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KL Women's World Open 2004
07-11 December, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
VIDEO REPLAYS         OFFICIAL SITE FROM KL
11-Dec, FINAL:
[3] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned) bt [4] Natalie Grinham (Aus)     9/1, 9/1, 9/5 (33m)
  
ATKINSON WORLD CHAMPION

Vanessa Atkinson became the 10th Women's World Champion when she continued her impressive run of recent form, despatching Australia's Natalie Grinham in straight games in the final in Kuala Lumpur.

The triumph caps a spectacular year for the British-born Dutch Champion, her eighth title of 2004, and her third successive victory at the National Squash Cente in Bukit Jalil.

But this one is the most important, by far, and she becomes the first European to win the world title since 1999.
  
11-Dec,  THE FINAL:
Alex Wan reports
from Kuala Lumpur

  
ATKINSON CROWNED WORLD CHAMPION


Having yesterday finished off the world number one in 21 minutes, Vanessa Atkinson today completed the massacre when she totally outplayed the younger Natalie Grinham in a slightly longer match, 33 minutes to be precise. Natalie had hoped to avenge her sister’s defeat but little did she know what Atkinson had in store for her ...

The match

From the moment the marker announced “love all”, Atkinson was at full speed.

Though Grinham picked up the first point of the game, that was all she was to get. Two great rallies saw Atkinson level at 1-1. Grinham won the next and that was the only time she got to serve until she saved a game ball.

She saved that game ball, but a simple lob flew out of court and Atkinson then seized the opportunity to go one up.

It was very obvious that Atkinson was simply moving Grinham around the court all through the first game to test her legs after yesterday’s match.

Contrary to Atkinson’s 22 minutes, Grinham had a tough 87 minute encounter in a 'battle of the bunnies' against Malaysia’s very own Nicol David. Having led 2-0, she allowed David to crawl back and force a brutal decider. That long hard match had taken its toll on Grinham, who had problems getting to the front during the final. She was seen limping at the reception after the match, a testimony of her discomfort.

The second was similar to the first, the only difference being that Atkinson burst into a flawless 7-0 lead. Mistake-free conservative squash, controlling the T with amazing authority.

Grinham didn’t manage to win a point after forcing the first hand out of the game, and allowed Atkinson to go to game ball before she saved it and finally won a point. Once again though, Atkinson wasted no time to finish it.

At this point, it had only been 17 minutes of court time so unless Vanessa finished it in five minutes, it would be longer than her 22 minute workout yesterday.

2-0 up and having dropped only two points in the entire match, Atkinson was beaming with confidence, but it didn't go quite to plan, as it was Grinham who got the upper hand, racing to a 3-0 lead, and a stroke against Atkinson made it 4-0.

Either Atkinson was feeling the jitters or Byron Davies did wonders in the 90 second break! Grinham picked up another point to move ahead 5-1, but Atkinson was not going to let her British Open semi final nightmare have a chance of recurring. A topspin forehand to the back from Grinham was retrieved with a boast so tight and low, it didn’t get replied – hand out to Atkinson.

Slowly but surely, she plotted her comeback. From 2-5 right up to 5-5, Grinham contributed all of those by sending the ball into the tin. Atkinson returned the favour to hand serve back to Grinham in the next, which she got back immediately to earn a point.

Grinham made a loud “come on” yell again - which worked yesterday – but today, it deserted her, as she never got another serve after losing the next rally. 13 minutes of good squash from both players. Though the score might not suggest so, it was close.

The win crowns Vanessa Atkinson as the 2004 Women’s World Champion, an achievement that will last her a lifetime.

Alex Wan
 

Playing in front of Jahangir ...


Vanessa
Actually, it helped me play better knowing that he was there. In the back of my mind, I wanted very much to show him women’s squash and that it can be good too.

Natalie
Obviously, in the back of my head I’m wondering what’s he thinking or thinks of this. But in the court, my mind is fully concentrated on the match itself.

Not only was Jahangir present, this Women’s World Open has also seen an all-star audience comprising of Susie Simcock (WSF Emeritus President ), Tunku Imran or better known as “Pete” (Patron WSF), A.Sani Karim (Vice President WSF), the prince of the first King of Malaysia, YAM Tunku Laxamana Tunku Naqiyuddin Ibni Tuanku Jaa’far, Bob Elphinston (IOC Delegate), Puan Sri Irene Lee (wife of the late SRAM President Tan Sri Alex Lee), not forgetting squash lovers who have travelled from as far as Korea, Thailand and one even from Slovenia! And of course, WISPA's Andrew Shelley was here too ...



How does it feel to be a World Champion?

“Wow! That’s a hard question to answer right now really. Being the world champion is like a dream come true for me. I’ve had this dream ever since I started playing squash when I was 10 years old. Back then, I dreamed and said it because it was the right thing to say. I never thought it would turn out to be a reality, but today it did.”

What about KL?
“I just love this place. I’ve never lost on this court and I just want to wrap it up and bring it to every tournament I play in. It really suits my game. I love it here in KL, the food here is amazing. I’ve been eating every day, having char kuey teow (stir fried flat rice noodles with cockles) and everything else. I feel like I’m playing at home! (referring to the many congratulatory wishes and hugs from Malaysians who’ve seen here so often)”



Skipping Shanghai did
you good?

“Definitely a good move and it made such a huge difference. Just look at the amount of injuries on the tour right now (It's probably not a coincidence that people keep walking out on Vanessa! Alex). It gave me some good rest and time to really prepare myself for these two biggest tournaments of the year (Qatar Classic and World Open). I wanted to do well and prepare myself fully for these.”

Vanessa Atkinson


 



You must be gutted…

“Not entirely. I’ve reached the World Open Final!”

Yesterday’s long hard match affected you?
“I didn’t quite feel flat but my groin was giving me problems, so it was very hard getting to the front. But Vanessa played a superb match, a superb whole tournament in fact.”

Natalie Grinham


WSF President Jahangir Khan presents the trophy
 

QUICK FACTS
ON THE WORLD CHAMPION

* She has won 8 tournaments this year, three of which were on this court.

* She has not lost a single match on this court.

* She took an average of 42.6 minutes to win her matches in the first three rounds, but took mere 26 minutes per match in the semi final and final.

Vanessa Atkinson
World Champion.

 

WWO REPORTSreports from
earlier rounds

KL Women's World Open 2004
07-11 December, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, $63k
First Round
Tue 07
Last 16
Wed 08
Quarters
Thu 09
Semis
Fri 10
Final
Sat 11
[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus)
9/0, 9/4, 9/2 (21m)
[Q] Melissa Martin (Aus)
Rachael Grinham

9-1, 9-0, 7-9, 9-5 (50m)

Madeline Perry
Rachael Grinham

9/1, 9/1, 9/7 (41m)

Jenny Tranfield

Rachael Grinham

 

9/0, 9/2, 9/2 (22m)


Vanessa Atkinson

Vanessa Atkinson 

 

9/1, 9/1, 9/5 (33m)

 

Natalie
 Grinham

 

[16] Madeline Perry (Irl)
9/4, 9/2, 9/5 (44m)
Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
[7] Fiona Geaves (Eng)
9/1, 10/9, 9/4 (38m)
Tania Bailey (Eng)
Tania Bailey

7/9, 9/2, 9/3, 9/6 (42m)

Jenny Tranfield
[10] Jenny Tranfield (Eng)
9/4, 9/0, 9/0 (29m)
[Q] Kasey Brown (Aus)
[3] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
9/2, 5/9, 9/2, 9/7 (30m)
Pamela Nimmo (Sco)
Vanessa Atkinson

9/6, 9/6, 2/9, 10/8 (55m)

Vicky Botwright
Vanessa Atkinson


7/9, 9/1, 9/3  rtd (35m)


Linda Elriani
[11] Vicky Botwright (Eng)
9/7, 10/8, 8/10, 9/3 (55m)
[Q] Tamsyn Leevey (Nzl) 
[5] Linda Elriani (Eng)
9/3, 9/4, 9/1 (33m)
[Q] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
Linda Elriani

9/5 , 9/7 , 8/10 , 9/2 (79m)

Jenny Duncalf
[13] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
9/3, 9/6, 9/3 (30m)
Latasha Khan (Usa)
Laura Lengthorn (Eng)
6/9, 9/4, 9/7, 9/7 (63 m) 
[14] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
Laura Lengthorn

9/5, 9/7, 9/5 (45m)

 Rebecca Macree
 
Rebecca Macree

9/6, 9/3, 9/0 (32m)

Natalie Grinham

Natalie Grinham

 

9/3, 9/7, 2/9, 9/10, 9/7 (87m)
 

Nicol David
Carla Khan (Pak)
9/7, 9/3, 7/9, 9/7 (83m)
[8] Rebecca Macree (Eng)
[Q] Runa Reta (Can)
9/4, 2/9, 7/9, 9/5, 9/4 (67m)
[15] Stephanie Brind (Eng)
Stephanie Brind

9/7, 9/4, 9/1 (39m)

Natalie Grinham
Annelize Naude (Ned) 
10/8, 9/1, 9/4 (44m)
[4] Natalie Grinham (Aus)
Alison Waters (Eng)
2/9, 6/9, 9/4, 9/3, 9/5 (56m)
[9] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
Alison Waters

10/8, 7/9, 9/2, 10/8 (50m)

Nicol David
Nicol David

9/7, 9/3, 9/4 (28m)

Shelley Kitchen

[Q] Tegwen Malik (Wal)
9/3 , 9/0 , 9/3 (21m) 
[6] Nicol David (Mas)
[Q] Amelia Pittock (Aus)
9/4, 6/9, 9/1, 9/5 (51m)
[12] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
Shelley Kitchen

9/5, 9/4, 9/7 (40m)

Cassie Jackman
[Q] Dominique L/Walter (Eng)
9/1, 9/1, 9/5 (29m)
[2] Cassie Jackman (Eng)


Qualifying (05/06 Dec):

Finals:
Engy Kheirallah (Egy) bt Suzie Pierrepont (Eng)  9/7, 9/3, 9/2 (35m)
Melissa Martin (Aus) bt Becky Botwright (Eng)  3/9, 8/10, 9/2, 9/5, 9/7 (47m)
Amelia Pittock (Aus) bt Diane Desira (Aus)  9/7, 9/0, 9/7 (46m)
Runa Reta (Can) bt Heidi Mather (Aus)  9/5, 9/5, 9/4 (31m)
Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)  8/10, 9/7, 9/2, 9/6 (73m)
Tamsyn Leevey (Nzl) v Raneem El Weleily (Egy)  9/5, 9/3, 9/6 (31m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng) Lauren Briggs (Eng)  9/6, 9/6, 9/3 (57m)
Tegwen Malik (Wal) v Karen Kronemeyer (Ned)  9/0, 6/9, 9/7, 9/2 (43m)



First Round:
Engy Kheirallah (Egy)  bye
Suzie Pierrepont (Eng) bt Line Hansen (Den)  10/8, 9/10, 2/9, 9/4, 9/6 (74m)
Melissa Martin (Aus) bt Lim Yok Wah (Mas)  9/4, 9/1, 9/5 (23m)
Becky Botwright (Eng) bt Jemma Saxby (Aus)  9/3, 9/1, 9/1 (18m)

Amelia Pittock (Aus) bt Triciah Chuah (Mas)  9/2, 9/6, 9/5
Diane Desira (Aus) bt Delia Arnold (Mas)  9/6, 9/6, 9/5 (27m)
Heidi Mather (Aus) bt Nur Adawiyah (Sin)  9/1, 9/0, 9/1 (20m)
Runa Reta (Can) bt Sally Looi (Mas)  9/4, 9/4, 9/4 (28m)

Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Amnah El Trabolsy (Egy)  9/0, 9/4, 9/6 (28m)
Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) bt Eman El Amir (Egy)  9/3, 10/8, 9/10, 9/0 (45m)
Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Sarah Kippax (Eng)  8/10, 6/9, 9/7, 9/3, 9/6 (51m)
Tamsyn Leevey (Nzl) bt Elise Ng (Hkg)  9/2, 9/4, 9/0 (20m)

Lauren Briggs (Eng)  bye
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng) bt Manuela Manetta (Ita)  9/2, 9/7, 9/0 (30m)
Karen Kronemeyer (Ned)  bye
Tegwen Malik (Wal)  bye

WWO REPORTS reports from earlier rounds

 

 

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