TODAY in Amsterdam -
Sat 3rd, Day FOUR
England win another
double in Amsterdam ...
The finals had familiar look to them, and England were
favourites to claim their 16th consecutive double title, but
there was real hope in their rival camps.
The Dutch, buoyed by home support, had their best chance of
taking the women's title for the first time, and the French men,
boosted by a playing order that for once favoured them, were
expected to give England a good run.
Meanwhile the playoff finals will decide the final positions -
and the seeding for next year - so there was no lack of emotion
on the outside courts ...
Check the results page
for full draws &
England 3-0 Netherlands
Alison Waters 3-0 Karen Kronemeyer
9/0, 9/5, 9/0 (24m)
Vicky Botwright 3-0 Vanessa Atkinson
9/1, 10/8, 9/3 (36m)
Jenny Duncalf 2-0 Annelize Naude
9/4, 9/1 (17m)
England 3-0 France
Peter Barker 3-1 Thierry Lincou
8/10, 9/7, 9/1, 10/8 (90m)
James Willstrop 3-2 Gregory Gaultier 9/7, 2/9,
7/9, 9/1, 9/3 (101m)
Adrian Grant 3-0 Julien Balbo
9/1, 9/2, 9/6 (65m)
Lee Beachill v Renan Lavigne
It's England again
The ESF voted at is AGM this morning to make all its events over
to PAR to 11 scoring over the next couple of months. The first
game of the men's final showed why, as Thierry Lincou took the
first game for France - saving a game ball at 7/8 -after 30+
minutes of play.
The Frenchman opened up a 6/2 lead in the second, but Barker
fought back, and with a determined "c'mon" took the game 9/7 to
level it up.
The momentum was with the Englishman as he sailed through the
third, but the fourth was another close affair. Barker reached
match ball at 8/7, Lincou saved with a perfect volley drop, then
levelled. Barker earned another at 9/8 and this time the
Frenchman's drop clipped the tin. England one up ..
In the second match it was another long first game, with some
tremendous rallies and great retrieving by booth players. This
time it was the Englishman who squeezed home, but Gaultier
struck back to take the next two.
At 4/1 to Willstrop in the fourth Gaultier slipped, injuring his
thigh. After some treatment he carried on, but couldn't stop
James taking the game 9/1.
James took a quick 5/1 lead in the decider, at 5/3 Gaultier's
thigh went again but the referee insisted he play on. The
Frenchman kept going, at match ball his thigh went again, and as
the final ball sailed past him he collapsed on court, where he
stayed receiving treatment for a few minutes after the match.
It was an uphill task for France now, and sure enough Adrian
Grant finished match, but Julien Balbo put up an hour's stern
resistance before England's 16th consecutive double was claimed
England's women still
Alison Waters got England off to the perfect start, racing
through the first game with nine unanswered points. Karen
Kronemeyer steadied in the second, recovering from 5-1 down to
level at 5-all, but Waters reasserted to take the match without
dropping another point.
In the top string match Vicky Botwright also made a great start
- although she trails Vanessa Atkinson 3-8 on head to head she
dominated the first game, taking it 9/1.
As in the first match, the second game was much more
competitive. Vicky led most of the way, reaching 8-6, but
Vanessa saved game ball and amid noisy support levelled at
8-all. Vicky went ahead again with a crosscourt drop, and a
volley error from Vanessa had the Dutchwoman banging the wall in
frustration as she fell two games behind.
The third was all Vicky as she raced through to clinch yet
another title for England.
haven't been playing as well as I can recently but what really
helped me was the support the coaches showed in me, if they were
confident enough in me to pick me and play me at number one then
that gave me confidence, so this has been a bit of a turnaround
week for me.
"As captain, I wanted to do well to help take the pressure off
Jenny, playing Annelize in Amsterdam is no easy task as I know
well enough myself. The second was crucial, if Vanessa had taken
that she would have had the momentum and with the crowd behind
her anything could have happened.
"We always come here as favourites, but we never take anything
for granted whatever anyone thinks. Like France yesterday, we
know they have some good young players coming through so we have
to be prepared and never assume we're going to win.
a bit of a double celebration as Stewart [Boswell] and I got
engaged last month. We were just walking in the Lancashire hills
on a sunny Sunday and he started fumbling around in his pocket.
I wondered what he was doing then he produced the ring and asked
me to marry him! I said yes, of course, and it was quite
romantic for an Aussie!
"We'll be getting married next May, we're trying to fit the date
in around this event, the British Open and Dutch League!"