Fri 21st Nov, Semi-Finals:
 Linda Charman (Eng) bt  Stephanie
9/0, 9/0, 9/3 (26m)
Nicol David (Mas) bt  Fiona Geaves (Eng)
1/9, 9/2, 9/4, 7/9, 9/3 (54m)
Nicol's Monaco Mayhem
David continued to carve her way through the seeds with a third
one falling to her in the Monte Carlo Classic semis. This time it was
2000 champion Fiona Geaves who was despatched in another five game
Geaves started well, slowing the ball and generally controlling the
flow, but the stroll was not to last as David began to settle to the
task in the second. The cobwebs from the previous five setter with
Rebecca Macree had gone and she began to flow forward to the Geaves
drops. She was also dishing out lobs like the master she was playing
and was in sight of the winning post at 7/5 in the fourth before the
35 year old regrouped. Once she did errors started to creep back into
the Malaysian’s game and the match was tied.
But in the decider there was a moment at three all when the match
turned, as there had been the previous evening when she had been 5/1
down. Briskness returned, her expression changed and it was clear that
she had found a new gear. From then there was only one winner as
always has something up her sleeve so I really had to fight to stay
alive” said the elated Malaysian. “I am just pleased to be in the
final. Whatever it takes, two five setters, that’s okay,” she added
before disappearing to have a long hot shower.
The other semi was a nice gift wrapped 32nd birthday present for
Linda Charman. Opponent Stephanie Brind struggled to get to the
pace from the start and was diced in 26 minutes. A combination of not
believing in herself by the loser and a focussed performance by the
winner was all it took.
Charman was delighted to make the final at her fourth attempt in Monte
Carlo and attributed some of her progress to her quarter final win
over French woman Isabelle Stoehr.
“Because I had a fast attacking match with
Isabelle yesterday it set me up for today. I felt sharp, took the ball
early and made hardly any errors. I wish I could bottle the formula!”
she said afterwards. Meanwhile, a disconsolate Brind could only say
“She didn’t give me time to do anything today”.
Now to see whether the experience of Charman can nullify the tired
exuberance of youth.
Thu 20th Nov, Quarters:
 Linda Charman (ENG) bt  Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) 9/5, 10/9, 9/6 (60m)
 Stephanie Brind (ENG) bt [Q] Alison Waters (ENG) 9/3, 9/6, 9/2 (23m)
 Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt [Q] Laura Lengthorn (ENG) 9/0, 9/3, 9/5 (28m)
Nicol David (MAS) bt  Rebecca Macree (ENG) 9/4, 4/9, 9/7, 6/9, 9/5 (64m)
David dumps Macree in Monaco
English qualifiers Alison Waters and
Laura Lengthorn both lost to English opposition in the quarters, but
it was Malaysia's Nicol David who produced the result of the night to
prevent all-English semi-finals ...
The seed removing activities of the emerging English brigade was
halted in the quarter finals of the Monte Carlo Classic in Monaco when
the older English heads of Fiona Geaves and Stephanie Brind,
winner and runner up respectively in the 2000 event, both reached the
last four with comparative ease.
Geaves was simply too sharp and accurate at the front to allow Laura
Lengthorn into the match. Balls were dying just beyond the stretch of
the 20year old from Lancashire, the surprise winner against seventh
seed Sharon Wee the day before.
Even more surprisingly, Alison Waters had taken the larger scalp of
world junior champion Omneya Abdel Kawy in the first round, but was
now up against the more steady Brind. Too often an adventurous shot
from Waters found the tin, but she, like Lengthorn, can reflect on
gathering valuable WISPA ranking points that will take them closer to
the top thirty which they currently lie just outside.
Top seed Linda Charman needed to avoid defeat against French
hope Isabelle Stoehr to reach her third Classic semi final, and if any
player personifies steady, she does. Keeping the ball in the right
places, letting her opponent do the chasing and picking off the loose
ripostes are her trademark, and they didn’t let her down ...
After a strong start she found her squat Gallic opponent becoming more
of a handful as she started slotting in winners too. Stoehr raced to
7/1 & 8/4 in the second before serving out, Charman hitting three
dispiriting rolling nicks and several fiercely contested rallies
before eight all was reached. Charman took the game on a backwall nick
and Stoehr was bowed. The third was no easier as Stoehr herself staged
a comeback after settling down having lost a few early points. Charman
came through in exactly an hour; an extraordinarily lengthy three
“I expected to play a long match and was ready to go into a second
hour if necessary, but I needed to play more of the right shots”,
maintained Stoehr. “I didn’t want to leave the tournament so quickly”,
Similarly to the first round second seed Rebecca Macree dropped the
first game in the quarters; this time her opponent was Nicol David.
Again she settled though, battling against the superlative court
coverage of the Malaysian and comfortably took the second. However,
maybe the arrival via Hong Kong was taking its toll for as the rallies
lengthened in the third Macree started to blow while Duracell David
The pace was unrelenting in this battle royal and now David was
rampant and racing ahead in the fourth. Up 6/1 in double quick time
she seemed set to make the semis. But Macree found a little more,
David went short a little too early in a bid to close and the claw
back began. Eventually it was two all without David winning another
point. The decider saw the riproaring tussle continue. First Macree
went to 5/1, then it was David’s turn to fight back. She started to go
longer again and Macree was reeled in after 64 pulsating minutes.
Macree could only comment, “I should have won the third”, while David,
elated, said ”At 5/1 down in the last I thought, I don’t care, let’s
go for it!”
19-Nov, First Round:
English Qualifiers upset
the seeds in Monaco
While France’s Isabelle Stoehr was keeping home
hopes alive by employing her great facility to cut off drives into
front corners and nullify strong running Carla Khan, other seeds
didn’t find it so easy in the Monte Carlo Classic.
First, seventh seed Sharon Wee struggled against successful qualifier
Laura Lengthorn and a blocked nose which forced her to breathe
through her mouth. Lengthorn maintained a good length and her
concentration to sweep past her ailing opponent and into a telephone
booth to delay her return flight to England.
Meanwhile, second seed Rebecca Macree was also a little out of
sorts following winning the Buler Challenge
in Hong Kong at the weekend. Her play was a little erratic, her racket
grip causing her problems and requiring changes and her opponent was
playing rather too well for her liking. Australian Amelia Pittock was
exhibiting an exciting range of shotmaking, especially cutting across
court on the backhand. Indeed she reached 8/4 in third before
eventually losing the game. A little more experience will make her
even more dangerous than she is already.
Later the eighth seed Latasha Khan exited at the hands of the
resurgent Nicol David, despite making a promising start by
leading 8/3 in the first. As David buzzed better and closed in, the
American desperately tried to snatch the remaining point she needed
once eight all was reached but was unable to convert.
Annelize Naude, watched by her holidaying parents, was able to dent
the defences of third seed Stephanie Brind, but not to break
Top seed Linda Charman also ensured that ranking order was not
disturbed by comfortably beating Dominique Lloyd-Walter, but despite
only giving away three points she took 26 minutes to close the match
as Lloyd-Walter showed again that she has continued her improvement
Then it was Welshwoman Tegwen Malik’s turn to have a tilt at a seed.
Again, an opponent on the ropes, but Fiona Geaves was not to be
floored. The former champion had to save two game balls at the end of
the pulsating fourth game to prevent a decider being reached, winning
the fourth 10/8.
Finally, the evening was rounded off by the biggest shock of all.
Nobody would have predicted England’s qualifier Alison Waters
to upset world junior champion Omneya Abdel Kawy, but the fifth seed
was vanquished with some ease at the end. The Egyptian seemed to be at
odds with herself and unable to dominate; leaving the 20 year old to
do just that and claim a notable scalp.
into its 8th year
From the President of Monte Carlo Squash
8 years, this is becoming a "Classic"!
The Monegasque Federation of Squash is very honoured to organize the
Monte-Carlo Squash Classic 2003.
The Classic does indeed today stand up for its name, as this is the
8th consecutive year the best female squash players in the world meet
up in the Principality to compete for a title which is about to become
a "true classic".
We would like to thank all these champions for their loyalty and would
like to wish a warm welcome to all the new players.