Campion suffers unlikely loss

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The Independent Online

Cassie Campion, England's world champion, suffered a surprising first-round defeat on the first day of the Women's Grand Prix finals in Hurghada, Egypt - the first major WISPA World Tour event of the year

Campion was beaten by Australia's Carol Owens despite starting strongly and winning the opening game. Owens, based in Melbourne, came back in the second to take the initiative, forcing her opponent into a series of unforced errors.

Campion, the 27-year-old from Norfolk, served only three times in the third game, and eventually went down 2-9, 9-3, 9-0, 9-2 in 35 minutes.

In the other Pool A match, Natalie Grainger overcame fierce resistance in the first and third games before defeating her English compatriot Suzanne Horner, the world over-35 champion, 10-8, 9-0, 8-10, 9-1 in 41 minutes. Grainger now meets Campion in the second qualifying round - in a match which the world champion must win in order to qualify for tomorrow's semi-finals.

In her first WISPA Tour outing since winning the British Open title in December, New Zealand's Leilani Joyce secured the only straight games win of the day, beating England's Fiona Geaves 9-3, 9-1, 9-6. Linda Charman, England's world No 3, also won, beating Germany's Sabine Schoene.