Rachael Grinham made history when she faced and then overcame younger sister Natalie, the Commonwealth champion, by 9-4, 10-8, 9-2 to win the World Open title for the first time.
Not only was it the first time that the Australian duo had met in a WISPA Tour final, they were almost certainly only the second pair of sisters in any sport, after tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, to have contested a major final.
Did Rachael feel sorry for Natalie for having denied her the world title?
"No -- she got all three golds at the Commonwealth," she replied, laughing. "We are pleased for the other one when she wins, but at the end of the day, we do want to win."
It was still played in great spirit. Natalie once reversed an incorrect decision by the marker who called down Rachael's deceptively brilliant reverse angle at 7-5 in the second game.
In retrospect, that proved the difference between them in that crucial middle game, which fluctuated fascinatingly, with Natalie leading 6-2, Rachael getting back to lead 8-6, only for Natalie to level at 8-8, before the two pivotal points occurred.
A drop setting up a drive kill, and then a volley drop to a clinging line setting up a volley kill, were the two rallies which gave Rachael a two-game lead. After that her progress accelerated.
"I didn't think -- oh I'm going to lose if I don't get this game, but I concentrated very hard on getting back into it," Rachael said.
She did that by making sure her length was better than Natalie's. This made her slightly the more dominant player, making more of the attacking ploys, mostly starting with a tight ball to the front. In the third game she got completely on top.
The beginning of the end was signaled at 2-1 when a sidewall boast from Natalie faded into the tin. A slide of six points in a row followed, five of them errors from the younger sister.
Nevertheless Natalie had done much to make this one of the better finals.
"To be the first two sisters in the final feels fantastic," Natalie said.
"Not just one of us winning but both being in the final is more of a dream than one of us winning it," she said. "It was almost perfect. It would have been perfect if I'd have won it."
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given