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Top Seed Bundled Out Of Qatar Airways Squash Challenge By Egyptian World Junior Champion

Doha, Qatar : The combination of a flu took its toll on top seed Natalie Grainger yesterday when she crashed out of the Women's 2004 Qatar Airways Squash Challenge in Doha, Qatar.

The world No2 from the USA went down 0-9 9-2 8-10 9-7 9-0 in 43 minutes in the second round to 15th seed Omneya Abdel Kawy, the world junior champion from Egypt.

The 26-year-old from Washington DC spent four hours in hospital in Doha after her first round match yesterday, when she was treated with antibiotics.

Clearly lacking strength, Grainger fought back from 8/1 down in the third to win the game, then from 6/1 down in fourth to go 7/6 up. She lost that, but then had nothing left in the fifth game.

Top seed in next week's Washington Summit in her hometown, Natalie told organisers: "I'm rushing home to recuperate as I don't want to be beaten at home next week".

The favourite expressed her gratitude to event sponsors Qatar Airways, who were able get the US squash star onto a flight leaving on Thursday, rather than Sunday.

Kawy will now meet Fiona Geaves in the quarter-finals after the eighth-seeded English veteran scrambled back from 0/2 down to overcome French champion Isabelle Stoehr 7-9 5-9 9-7 10-8 10-8 in 62 minutes.

"I played brainless squash to go 8/1 down in the last, but when it was the last chance I played better," said Geaves. "The whole thing was really bizarre!"

New Zealand's unseeded Shelley Kitchen started well against England's second seed and world number one Cassie Jackman. At seven-all in the first game, the world No1 from Norfolk made a couple of mistakes under pressure. After losing the game, Jackman settled and dictated the pace, keeping Kitchen in the back corners and eventually winning 7-9 9-1 9-1 9-2 in 42 minutes.

The quarter finals of the event will start at 5 pm today at the Khalifa International Tennis-Squash Complex. The semi finals will start tomorrow at 5 pm. The final will be held on Saturday, February 28, starting at 5 pm. Admission to all games is free.

RESULTS: Women's Qatar Airways Squash Challenge, Doha, Qatar

2nd round:

[15] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [1] Natalie Grainger (USA) 0-9, 9-2, 8-10, 9-7, 9-0 (43m)
[8] Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt [13] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) 7-9, 5-9, 9-7, 10-8, 10-8 (62m)
[4] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [16] Jenny Tranfield (ENG) 9-4, 9-1, 9-3 (31m)
[7] Rebecca Macree (ENG) bt Madeline Perry (IRL) 9-6, 6-9, 9-4, 9-2 (63m)
[6] Linda Charman (ENG) bt [9] Nicol David (MAS) 9-2, 9-1, 9-6 (31m)
[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 9-4, 9-3, 9-1 (25m)
[5] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [14] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 9-5, 9-3, 9-1 (34m)
[2] Cassie Jackman (ENG) bt Shelley Kitchen (NZL) 7-9, 9-1, 9-1, 9-2 (42m)

Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com

Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com


Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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