Grinham into Aust Open squash quarters
It took her five gruelling games, but Australia’s Rachael Grinham won through on Thursday to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open squash tournament in Melbourne.
Also through is Australia’s second-ranked female, Donna Urquhart, who will take on former world No.4 Joelle King of New Zealand in Friday’s quarters.
Four Australian men are through to the last eight, headed by top seed Cameron Pilley and third seed Ryan Cuskelly.
Grinham, seeded third in Melbourne, had to dig deep to beat South Africa’s Siyoli Waters 11-3 7-11 11-8 8-11 11-8.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match, as Siyoli is a form player at the moment,” Grinham said.
“I’ve been looking forward to it, hanging around for a week waiting to play. Win or lose, I would have enjoyed it, but obviously I’m happy to have won it.”
Urquhart has looked in good form over the opening two rounds with 3-0 wins, the latest against fellow Australian and Commonwealth Games doubles partner Lisa Camilleri.
Urquhart next faces second seed King, who is playing her second tournament since a major achilles injury.
“I feel like Lisa maybe let me off with a few unforced errors today,” Urquhart said.
“Joelle has been as high as No.4 in the world, and I still regard her as a top-class player. I go out there tomorrow expecting that from her and nothing less.”
Also through to the quarter-finals is top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong and fourth-ranked Malaysian Delia Arnold.
In the men’s draw, Pilley, Cuskelly and fellow Australians Rex Hedrick and Steve Finitsis are all through to the quarters.
Second seed Nafizwan Adnan had to survive a five-game thriller against India’s Harinder Sandhu, with Hong Kong’s Leo Au and Nasir Iqbal also needing five to make the quarters.
Finitsis has had two five-game matches in a row to make day three, the latest against Indian sixth seed Mahesh Mangaonkar 7-11 4-11 11-9 11-9 11-7.
“I’m happy to get another win, especially after being two-love down,” Finitsis said.
“I just tried to fire myself up and be more aggressive. I won the third and then just had to hang in there. I guess I was lucky to get through.”