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Men's Final:
Graham Ryding bt Victor Berg  15/2, 15/12, 15/2

Women's Final:

Alana Miller by Runa Reta  8/10, 9/6, 10/8, 10/9


CBC SPORTS ONLINE - They weren't the favourites earlier this week but Graham Ryding and Alana Miller were crowned the men's and women's champions on Saturday at the 2004 Canadian squash championships in Vancouver.

The women's final was the most exciting of the two as Miller defeated Runa Reta of Ottawa 8-10, 9-6, 10-8, 10-9. In the fourth game, Miller squandered an 8-2 lead and saw Reta move ahead 9-8.

"I just felt that if Runa won that fourth game she would have the momentum in the fifth," said Miller, a native of Winnipeg who was seeded third while Reta was seeded fifth.

"I just made up my mind that I would fight for every shot. It was a very intense match. I was a bit surprised she came back like that but she's always been a fighter."

"I never thought I would win this tournament but I'm playing and training full time now and it's paying off."

In the men's final, Ryding reclaimed the title for the first time in five years with an easy 15-2, 15-12, 15-2 victory over fourth-seed Victor Berg of Vancouver.

Berg advanced to the final when top-seed and five-time defending Canadian champion Jonathon Power of Montreal withdrew from their semifinal with the score tied at 12-12 in the first game due to a leg injury.

"I was really hoping to get my shot at Jonathon because I played well all week," said Ryding, a native of Toronto. "Suddenly the pressure was all on me today because I was expected to win. I didn't play as aggressively as I would have liked."

Power was disappointed not to finish the tournament.

"I always enjoy playing the nationals because I get to see a lot of the people I grew up playing with and who guided through my career," he said. "But I had a tough overseas trip here and basically spent two days sitting in a plane. A few muscles tightened up."

courtesy Canadian Sport News

Top Seeds Fall at
Canadian Nationals

In a day of upsets the biggest came when Jonathon Power withdrew in the first game due to injury, allowing hometown favorite Viktor Berg to advance to his 1st National Championships Final.

The other semi final saw 2nd seed Graham Ryding defeat 3rd seed Shahier Razik in 3 straight games. Razik has defeated Ryding a number of times recently however could not pull through today.

Also 5th seed Runa Reta of Ottawa upset top seed Melanie Jans of Vancouver in 4 games. Reta who upset the 4th seed a day earlier continued her fine play. In the other Women’s Semi Final Alana Miller of Winnipeg upset 2nd seed and reigning Champion Marnie Baizley, also from Winnipeg, in 4 games.

Men's Semi-Finals:
Viktor BergJonathon Power  12-12 rtd
Graham Ryding bt Shahier Razik  3/0

Women's Semi-Finals:
Alana Miller bt Marnie Baizley  9/4, 9/5, 9/5
Runa Reta bt Melanie Jans  4/9, 9/2, 9/1, 9/2

Alana Miller of Winnipeg and Runa Reta of Ottawa posted upset wins in the women's semifinals in Vancouver on Friday at the 2004 Canadian Squash Championships.

The duo will now rekindle a rivalry from their junior days in Saturday's final.

Reta, seeded fifth, defeated top-seed and multiple Canadian champion Melanie Jans of Toronto 4-9, 9-2, 9-1, 9-2. The pair met for the first time earlier this week in an exhibition match to promote the tournament, which Jans won in straight games.

"During the week I just felt more and more comfortable on the glass court," said Reta, 23, Canada's top-ranked international player at No. 34 in the world.

"Tonight I dictated the tempo of the game and I kept the ball tight and deep. I made sure she didn't slow the pace down."

Miller, seeded third, posted a convincing 9-4, 9-5, 9-5 victory in her victory against second-seed and defending champion Marnie Baizley of Winnipeg.

"This was totally unexpected, I had never beaten her before," said Miller, 23, who had lost her three matches to Baizley over the past couple of years. "But we had a close one in March so I knew it was possible. My short game was really on."

Miller and Reta met on several occasions in their junior days often in title matches. "Alana usually beat me in the big matches so I know she'll be ready," said Reta.

In the men's semis top-seed and five-time defending champion Jonathon Power of Montreal meets Victor Berg of Vancouver while Shahier Razik of Toronto faces second seed Graham Ryding of Toronto.

"I'm playing to win," said Berg, prior to his match. "I have a game plan but I know I'm in tough. I've had a very good tournament so far so I have some confidence. Plus I'm at home and I feel comfortable here."

On Saturday the women's final is at 3 p.m. (all times local) followed by the men's final at 4 p.m. Both matches are at the Hollyburn Country Club.

courtesy Canadian Sport News






Power aims for
Sixth Straight


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