The 11th annual Keith Grainger Memorial Squash Tournament at UCT attracted a record number of players, with 129 men and 49 women representing 19 nations taking to the court. While senior pros and high-ranked players contested the main draw, the tournament catered for players of all ages and levels, from Boys U11 to a Masters section.
This year the tournament partnered with WP Masters and saw the event including the WP Masters Open, resulting in 53 masters players competing in the event, with the oldest player being an amazing 75-year-old.
In the Women's Professional Squash Association (PSA) Main Draw final, Egypt's top-ranked U17 player, Rowan Elaraby, bested South African number five, Milnay Louw. At only 15 years old, Elaraby displayed big-match temperament to win the final 3–1. After winning the first two games 11–4 and 11–7, Elaraby dropped the third 6–11, but bounced back to clinch the trophy with a tight 11–9 victory in the decider.
The victory was made all the more special for Elaraby as it was the first time in eight matches that Louw had lost a match on South African soil. Louw, in fact, had not lost a single game during the Keith Grainger tournament before meeting Elaraby in the final.
In the Men's PSA Main Draw final, Austrian number one, Aqeel Rehman, beat wild card Hesham Mohamed 3–1 in a topsy-turvy 60-minute match. After winning the first game 11–4, Rehman found himself 3–8 down in the second as the unseeded Egyptian raced to an early lead. But Rehman didn't give up, fighting his way to 9–9 as the two traded points in a game that Rehman eventually won 15–13. Mohamed started the third game quickly too, easing into a lead and hanging on to secure the game win. But a composed Rehman showed his class to close off the match 3–1 and win his eighth PSA final.
UCT coach Wesley Daniels ran a coaching clinic on 25 April for 40 school-age squash players, enlisting the help of professional players Oliver Plett (England), Matthew Serediak (Canada) and Ahmad Al-Mudhaf (Kuwait), who ran a question-and-answer session on what it takes to play on the professional circuit.
The tournament is named after Keith Grainger in homage to his contribution to squash at UCT between 1999 and 2001. Despite being diagnosed with cancer and having his leg amputated, Grainger attended UCT where he focused on playing and growing the sport at the university. He would take to the court with an artificial leg and hit balls to beginners and hone their technique. Grainger was also centrally involved with organising the first UCT Squash Tour to the USA in December 2000 and went on the tour as manager – also playing a couple of matches en route. Grainger died in September 2001 during his third year of study at UCT.
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