Kuala Lumpur Open 2003
11-16 Feb, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
$20k

 
WOMEN'S FINAL:
Carol Owens (Nzl) bt Natalie Grinham (Aus) 9-3, 9-0, 9-2

MEN'S FINAL:
Mohd Azlan Iskander (Mas) bt Tommy Berden (Ned) 15-10, 15-9, 3-15, 15-5

Day Six- Sat 16th
Azlan & Owens claim KL crowns
Alex Wan reports


Carol Owens of New Zealand landed her second KL Open in style, dropping only 5 points in her final match against Natalie Grinham of Australia. Grinham, who was hoping to continue her winning streak after 2 consecutive WISPA titles this year, ran her heart out chasing shot after shot. The score, however, doesn't reflect the quality of the match itself.

Though the score suggests otherwise, the match was a close affair marred with several questionable decisions by the referee. Credit shouldn't be taken away from Owens too, who produced a superb display of high quality squash, especially her killer volley drops, which caught Grinham several times.

Mohd Azlan Iskandar claimed his first PSA title after joining the tour 3 years ago today at the expense of Netherland's Tommy Berden, who had hopes to land his second KL Open like Owens. After winning the first 2 sets and sensing victory, Iskandar increased the pace of the game in the third, making erratic mistakes and practically giving the last few points away. In the fourth, he regained his composure and took things slow to stroll home to his first ever PSA title.

The match was again marred by several questionable calls, much to the frustration of Berden, who received two conduct warnings for ball abuse and time wasting. The Malaysian is clearly delighted with his win and now aims to reach the top 30 by the end of this year.
 



More details from
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Rachael and Natalie Grinham
Nats in KL

Kuala Lumpur Open 2003
MEN'S DRAW
1st Round
Thu 13th
Quarters
Fri 14th
Semis
Sat 15th
Final
Sun 16th
[1] Tommy Berden (Ned)
15-7,15-3, 15-5
Timothy Arnold (Mas)
Tommy Berden
15-8, 14-15, 15-1, 15-9 
Shamsul Islam Khan
Tommy Berden

8-15, 15-13, 15-3, 11-15, 15-10

Mike Corren

 

 

Tommy Berden

15-10, 15-9, 3-15, 15-5

Mohd Azlan Iskander

[7] Shamsul Islam Khan (Pak)
15-11, 15-9, 15-10
[Q] Dylan Bennett (Ned)
[3] Mike Corren (Aus)
17-14, 15-10, 17/15
Kenneth Low (Mas)
Mike Corren
15-8, 15-10, 12-15, 15-7 
Marcus Smith
[8] Marcus Smith (Aus)
15-11, 17-16, 15-4
Muhammad Ilyas (Pak)
[Q] Andre Holderegger (Sui)
7-15, 15-1, 15-3, 14-15, 15-?
[6] Cameron Pilley (Aus)
Cameron Pilley
15-9, 15-10, 8-15, 15-10
Cameron White
Cameron Pilley

17-14, 17-15, 17-14

Mohd Azlan Iskander

[Q] Marcus Yeap (Mas)
15-9, 15-7, 15-2
[4] Cameron White (Aus)
John Rooney (Wal)
15-10, 15-7, 9-6 rtd
[5] Gavin Jones (Wal)
Gavin Jones
15-8, 15-4, 15-5
Mohd Azlan Iskander
[Q] Kelvin Ho (Mas)
15-8, 15-8, 15-10
[2] Mohd Azlan Iskander (Mas)

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Kuala Lumpur Open 2003
WOMEN'S DRAW
1st Round
Thu 13th
Quarters
Fri 14th
Semis
Sat 15th
Final
Sun 16th
[1] Carol Owens (Nzl)
9-1, 9-1, 9-0
[Q] Mami Nishio (Jpn)
Carol Owens
9-1, 9-0, 9-2
Christina Mak
Carol Owens

9-4, 9-6, 9-7

Rebecca Chiu

Carol Owens

9-3, 9-0, 9-2

Natalie Grinham

 

 

 

[8] Christina Mak (Hkg)
9-1, 9-0, 9-0
Soha Mohamed (Egy)
[4] Rebecca Chiu (Hkg)
9-2, 9-1, 6-9, 10-8
Karen Kronemeyer (Ned)
Rebecca Chiu
9-5, 9-0, 9-4
Dianne Desira
[6] Dianne Desira (Aus)
6-9, 9-0, 9-3, 9-3
Triciah Chuah (Mas)
[5] Wendy Maitland (Sco)
0-9, 9-3, 9-0, 9-5
Farrah Sterne (Rsa)
Wendy Maitland
10-9, 9-3, 3-9, 2-9, 9-6 
Sharon Wee
Sharon Wee

9-1, 9-2, 9-1

Natalie Grinham

[3] Sharon Wee (Mas)
9-0, 9-1, 9-1
[Q] Miyuki Adachi (Jpn)
[7] Amelia Pittock (Aus)
9-3, 6-9, 5-9, 9-2, 9-4
Tegwen Malik (Wal)
Tegwen Malik
9-1, 9-6, 9-6
Natalie Grinham
[2] Natalie Grinham (Aus)
9-0, 9-1, 9-1
Elise Ng (Hkg)
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RESULTS & Reports
Final

 

WOMEN'S FINAL
Carol Owens (Nzl) bt Natalie Grinham (Aus) 9-3, 9-0, 9-2

MEN'S FINAL
Mohd Azlan Iskander (Mas) bt Tommy Berden (Ned) 15-10, 15-9, 3-15, 15-5

Day Six- Sat 16th
Azlan & Owens claim KL crowns
Alex Wan reports


Carol Owens of New Zealand landed her second KL Open in style, dropping only 5 points in her final match against Natalie Grinham of Australia. Grinham, who was hoping to continue her winning streak after 2 consecutive WISPA titles this year, ran her heart out chasing shot after shot. The score, however, doesn't reflect the quality of the match itself.

Though the score suggests otherwise, the match was a close affair marred with several questionable decisions by the referee. Credit shouldn't be taken away from Owens too, who produced a superb display of high quality squash, especially her killer volley drops, which caught Grinham several times.

Mohd Azlan Iskander claimed his first PSA title after joining the tour 3 years ago today at the expense of Netherland's Tommy Berden, who had hopes to land his second KL Open like Owens. After winning the first 2 sets and sensing victory, Iskander increased the pace of the game in the third, making erratic mistakes and practically giving the last few points away. In the fourth, he regained his composure and took things slow to stroll home to his first ever PSA title.

The match was again marred by several questionable calls, much to the frustration of Berden, who received two conduct warnings for ball abuse and time wasting. The Malaysian is clearly delighted with his win and now aims to reach the top 30 by the end of this year.

Semi-Finals  

Men face resistance, women breeze through
Alex Wan reports

MEN'S SEMI-FINALS:
Tommy Berden (Ned) bt Mike Corren (Aus) 8-15, 15-13, 15-3, 11-15, 15-10 
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (Mas) bt Cameron Pilley (Aus) 17-14, 17-15, 17-14

WOMEN'S SEMI-FINALS:
Carol Owens (Nzl) bt Rebecca Chiu (Hkg) 9-4, 9-6, 9-7 
Natalie Grinham (Aus) bt Sharon Wee (Mas) 9-, 9-2, 9-1

 After relatively easy matches in the early rounds for the top two men's seeds, they were each given a tough run for their money. The semi-final match between top seed Tommy Berden and Mike Corren stretched over 5 sets, after Corren levelled the score from 1-2 down. The end result favoured Corren after nearly 90 minutes on court. Corren, last year's KL Open champion, was clearly disappointed with his defeat. Azlan Iskandar, the local lass who is seeking to land his first PSA title on home soil, ended Australian Cameron Pilley's run with three closely contested sets, all of which were stretched to 17 points.

While the men's had some trouble in their respective semi-finals matches, Carol Owens and Natalie Grinham had an easy time in their semi-finals matches. Local interest in the women's section was ended by Natalie Grinham, the world no.10 who hails from Toowomba, Australia. Sharon was no match for the in-form Natalie Grinham, losing tamely 0-3. Carol Owens, the world no.2 disposed a determined Rebecca Chiu in the other semi-final with a 3-0 score. The crowd will be looking forward to tomorrow's final to see if Grinham can continue her giant killing run.

Quarter-Finals

 

WHITE THE ONLY SEED TO FALL
Alex Wan reports

Cameron White, the fourth seeded Australian, was the only seed to fall in the men's section, falling to Cameron Pilley, who had last night won a marathon five setter. Both top seed Tommy Berden and third seed Mike Corren were given a tough time by their opponents before winning 3-1, Berden by hard hitting Pakistani, Shamsul Islam Khan and Coren by fellow Aussie Duncan Walsh. Moh'd Azlan Iskandar had a relatively easy game in his 51-8, 15-4, 15-5 win over Welshman Gavin Jones.

All seeds in the women's section advanced with relatively one-sided matches. Top seeded Carol Owens dropped only 3 points in her win over Christina Mak of Hong Kong. Owens will face Asian Games champion Rebecca Chiu of Hong Kong in tomorrow's semi-finals. Natalie Grinham, the second seed ended Tegwen Malik's run with a 3-0 victory. Local lass Sharon Wee was stretched to the limit by Wendy Maitland of Scotland, winning the fifth 9-6, much to the relief of local supporters.

MEN'S QUARTER-FINALS
Tommy Berden (Ned) bt Shamsul Islam Khan (Pak) 15-8, 14-15, 15-1, 15-9 
Mike Corren (Aus) bt Marcus Smith (Aus) 15-8, 15-10, 12-15, 15-7 
Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Cameron White (Aus) 15-9, 15-10, 8-15, 15-10 
Mohd Azlan Iskandar (Mas) bt Gavin Jones (Wal) 15-8, 15-4, 15-5

WOMEN'S QUARTER-FINALS
Carol Owens (Nzl) bt Chritina Mak (Hkg) 9-1, 9-0, 9-2 
Rebecca Chiu (Hkg) bt Dianne Desira (Aus) 9-5, 9-0, 9-4 
Sharon Wee (Mas) bt Wendy Maitland (Sco) 10-9, 9-3, 3-9, 2-9, 9-6 
Natalie Grinham (Aus) bt Tegwen Malik (Wal) 9-1, 9-6, 9-6

First Round  
Seeds advance
Alex Wan reports
With the exception of Tegwen Malik coming back from 1-2 down to upset Amelia Pittock, all the other seeds advanced into the quarter-finals stage in both the menís and womenís event. The Welsh champion who chose KL over the National Championship, after winning the first game, dropped the next two before coming back strongly winning the last 2 sets in 2 and 4 to book her berth with second seed Natalie Grinham.

Other women seeds who faced some resistance in the first round were fourth seed Rebecca Chiu, fifth seed Wendy Maitland and sixth seed Dianne Desira, who dropped a set each against their gritty opponents. Top two seeds Carol Owens and Natalie Grinham had a breeze, dropping only 2 points each in demolition of their Asian opponents.

In the menís section, sixth seed Cameron Pilley of Australia suffered a scare when he was stretched to 5 sets by Swiss qualifier Andre Holderegger. Pilley next faces compatriot Cameron White in the quarter-finals, who ended qualifier Marcus Yeapís challenge. The match-up between defending champion Mike Corren and Kenneth Low in a repeat of last yearís final drew a large audience in the stands. Corren eventually overcame Low in 3 very closely contested sets. Top seeds Tommy Berden and Mohíd.Azlan Iskandar easily advanced with straight set wins over their Malaysian opponents in Timothy Arnold and Kelvin Ho respectively.

Round one report from The Star

Men's 1st round:
[1] Tommy Berden (NED) bt Timothy Arnold (MAS)  15-7, 15-3, 15-5
[7] Shamsul Islam Khan (PAK) bt [Q] Dylan Bennett (NED) 15-11, 15-9, 15-10
[3] Michael Corren (AUS) bt Kenneth Low (MAS)   17-14, 15-10, 17-15
[8] Marcus Smith (AUS) bt Muhammad Ilyas (PAK)  15-11, 17-16, 15-4
[6] Cameron Pilley (AUS) bt [Q] Andre Holderegger (SUI) 7-15, 15-1, 15-3, 15-14
[4] Cameron White (AUS) bt [Q] Marcus Yeap (MAS)    15-9, 15-7, 15-2
[5] Gavin Jones (WAL) bt John Rooney (IRL)  15-10, 15-7, 9-6 ret.
[2] Moh'd Azlan Iskandar (MAS) bt [Q] Kelvin Ho (MAS)   15-8, 15-8, 15-10

Women's 1st round:
[1] Carol Owens (NZL) bt [Q] Nami Nishio (JPN)  9-1, 9-1, 9-0
[8] Christina Mak (HKG) bt Soha Mohamed (EGY)   9-1, 9-0, 9-0
[4] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) bt Karen Kronemeyer (NED)    9-2, 9-1, 6-9, 10-8
[6] Dianne Desira (AUS) bt Tricia Chuah (MAS)   6-9, 9-0, 9-3, 9-3
[5] Wendy Maitland (SCO) bt Farrah Sterne (RSA) 0-9, 9-3, 9-0, 9-5
[3] Sharon Wee (MAS) bt [Q] Miyuki Adachi (JPN) 9-0, 9-1, 9-1
Tegwen Malik (WAL) bt [7] Amelia Pittock (AUS)  9-3, 6-9, 5-9, 9-2, 9-4
[2] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt Elise Ng (HKG) 9-0, 9-1, 9-1

Qualifying  

Day Two Ė 12 Feb
Locals shine in qualifying finals
Alex Wan reports
The final day of qualifying was filled with upsets in the menís section with local boys Kelvin Ho and Marcus Yeap turning the tables by beating the top two seeds in qualifying to make the main draw. Jargo Nardelli of England was simply outclassed by Kelvin while Marcus had to dig deep to come back from a set down to beat Greek Fabian Kalaitzis.

However, Kelvin was unlucky to be drawn against team mate, Mohíd. Azlan Iskandar in the first round, while Marcus will face fourth seed Cameron White of Australia. Dylan Bennett, the promising Dutchman who blazed the European Junior circuit, was in fiery form as he disposed the much higher ranked Mark Price of Australia in straight sets to earn a date with Pakistanís Shamsul Islam Khan. Swiss Andre Holderegger beat Duncan Walsh of Australia in the other match to earn a berth against Cameron Pilley of Australia.

In the womenís section, the top two qualifying seeds advanced, with Japanese Mami Nishio easily defeating local Yoke Wah Lim in less than 30 minutes. Delia Arnold, daughter of former Malaysian national champion Raymond Arnold, gave a good account of herself by fighting back from 0-2 down to bring her match to 2-2. However, experience won the match for Miyuki Adachi of Japan, who took the rubber 9-4. In the first round today, Nishio will face world no.2 Carol Owens while Adachi will have another Malaysian opponent in Sharon Wee.

MENíS QUALIFYING FINALS
Kelvin Ho (Mas) bt Jargo Nardelli (Eng) 15-12, 15-10, 15-8
Andre Holderegger (Sui) bt Duncan Walsh (Eng) 15-11, 15-6, 15-7
Dylan Bennett (Ned) bt Mark Price (Aus) 15-9, 15-12, 15-9
Marcus Yeap (Mas) bt Fabian Kalaitzis (Gre) 13-15, 15-11, 15-12, 15-0

WOMENíS QUALIFYING FINALS
Mami Nishio (Jpn) bt Yoke Wah Lim (Mas) 9-2, 9-4, 9-5
Miyuki Adachi (Jpn) bt Delia Arnold (Mas) 9-4, 10-9, 4-9, 1-9, 9-4

11 Feb - Day One
Malaysian Hopes look bleak in qualifying
Alex Wan reports

Additional local representation in the menís main draw looks bleak, with 4 of 6 crashing out in the qualifying opening round. Kelvin Ho and Marcus Yeap went through, but both face the top 2 qualifying seeds, Jargo Nardelli of England and Fabian Kalaitzis of Greece tomorrow. An interesting match to note in the qualifying finals tomorrow would be between Dylan Bennett, the fast rising Dutch junior, against Mark Price of Australia, the qualifying 3rd seed.

In the womenís section, local hopes Delia Arnold and Yoke Wah Lim scored upset wins. While Delia surprisingly won in straight sets over Sally Looi who gave a disappointing performance, Yoke Wah had to struggle in her match. Tomorrow, it will be a match up between Malaysia and Japan in both matches.

MENíS QUALIFYING FIRST ROUND
Kelvin Ho (Mas) bt Kapil Nesan (Mas) 15-17, 15-1, 15-8, 15-14
Andre Holderegger (Sui) bt Wai Hang Wong (Hkg) 15-6, 15-8, 15-12
Duncan Walsh (Eng) bt Mohd Nafzahizam (Mas) 15-2, 15-2, 15-6
Dylan Dennett (Ned) bt Fabian Faurillo (Mas) 15-2, 15-4, 15-2
Mark Price (Aus) bt Mohd Shahril (Mas) 15-1, 15-8, 13-15, 15-11
Marcus Yeap (Mas) bt. Takehide Hota (Jpn) 15-7, 9-15, 15-10, 15-10

WOMENíS QUALIFYING FIRST ROUND
Mami Nishio (Jpn) bt Nabilla Ariffin (Mas) 9-0, 9-7, 9-7
Yoke Wah Lim (Mas) bt Kozue Onizawa (Jpn) 7-9, 9-3, 9-5, 9-1
Delia Arnold (Mas) bt Sally Looi (Mas) 9-4, 9-5, 9-3
Miyuki Adachi (Jpn) bt Sahar Jasmina (Mas) 9-7, 9-1, 9-5

PREVIEW  


Event preview from Alex Wan

The KL Open Squash Championship, boasting a total of about $US 20,000 in prize money courtesy of the local city council, Mudajaya Corporation, Milo and Telekom Malaysia, will be held in conjunction with the Federal Territory Day celebrations. A PSA and WISPA sanctioned event, this event plays second fiddle only to the Malaysian Open in terms of status. Last year, Mike Corren powered past Kenneth Low for the title, while Nicol David had to dig deep before overcoming a gritty Ellen Petersen in a 55-minute battle.

World number 38 Tommy Berden of Netherlands will be the top seeded player in the menís section, with national number two Moh'd Azlan Iskandar seeded second. Berden will be squaring it off with top national junior Timothy Arnold in the opening round and is tipped to face last yearís winner Mike Corren in the semi final, who will play Kenneth Low in the opening round in a repeat of last yearís final.

Azlan, searching for his first PSA title, will have Welsh Gavin Jones in his way at the quarter final stage, and if he overcomes that, should face Cameron White of Scotland. Having not done particularly well on the PSA circuit last year, Azlan will be very determined to have his first title on home soil.

TThe women's section has attracted world no.2 Carol Owens of New Zealand to our shores. During her last trip here, she captured her first Malaysian Open and looks set to repeat her performance at the KL Open, which she won in 1999.. Owens is tipped to face fourth seeded Asian Champion, Rebecca Chiu of Hong Kong in the semi-finals, who prevented a clean sweep by Malaysia at the Busan Asian Games when she upstaged local squash darling Nicol David.

Seeded behind Owens is Australiaís Natalie Grinham, who most recently captured the Southport Open. Grinham will be looking to continue her good run of results, after her upsets over higher ranked players Natalie Pohrer and Rebecca Macree en route to her maiden WISPA title at the Marsh Maclennan Apawamis Open. Our very own Sharon Wee is seeded third and should be squaring it off with Grinham in the semi-finals, provided she overcomes Scotlandís Wendy Maitland in the quarters.

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2002 Event

Kuala Lumpur Open, 31-Jan to 03 Feb, Malaysia, $7k

Men's final:
[1] Mike Corren (AUS) bt [2] Kenneth Low (MAS)  15-6 15-11 15-12 (44m)

Women's final:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [2] Ellen Petersen (DEN)   9-2  9-7 8-10 9-4 (55m)

David & Corren Capture KL Titles
Australia's Mike Corren and Malaysia's world junior champion Nicol David, the top seeds, claimed the Rohas-Euco Kuala Lumpur Open Squash titles in Malaysia after victories over second-seeded opponents.

David, the 18-year-old world No16 from Penang, became the first person to win the KL Open title for a second time when she beat Denmark's Ellen Petersen 9-2 9-7 8-10 9-4 in the women's final in 55 minutes. It was the Asian champion's third appearance in the final, after reaching the 1999 climax as a qualifier, then capturing the title for the first time in 2000. 

Malaysian Kenneth Low was also enjoying his third time in the KL Open final, but was unable to repeat his 1999 success to make it a domestic double. Low went down 15-6 15-11 15-12 in the men's final in 44 minutes to Netherlands-based Aussie Mike Corren.

Men's semi-finals:
[1] Mike Corren (AUS) bt [3] Christian Drakenberg (SWE)  15-17 15-10 15-7 15-5
[2] Kenneth Low (MAS) bt [Q] Marcus Smith (AUS)     15-14 15-7 7-15 15-12

Women's semi-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG)    9-4 9-4 9-4
[2] Ellen Petersen (DEN) bt [7] Vicky Lankester (ENG)   9-5 9-1 9-3

Men's quarter-finals:
[1] Mike Corren (AUS) bt [7] Tony James (AUS)   15-6 17-14 15-12
[3] Christian Drakenberg (SWE) bt Hisham Ashour (EGY) 11-15 15-7 15-10 7-15 15-12
[Q] Marcus Smith (AUS) bt [5] Mark Price (AUS)  15-10 15-11 15-11
[2] Kenneth Low (MAS) bt [Q] Roman Tenant (FRA)  17-15 15-14 15-9

Women's quarter-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [6] Christina Mak (HKG)    9-3 9-1 9-0
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [8] Karen Morrissey (AUS)    9-6 9-1 9-3
[7] Vicky Lankester (ENG) bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG)   9-5 7-9 10-8 9-5
[2] Ellen Petersen (DEN) bt Louise Crome (NZL)  9-7 9-10 9-3 9-4

Men's 1st round:
[1] Mike Corren (AUS) bt Nathan L'Huillier (AUS)    15-5 15-5 15-3
[7] Tony James (AUS) bt Timothy Arnold (MAS)    15-12 15-12 17-16
[3] Christian Drakenberg (SWE) bt [Q] Kelvin Ho (MAS)   15-12 11-15 15-4 15-9
Hisham Moh'd Ashour (EGY) bt [8] Mark Ikin (AUS)    16-17 15-9 17-16 17-16
[5] Mark Price (AUS) bt [Q] Marcus Yeap (MAS)   15-2 15-12 15-6
[Q] Marcus Smith (AUS) bt [4] Gabor Marges (NED)    7-15 15-12 15-7 15-8
[Q] Roman Tenant (FRA) bt [6] Mubashir Gul (SIN)    15-11 15-7 15-11
[2] Kenneth Low (MAS) bt Paul Davis (AUS)   15-7 15-10 15-10

Women's 1st round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Chinatsu Matsui (JPN)   9-2 9-2 9-4
[6] Christina Mak (HKG) bt [Q] Lim Yoke Wah (MAS)   9-5 9-1 9-3
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [3] Sharon Wee (MAS)   6-9 0-9 9-3 9-1 9-0
[8] Karen Morrissey (AUS) bt Soha Mohamed (EGY)   9-0 9-0 9-0
[7] Vicky Lankester (ENG) bt Miyuki Adachi (JPN)    9-0 9-1 9-0
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) bt [4] Eman El Amir (EGY)  10-9 9-1 9-3
Louise Crome (NZL) bt [5] Tricia Chuah (MAS)    10-9 9-5 7-9 9-1
[2] Ellen Petersen (DEN) bt Elise Ng (HKG)  9-2 9-0 9-1

 

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