12 Aug 2009

Squash players fit for NZ Open

7:42 am on 12 August 2009

The top seed Natalie Grainger of the United States and leading New Zealand hope Shelley Kitchen have overcome injury and illness scares to take their place in this week's New Zealand Women's Squash Open at Mt Maunganui.

It's the first time in 16 years that the event has been run, starting today in a glass court at Bayfair Shopping Centre, with the Gold Star world calendar event boasting 82 thousand dollars in prizemoney.

Grainger arrived in the country on Sunday after recovering from a foot injury that forced her out of the lead-up events - the World Games in Taiwan and last week's Singapore Masters.

Kitchen exited the World Games in the second round to Australian Kasey Brown, troubled by a virus and extreme fatigue. The world number 10 decided to return to New Zealand, withdrawing from the Malaysian Open and Singapore Masters events.

Kitchen says she now feels fine and has had training matches against fellow kiwis Jaclyn Hawkes and Joelle King in readiness for the New Zealand Open.

The main draw starts on Thursday.