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Dutch Open 2005
31 May - 5 June,  Women $26K, Men $15k.

THE FINALS
Ball and David take Dutch Titles
Nicol David was forced to come back from a two games deficit to win the Mamut Dutch Open title from Linda Elriani 4-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-3, 9-3. In the first two games the 33-year-old Elriani showed all her experience coming back to take that first 9-4, after going 4-0 down, then keeping the pace up to win the second 9-2 against a player that exemplified none of the qualities of speed and alertness that saw her knock out the world champion the day before. Not until the third game did David find an aggressive edge and taking the ball earlier she won the game 9-3 as her opponent started to feel the pace. On a roll David dictated the pace of play and dominated the play in the fourth as Elriani flagged and was unable to make any of the killing drops that served her so well in the first two games work while her opponent kept on retrieving the rebounding ball on a warm court that was to her advantage. In the fifth it was a point for point struggle before the 21-year-old Malaysian surged away at 4-3 and closed out the match.

In the men’s final Bradley Ball lived up to his seeding but it took him five games to see off David Bianchetti 9-11, 11-1, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6. It was a chaotic match with Ball losing the 25 minute first game but then bounce back immediately, just as Bianchetti should have taken advantage to win the second in just 7 minutes. And so the play see-sawed back and forth until Ball’s extravagant shots finally saw out the fifth and he took the Dutch Open title.

 

 The winners Bradley Ball left and Nicol David right with Tommy Berden who was forced to withdraw from the event due to injury. Berden performed an ambassadorial role during the event.

Dutch Open 2005: WOMEN'S MAIN DRAW
31 May- 5 June,  Almere, $31k
1st Round
Thurs 2 June
Quarters
Fri 3 June
Semis
Sat 4 June
Final
Sun 5 June
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
9-4, 9-6, 9-0
Lauren Briggs
Atkinson
9-6, 10-8, 9-3
Nimmo
Atkinson
2-9, 9-6, 10-8, 9-6
David
David
bt
Elriani
4-9, 2-9, 9-3, 9-3, 9-3
[6] Shelley Kitchen  (NZ)
9-0, 9-6, 9-1
Pamela Nimmo (Sco)
[3] Nicol David (Mas)
9-3, 9-3, 9-3
Rebecca Chiu (HK)
David
9-0, 9-4, 9-4t
Geaves

 
[8] Fiona Geaves (Eng)
8-10, 8-9, 9-6, 10-8, 9-6
Laura Jane Lengthorn
Stephanie Brind (Eng)
9-5, 2-9, 9-7, 4-9, 9-5
[7] Annelize Naude (Ned)
Naude
9-6, 9-5, 4-9, 9-4
Elriani
Elriani
6-9, 9-7, 9-4, 9-2
N. Grinham
Tegwen Malik
9-4, 9-4, 9-1
 [4] Linda Elriani (Eng)
Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
9-2, 9-0, 9-3
[5] Jenny Duncalf
Duncalf
9-6, 9-0,9-5
N. Grinham
 Latasha Khan
9-5, 9-3, 9-2
[2] Natalie Grinham (Aus)

31 May - 1 June 2005
 Women's Qualifying:
1st Round:

Laura Jane Lengthorn bt Jenna Gates 9-2, 9-5, 9-5;
Tegwen Malik bt Charlie de Rijcke 9-1, 10-8, 9-4 ;
Olga Puigdemont bt Raneem el Weleily 10-9, 9-2, 10-8;
Lauren Briggs bt Aisling Blake 9-0, 9-7, 9-7;
Karen Kronemeyer bt Sharon Wee 4-9, 9-6, 4-9, 9-4, 9-4;
Dominique Lloyd-Walter bt Jana Smeralova 9-5, 9-4, 9-0 ;
Latasha Khan bt Melissa Meulenbelt 9-1, 9-2, 9-3;
Rebecca Botwright bt Margriet Huisman 9-3, 9-0, 9-6.

Final qualification round:
Laura Jane Lengthorn (ENG) bt Olga Puigdemont (ESP) 9-2, 9-3, 10-9;
Lauren Briggs (ENG) bt Karen Kronemeyer (NED) 9-3, 9-2, 9-6;
Tegwen Malik (WAL) bt Rebecca Botwright (ENG) 9-0, 10-8, 10-8;
Latasha Khan (USA) bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) 10-9, 2-9, 9-4, 9-3.

Dutch Open 2005: MEN'S MAIN DRAW
31 May-5 June,  Almere, $15k
Round 1
Thurs 2 June
Quarters
Friday 3 June
Semis
Sat 4 June
Final
Sun 5 June
[1] Bradley Ball (Eng)
11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7
Jan Koukal
Ball
11-9, 11-8, 1-11, 11-8
Razik
Ball
11-6, 11-4, 11-4
Garner
Ball
bt
Bianchetti
9-11, 11-1,
5-11, 11-6,
11-6
[5] Shahier Razik (Can)
7-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-2
Shamsul Islam Khan  (Pak)
[3] Hisham Ashour (Egy)
11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5
Scott Handley
Handley
11-9, 11-10, 11-2
Garner
[7] Ben Garner
11-6, 1-11, 11-4, 11-6
Ritwiik Bhattacharya
Raj Nanda (Aus)
11-9, 3-11, 11-13, 11-4, 11-8
[6] Gavin Jones (Wales)
Jones
11-2, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4
Bianchetti
Bianchetti
11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6
 Galifi
Tom Hoevenaars (Ned)
11-5, 11-8, 11-3
[4] David Bianchetti (Ita)
Majid Khan
10-12, 11-2, 9-11, 11-8, 7-11
Stephanie Galifi (Fra)
Galifi
11-10 (4-2), 11-8, 11-4
Ross
 Stacy Ross (Eng)
11-9, 11-3, 11-3
[2] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)

31 May - 1 June 2005
Men's Qualifying:
1st Round:
Jean-Michel Arcucci bt Laurent Elriani 7-11, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6;
Ritwik Bhattacharya bt Bradley Hindle 4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 2-11, 11-7;
Jan Koukal bt Bastiaan Meulenbelt 11-7, 11-7, 11-8;
Farrukh Zaman bt Julien Balbo 14-12, 12-10, 11-13, 11-9 ;
Scott Handley bt Niels Hoevenaars 11-3, 11-6, 11-5;
Majid Khan bt Glenn Keenan 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 ;
Lucas Buit bt Wai Hang Wong 11-4, 11-10, 11-3 ;
Cameron White bt Dylan Bennett 15-13, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6.

Final qualification round:
Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) bt Jean-Michel Arcucci (FRA) walkover;
Jan Koukal (CZE) bt Farrukh Zaman (PAK) 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4;
Scott Handley (ENG) bt Lucas Buit (NED) 11-2, 11-8, 11-3;
Majid Khan (PAK) bt Cameron White (AUS) 11-7, 11-6, 13-11.

Reports

BEN GARNER REPORTS ON THE
THE SEMI-FINAL MATCHES
Atkinson and Grinham Fall

The semi-finals of the women's Mamut Dutch Open produced a couple of surprise results with the top two seeds being knocked out. Both Vanessa Atkinson and Natalie Grinham have strong Dutch connections but were unable to capitalise on such an advantage. Grinham is based at the venue for the tournament, Almere Squash Club, but lost out to England's Linda Elriani. Despite winnng the first and holding a lead in the second the Australian was clawed back by Elriani's accurate placement of floated lengths and volley drops. Despite some outstanding retrieving Grinham could not prevent Elriani dominating the court and by the end was making a number of unforced errors out of frustration. Atkinson is the Dutch no.1 but the support of the home crowd was not enough to see her through against Malaysia's Nicole David. Like Grinham, Atkinson dominate the first game and won it comfortable 9-2. However David's speed and anticipation began to come into play as she won the next 3 games, each one closely contested.

In the men's event the results were more expected, with both higher ranked players winning through to the final. Bradley Ball seemed to be showing no ill-effects from his long match the night before as he quickly disposed of Ben Garner. Garner was unable to contain his compatriot's hard-hitting, attacking play and Ball admitted "It's a relief to have got through in 3 games having had a tough match last night, hopefully now i should  be fresh for the final".
In the final Ball will face Italy's Davide Biancetti who disposed of Stefan Galifi in 4 games. Biancetti can at times be rather vocal himself but on this occassion he left the refereeing discussions to his French opponent. The tactic clearly paid off as Biancetti showed patience interspersed with much attacking skill when required to move into the final.
________________________________________________________________________

BEN GARNER REPORTS ON
THE QUARTER-FINAL MATCHES
Brutal win for Ball
The top seeds in the men's and women's Mamut Dutch Open both reached the semi-final stage but were pushed hard in the process. Bradley Ball in particular found fierce resistance in the form of Canadian Shahir Razik. On a hot bouncy court the contrast in styles between Ball's hard-hitting attacking game and Razik's speed and accurate ball-placement provided an enthralling contest.

Ball narrowly won the first two games before Razik took control in the third. The fourth was intriguingly poised at 8-7 when having recovered from a full length dive Razik was harshly denied a let. After taking an injury break for a bruised hip Razik returned to the court but two winners from Ball gave him the match after 100 minutes of play!
Afterwards Ball admitted, "That was pretty brutal, Shahir was very tough to break down and I'm just pleased to have got through".

Ball's win guarantees an English finalist as he now faces compatriot Ben Garner who defeated qualifier Scott Handley. The other semi-final will be between Davide Biancetti and Stacey Ross or Stefan Galifi.

The women's event has been left with a truly world class semi-final line-up, with 4 of the top 6 ranked players in the world remaining. A sell-out crowd is expected to cheer on local favourite Vanessa Atkinson, who reached the last four after defeating Pamela Nimmo in a close fought three games, recovering from 7-4 down and saving 2 game balls before clinching the second game. Atkinson will face Nicole David who comfortably beat a Fiona Geaves clearly suffering the after-effects of a marathon victory the day before. The other half of the draw will feature Linda Charman against Natalie Grinham.
________________________________________________________________________

QUARTER-FINALS
Annelize Naude loses with pride
In the first match of the day the Mamut Dutch Open Squash 2005 lost another Dutch player, although this loss wasn’t a surprise as Annelize Naude, the number two of the Netherlands, was facing world number six Linda Elriani. Annelize Naude offered good resistance in the first two games, but still found herself 2-0 down. In the third game Annelize Naude seemed to find the answer to beat her opponent and after taking the third game quite easily the match looked like going the full distance. However Linda Elriani is known for her mentality and refused to capitalize. She won the fourth game 9/4 and became the first player to make it into the semi finals.

Ben Garner first men’s semi finalist
After two games it was clear that the qualifying matches had taken their toll on Scott Handley from England. He was capable to keep up with Ben Garner for two games, but after that Scott was visibly too tired to offer resistance to the fit Ben Garner. With a score line of 11/9, 11/10, 11/2 Ben Garner was the first player to move into the semi finals of the men’s event.

Nicol David convincingly into the semi finals
The former world junior champion Nicol David is destined to become the number 1 of the World. She is only 21 years old and she already occupies the 4th spot on the world rankings. On very important moments the pressure sometimes gets to her, but today she didn’t have any of these problems. She was way better than Fiona Geaves, currently ranked 15 in the world. The experienced Fiona has absolutely no chance against the feather light Malaysian player, who even recorded a 9/0 game score. Nicol David will now play the winner of the match between Vanessa Atkinson and Pamela Nimmo.

Davide Bianchetti beats Gavin Jones
The only Italian in the draw send the only Welshmen in the tournament back home. In an attractive match, where both players exhausted each other, it proved to be Bianchetti who showed a higher fitness level. Jones slowly got tired, which allowed Bianchetti to take control of the rallies with his unpredictable shots. Bianchetti now plays against the winners of the Stephane Galifi vs. Stacey Ross match. Particularly a match against the French magician, Stephane Galifi, would ensure a spectacular match.
________________________________________________________________________

ROUND 1: By Ben Garner
Ross and Handley Surprise
Hopes of a home win in the men's event of the Mamut Dutch Open were dealt a fatal blow in the first round. After the withdrawal through injury of Tommy Berden last week, local expectations rested on no.2 seed Laurens Jan Anjema but he was sensationally beaten 3-0 by England's Stacey Ross. Anjema, who is the defending champion, took a 7-1 lead in the first game but was unable to convert and had no response to the Ross' accurate play on the hot bouncy courts at Almere squash Club. The other surprise came in the top half of the draw where no.3 seed Hesham Ashour was defeated by English qualifier Scott Handley, to give England 4 representatives at the quarter final stage of the event.

The match of the day in the women's event was undoubtedly the clash between English compatriots Fiona Geaves and Laura-Jane Lengthorn. Despite trailing by 2 games to love and 6-0 in the fifth, Geaves used all her experience to recover and emerge victorious from a long encounter. However hopes of a home win are still alive in the female draw with top seed Vanessa Atkinson and Annelize Naude both progressing to the quarter-finals.
________________________________________________________________________

FINAL QUALIFYING ROUND:
Briggs and Lengthorn Qualify

On the second qualifying day of the Mamut Dutch Open Squash 2005, the number three of the Netherlands, Karen Kronemeyer, lost against Lauren Briggs from England with the game scores 9/3 9/2 9/6. Although Kronemeyer offered stiff resistance it was clear that Lauren Briggs is ranked 15 places higher on the world rankings. Because of this result the amount of Dutch players (2) in the main draw remains the same. World champion, Vanessa Atkinson, will face Lauren Briggs Thursday at 20.15 and Annelize Naude will play against Stephanie Brind from England at 14.00.

The other players who qualified for the main draw are Laura Jane Lengthorn from England, Tegwen Malik from Wales and Latasha Khan from the United States.

Buit Bows Out
The end of a PSA career has come for nine times Dutch champion Lucas Buit. He went down against Scott Handley from England on the second qualification day of the Mamut Dutch Open. Handley turned out to be too strong for Buit. The other qualifying matches also showed no surprises. Majid Khan from Pakistan beat Cameron White from Australia in three straight games. Jan Koukal beat Farrukh Zaman from Pakistan and Ritwik Bhattacharya had a walkover as Jean-Michel Arcucci pulled back due to illness. The main draw starts on Thursday.
________________________________________________________________________

QUALIFYING ROUND 1:
Buit through
There were hardly any surprises on the first qualifying day of the biggest individual squash event in the Netherlands. In both the men’s and women’s qualifying 16 players compete for 4 spots in the main draw. Out of the 32 players six have the Dutch nationality. Unfortunately only the experienced Lucas Buit and Karen Kronemeyer made it through to the next round. Both Kronemeyer and Buit won unexpectedly. Kronemeyer beat Sharon Wee in five games and the nine-time national champion, Lucas Buit, surprised the national champion of Hong Kong, Wai Hang Wong, in 3 straight games. The young and talented Dylan Bennett only just fell short against Australian, Cameron White, and Margriet Huisman, another young Dutch player, had little chance against Rebecca Botwright. The other Dutch players, Niels Hoevenaars, Bastiaan Meulenbelt and Melissa Meulenbelt were unable to trouble their foreign opponents.

Tomorrow Lucas Buit will come up against Scott Handley from England and Karen Kronemeyer will face Lauren Briggs, also from England. If they win they will qualify for the main draw tournament that starts on Thursday. If this happens they will join the other Dutch players, Vanessa Atkinson, Laurens Jan Anjema, Annelize Naude and Tom Hoevenaars, in the main draw. In the women’s event Vanessa Atkinson is seeded to win the Mamut Dutch Open. A win in Almere will bring her closer to the number 1 spot in the world. Her main rivals are Natalie Grinham, Nicol David and Linda Elriani, respectively number 3, 4 and 6 in the world. In the men’s event Laurens Jan Anjema is one of the many contenders. There are at least 8 players that have a chance to win the Dutch Open title, which will make it tough for the highest Dutch player on the world ranking (31st).

________________________________________________________________________

PREVIEW & NEWS

Rachael Grinham and Berden out

NEWS REPORT: The local favourite, Tommy Berden, sadly has to withdraw from the Mamut Dutch Open Squash 2005. An ankle injury, sustained during a training session, has forced the Dutch Champion to miss this event. This is particularly sad, because Berden was in good shape the last month and he was fully focused to perform well at this international event in his home town Almere.

NEWS REPORT: Due to the late withdrawal of the female world number 1, Rachael Grinham from Australia, world champion Vanessa Atkinson is now the highest seeded player. The reason of the withdrawal from Rachael Grinham is due to the fact that she has had great results in the past month. ‘I have had a very busy period with successful tournaments in the United States and Qatar. Therefore it is now time to take some rest and prepare fully for the World Games and the second half of the year. Unfortunately this means that I will not be competing at the Dutch Open’.

Top Ranking event for the Netherlands

From May 31st until June 5th 2005 the biggest squash event of the Netherlands will take place in the squash centre “Squash Almere”. The Mamut Dutch Open Squash 2005 attracts competitors from all over the world and is an initiative from Squash Bond Nederland, Stichting Stadspromotie Almere and the Olympic Network Flevoland / Zwolle.

At the women’s side, the four of the top five ranked players on the world ranking, including world champion, Vanessa Atkinson, are participating. On the men’s side most attention and local support will go out to four-time Dutch Champion, Tommy Berden, and the highest ranked Dutch player on the world ranking, Laurens Jan Anjema. In particular Tommy Berden will be extra motivated to get a good result in his home town Almere.

The Mamut Dutch Open Squash 2005 has combined prize money in excess of $ 40.000usd. The title sponsor is Mamut Software, a supplier of financial-administrative software for smaller companies.
 

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