Star Grinham a glass act

Former world No1 squash player, Australian Rachael Grinham, is keen on some one-upmanship over her transtasman rivals in next week's A1 Homes New Zealand Open at Mount Maunganui.
The 32-year-old, the current world No4, will lead a family one-two punch in next week's US$55,000 ($82,000) Gold Star world tour event with younger sister Natalie.
They are ranked second and third for the event, the first time in 16 years that the New Zealand Open has been played.
"I would probably feel the need to rub it in a little," Grinham said, if she was to win the event that starts next Tuesday in the special glass court at Bayfair Shopping Centre.
"To be honest though, I will treat it like any other Gold Star Event at this stage. Obviously would love to win it, but just hoping I can put in a good effort and play well really."
It's the first time that Grinham has ventured to New Zealand as a professional and is considered one of the superstars of the sport.
After winning the world junior title, her career reached its zenith in a brilliant 2007 when she won the World Open, the British Open and three other titles, while she was ranked No1 number one in the sport in 2004 and 2005.
Grinham teamed up with sister Natalie to win the women's doubles title at the Commonwealth Games in 2006. She was pipped for gold in the singles by her sibling.
Born in Australia's garden city of Toowoomba, inland from Brisbane, Grinham has been a world traveller on the WISPA squash circuit for a decade, based in Cairo where she honed her skills. "It's hard if you don't like being away from home as you pretty much have to base yourself overseas for a good part of the year.

"I've lived overseas now for over 10 years so I've grown used to not being able to get back home much. 
"But I don't get homesick for the rest of the time since I've pretty much made a home overseas now."
Grinham has made a busy start to the year with one win and five semi-finals in her seven starts, with the New Zealand Open the final of a run of Gold Star events she is using to prepare for the World Open.
"This year my biggest aim would be to play well in the World Open. Both of my parents are coming over for it, and it's being run in Amsterdam by my brother-in-law, so mostly I'd really just like to have a good result there."
Work has begun on  the glass court at Bayfair  with the qualifying rounds for men and women to start next Tuesday.
 
 

- Bay of Plenty Times

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