her shock second round defeat in the 2007 World Open a year ago in Madrid.
 
David acknowledged that she has raised her game over the past year: "Every tournament I play, I learn more about myself - and with this new scoring, you have to be sharp. You can't afford to lose concentration."
 
Semi-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [14] Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-6, 11-8, 11-6
[11] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt [5] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-3, 11-6 ret.
 
 
Issued by iSPORTmedia

After consistently failing to live up to expectations on her 'home' court at the National Squash Centre in Manchester for the past ten years, Vicky Botwright provided the dream outcome for the organisers of the Hi-Tec World Open Squash Championships by earning a place in women's final in the English city.