Chicago, Feb 28, 2014: It was sixth time lucky for England’s Sarah Kippax in the qualifying finals of the Women’s METROsquash Windy City Open when she claimed her first ever win over Australia’s former world number one Rachael Grinham – the highest-ranked player in the qualifying draw – to make the main draw of the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Gold 50 event at the University Club of Chicago in Chicago, USA.
Kippax, the world No24 from Halifax, dug deep to record the only straight games win of the day – beating the world No15 from Brisbane 11-4, 11-6, 12-10. Kippax will now line up against Egypt’s No2 seed Raneem El Welily in the first round.
There were two further surprise English successes when Macclesfield-born Emily Whitlock and Leeds-based Emma Beddoes also secured places in the main draw.
Whitlock, the 20-year-old world No26 from Colwyn Bay, became the youngest and lowest-ranked player to qualify when she survived a testing five-game battle against experienced Nicolette Fernandes – beating the world No19 from Guyana 11-4, 9-11, 5-11, 11-8, 12-10.
World No23 Beddoes beat higher-ranked compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry 7-11, 3-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-6 to boost her chances of selection for the next England team.
Whitlock is drawn to face compatriot and former stable-mate Laura Massaro, the top seed, while Beddoes will take on Ireland’s No6 seed Madeline Perry.
Hong Kong’s Joey Chan completed the qualifiers line-up when she recovered from a game down to beat Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 14-12.
RESULTS: Women’s METROsquash Windy City Open, Chicago, USA
Emily Whitlock (ENG) bt Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 11-4, 9-11, 5-11, 11-8, 12-10
Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 7-11, 3-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-6
Joey Chan (HKG) bt Misaki Kobayashi (JPN) 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 14-12 (44m)
Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-4, 11-6, 12-10
Updated 1st round draw:
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v [Q] Emily Whitlock (ENG)
 Kasey Brown (AUS) v Annie Au (HKG)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v [Q] Joey Chan (HKG)
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
 Madeline Perry (IRL) v [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG)
 Joelle King (NZL) v [WC] Aisling Blake (IRL)
 Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Dipika Pallikal (IND)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG). —- WSF