The World’s top four players made it through to the semi finals of the Australian Open today, albeit in contrasting styles.
World number one Nicol David had the swiftest passage through to the semi final, when Hong Kong’s number one Annie Au had to retire early in the third game. The world number eleven looked uncomfortable from the outset and she struggled to move at all. Au later explained that a leg injury she picked up in her previous match against Line Hansen had caused the problem.
David’s semi final opponent will be Rachael Grinham. The home favourite kept the Aussie hierarchy in check when she held off the challenge from Donna Urquhart. Urquhart looked nervous throughout the match and couldn’t make a dent in the experienced armour of Grinham.
Grinham said she was feeling in pretty good shape and looking forward to the challenge of playing David.
The pair have had some thrilling encounters in the past and hopefully tomorrow will be no different. The home fans might not want to hear the facts though. David owns a 26-6 head to head record and has not lost to Grinham since British Open in 2007. The last four matches have all been in straight games.
The other semi final will see defending champion Madeline Perry take on world number two Jenny Duncalf. Both players came through tough quarter finals.
Perry gained revenge over Joelle King, recovering from 8-3 down in the fourth to close out a closely fought contest in four games. King had stunned Perry in straight games a few weeks ago in the first round of the CIMB Malaysian Open, but this time Perry was in better form, her title win in Singapore possibly giving her the extra boost of confidence she needed.
Duncalf had to be at her best to shake off the challenge of Natalie Grinham. She won the first game with ease, but then saw Grinham fight back and chase every ball, forcing her into errors. At 8-8 in the fourth Duncalf managed to pull away and close out the match.
Duncalf and Perry are locked at 4-4 in their head to head and the match tomorrow could easily swing either way. Perry did however win their last match, at the same stage of this event last year.
Quarter Final results:
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 11/0 11/2 4/0 rtd
 Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt  Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11/7 11/4 11/7
 Madeline Perry (IRL) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 13/11 2/11 12/10 11/9
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt  Natalie Grinham (NED) 11/4 12/10 8/11 11/8