It was one repeat and one new winner during the Forexx Dutch Open Squash
2008 in Amsterdam as Nick Matthew and Nicol David claimed
the Forexx Dutch Opentitles in front of a packed crowd at the
Frans Otten Stadion in the Dutch capital.
Having contested ten major finals over the last two years, David and
two-time Dutch Open champion Natalie Grinham were no strangers. Their
matches are invariably long and this was no exception - the first game alone
lasted 23 minutes. Grinham led in the first two games but David fought back
to take both 11/9. An early lead in the third proved too much for the
newly-Dutch Grinham to overcome as the Malaysian world number one retained
her title, and her unbeaten run of almost a year.
The men's final guaranteed a new name on the trophy. Top seed Nick Matthew,
back on court after an eight-month injury layoff, faced improving Australian
Cameron Pilley, who had beaten home favourite Laurens Jan Anjema
in a marathon semi-final. Matthew, still ranked eighth in the world despite
his long layoff, took a two-game lead. Pilley pulled one back and, despite
his obvious tiredness, hung in to take the fourth game to extra points
before the Englishman completed a very successful comeback to take his first
Dutch Open title.
Toon van der Wulp (CEO - Forexx Group) with Finalists copyright
avenged the defeat of her older sister Rachael, beating Alison Waters
to reach her first Dutch Open final as a Dutch player, but Laurens Jan
Anjema's attempt to make it a Dutch Double was derailed by Australian
Grinham made a slow start in the first semi final, but once she got into her
stride she always looked the likely winner against the British National
Champion. In the final of the Forexx Dutch Open Squash 2008 she will
face defending champion and world number one Nicol David, whose speed
of movement and shot proved too much for Natalie Grainger, who twice
came so close to taking a game but just fell short.
Dutch based Pilley also dropped the first game in his match against Anjema
and found himself 6-3 down in the second game against the 3-times Dutch
champion. The tall Aussie then proceeded to dictate the play against a
tiring looking Anjema, despite the urging of the large crowd at the Frans
Otten Stadion. After 81 minutes of high quality squash Pilley prevailed over
his training partner to reach the final of the Forexx Dutch Open Squash
His final opponent will be top seed Nick Matthew, who continued his
return from injury against John White who, like Grainger, came close
in two of the three games. The world number eight from England pulled back a
6-1 deficit against the hard hitting and entertaining ‘Whitey’ to clinch the
opening game. In the next two games Matthew showed no signs of his shoulder
injury as he romped home to a straight games victory over the Amsterdam
So, one new name on the trophy is guaranteed tomorrow, and if the Dutch fans
have their way, maybe two ...
England's Alison Waters produced the best win of her career when she
upset Australia's world champion Rachael Grinham in straight games to
reach the women's semi-finals of the Forexx Dutch Open Squash 2008 at
the Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam.
It was the only upset on the second day of action in mainland
Europe’s biggest squash tournament which ended with high entertainment and
saw another seed stretched to the limit.
Waters, the recently-crowned British National champion from London, was in sparkling form as she despatched
world number two Grinham 11-9, 11-6, 12-10 in 35 minutes in the
quarter-finals of the $53,500 WISPA
World Tour Gold championship.
"My hands are still shaking after that, it was getting very
edgy at the end," the 24-year-old said
immediately after coming off court.
"I thought I was so close to winning at 6-0 in the third,
then I made a few errors to let her back into it but still got to 8-4 and I
was thinking 'I can't lose this now', but she came back and then gave me
those last two points," added the eighth seed who celebrated a career-high
world No8 ranking this month.
It was a surprisingly downbeat performance by the World Open champion
Queensland who arrived in Amsterdam fresh from victory in the last month's
Alexandria Sporting Club Open in Egypt.
"I didn't feel I was properly there today, I wasn't able to focus well
enough and was making wrong decisions," explained third seed Grinham. "Even
at the end I was able to rally more and get back into it by playing more
defensively, then played those two stupid shots to lose it when I knew that
type of shot wasn't working for me today. It was clearly her day today."
There no such worries for Rachael's younger sister Natalie Grinham,
however. The second seed won her all-Dutch clash with Vanessa Atkinson,
beating the former world champion 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5.
Earlier, fourth seed Natalie Grainger, from the
USA, brushed aside an out-of-sorts Jenny Duncalf, the fifth seed from
Defending champion Nicol David, the Amsterdam-based world number one
from Malaysia, looked to be cruising to victory against Laura
Lengthorn-Massaro - but the Englishwoman battled back to make it a very
even contest as she levelled. It took a good start in the fifth for the top
seed to hold onto her title, ultimately needing exactly an hour to win 11-5,
11-4, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6.
In the men's $30,000 PSA Tour event, all the top seeds came through,
including Dutch champion Laurens Jan Anjema, and
Amsterdam favourite John White, who put on a fabulous late-night show
with Miguel Angel Rodriguez - the sixth-seeded Colombian making his
PSA Tour debut in Europe - to round off the day.
Earlier in the evening Anjema was made to work hard by Italian ace Davide
Bianchetti before securing his place in the semi-finals, where he will
face his training partner Cameron Pilley who recently moved to
The Hague. The Australian overcame a shaky start to overcome Dutch number
two Dylan Bennett in straight games.
Tournament favourite Nick Matthew secured a second comfortable win
after a nine-month lay-off due to a shoulder operation. The Englishman
proved too strong for South African Jesse Engelbrecht, romping home
to a 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 win.
Matthew, the 28-year-old world number eight from
Sheffield, will now take on 35-year old White for a spot in Sunday’s final.
All the seeds progressed to the quarter-finals of the
Forexx Dutch Open Squash 2008 on day one of main draw action at the
Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam. It wasn't plain sailing for all of them
though, with England's Laura Lengthorn-Massaro needing the full five
games to quell Rebecca Chiu, and Jesse Engelbrecht taking it
into extra points in his decider against Robin Clarke.
There was plenty of success for the hosts on the opening day of mainland
Europe’s biggest tournament, with Laurens Jan Anjema, Vanessa
Atkinson and Natalie Grinham winning comfortably enough, and
Dylan Bennett put the Amsterdam faithful through the usual agoniser
before winning through to a quarter final berth against Cameron Pilley.
Anjema will face the experienced Italian Davide Bianchetti tomorrow,
while Atkinson and Grinham face each other in a ‘Dutch
battle’, something that the newly Dutch player is looking forward to: “I
train on this court so I know it well, and I've been training and playing
really well lately so I felt good out there tonight. I know I can get a lot
back so I can afford to play a lot short, like I was tonight, I enjoy
playing that way. Vanessa and I have had a few battles over the years, and
if she plays well she's very dangerous, so hopefully I'll play well and it
will be another good battle", said the former Australian world number
The final matches of the day saw women's top seed Nicol David start
the defense of her title with a four-game win over Isabelle Stoehr,
and former Amsterdam favorite John White living up to his reputation
as an entertaining hard-hitter as he and wildcard Piedro Schweertman
gave the packed crowd an entertaining nightcap.
Malaysia's world number one Nicol David and England's
world number three James Willstrop
head the strong fields in the Forexx Dutch Open Squash 2008 -
boasting a total prize fund of US $83,500 - which will take place at the
Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam
from September 2-7.
The women’s draw is represented by the sport's best players -
led by Amsterdam-based defending champion Nicol David, a double World
Champion. The 25-year old from Penang, who recently won both the
Malaysian Open and the Singapore Masters, starts her Forexx Dutch
Open campaign with a first round match against Isabelle Stoehr from
France, who scraped into the main draw after the late withdrawal of
England's world number six Tania Bailey with a recurring knee injury.
David’s long time rival Natalie Grinham, the world
number two, is seeded second in her first attempt to win a major
WISPA tournament in the Netherlands as a Dutch player. The
former Australian, who has been competing under the Dutch flag since March
this year, faces a qualifier in her opening match with the prospect of
meeting her ‘new’ compatriot Vanessa Atkinson in the quarter finals.
The former world number one and World Champion also takes on a qualifier in
the first round. The third and fourth seeding positions are held by two
previous world number ones, reigning World Champion Rachael Grinham
from Australia and America’s Natalie Grainger.
Leading the men’s draw is the in-form
James Willstrop. The 25-year old Englishman, whose
remarkable run of results during the end of 2007 and the first six months of
2008 saw him shoot up the rankings to his current position of number three,
faces a qualifier in round one - and is scheduled to meet 18-year old
Aamir Atlas Khan in the quarter finals. The Pakistani, who finished
runner-up at last month’s World Junior Championship, exploded onto
the senior tour in the last twelve months and is drawn against wildcard
Dutchman Piedro Schweertman in the first round.
Local interest in the men’s draw of the Forexx Dutch Open is
led by current Dutch National Champion Laurens Jan Anjema. The
25-year old, who is desperately seeking the open title, will have to do it
the hard way though. Anjema is seeded third and is drawn to meet the top
James Willstrop in the semi-finals, but the number fifteen of
the world must first overcome tough opposition to reach the last four.
Anjema faces a qualifier in his first match and is scheduled to meet the
hard-hitting and experienced former world number one ranked Scot John
English ace Nick Matthew makes a welcome return to
international competition after a shoulder operation kept him off court for
eight months. The former British Open Champion and current world number
seven plays South African’s Jesse Engelbrecht in his opening match.
If successful, Matthew will face either Dutch number two Dylan Bennett
or seventh-seeded Columbian Miguel Angel Rodriguez in the quarter
Tournament promoter Tommy Berden is excited by the
support of the world's best players: "We are very happy with the entries we
secured. Naturally we would have liked it better if Natalie (Grinham) and
Vanessa (Atkinson) were drawn in opposite sides of the draw, but it ensures
that home interest will be high from early on.
"There will be plenty of top matches from the start and we
can look forward to an exciting week of squash," said the former four-time
Dutch Champion and world number 22.