Monte Carlo Classic 2002
27-30 Nov 2002, Monte Carlo, Monaco, $18k

POHRER TAKES
BACK TO BACK TITLES

Final:
[1] Natalie Pohrer bt [2] Rebecca Macree 9/3, 9/5, 9/3  (31m)

Natalie Pohrer managed to win back to back WISPA Tour titles when she beat Rebecca Macree in the final of the Monte Carlo Classic, having won the Grasshopper Cup in Zurich last week.

25 year old Pohrer had husband Eddie with her, trying to keep her mind on the job during games. He looked as if he may have failed in the second as she fell 5/1 behind, but she regrouped, moved further up the court and volleyed her way back into the match.

From then on Macree remained competitive but found Pohrer in dominant mood as she claimed another title to add to her rapidly growing collection.

As Macree said I was pleased to get to the final, but Natalie was too strong for me

Pohrer, who like her opponent was celebrating her last WISPA tournament of the year, said: "It has been a great way to end 2002. Coming back this year has been really positive with only a few lapses. I think I will be up to three in the next WISPA ranking and my target for next year is to take out the top two!

"For now, I can't wait for the next two weeks in the sun in South Africa, with my racket left in my bag."


Semi-finals:
TOP TWO INTO MONACO FINAL

Top seed Natalie Pohrer, from the USA, will meet England's No2 seed Rebecca Macree in the final of the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic in Monaco.

Quarters:
MAYBE MY RANKING'S A BIT LOW!
Welsh qualifier Tegwen Malik maintained her giant-killing march in the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic when she upset Scotland's fourth seed Pamela Nimmo to reach the semi-finals in Monaco.

First Round:
MALIK'S COMEBACK CONTINUES
While the top seeds passed their first round tests in Monaco with flying colours, it was Wales' Tegwen
Malik who created the big upset of the night. BBC interview with Tegwen Malik


Natalie with the Trophy

Monte Carlo Classic 2002
27-30 Nov 2002, Monte Carlo, Monaco, 18k
1st Round
Wed 27th
Quarters
Thu 28th
Semis
Fri 29th 
Final
Sat 30th
[1] Natalie Pohrer (Usa)
9/2, 9/1, 9/0 (19m)
Wendy Maitland (Sco)
Natalie Pohrer
9/0, 9/1, 9/0 (18m)
Sharon Wee
Natalie Pohrer

9/7 9/0 9/0 (21m)

Suzanne Horner

Natalie Pohrer

 

9/3, 9/5, 9/3 (31m)

 

Rebecca Macree

Sharon Wee (Mas)
9/0, 9/4, 9/3 (25m)
Latasha Khan (Usa)
[3] Suzanne Horner (Eng)
9/0, 9/2, 9/0 (14m)
Janie Thacker (Eng)
Suzanne Horner
7/9, 9/1, 9/0, 9/10,  9/4 (47m)
Shelley Kitchen
[5] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)
5/9, 9/1, 9/2, 3/9, 9/1 (46m)
[Q] Vicky Lankester (Eng)
[6] Annelize Naude (Ned)
9/1, 9/0, 9/6 (24m)
[Q] Tegwen Malik (Wal)
Tegwen Malik
5/9, 10/8, 9/7, 9/3 (56m)
Pamela Nimmo
Tegwen Malik

9/7 3/9 9/2 9/4 (47m)

Rebecca Macree

[4] Pamela Nimmo (Sco)
5/9, 10/8, 9/4, 9/7 (47m)
[Q] Laura Lengthorn (Eng)
[7] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
w/o
[Q] Kim Hannes (Bel)
Isabelle Stoehr
9/1, 9/2, 3/9, 9/4 (41m)
Rebecca Macree
[2] Rebecca Macree (Eng)
9/5, 9/4, 9/3 (26m)
Shabana Khan (Usa)
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RESULTS & Reports
Final

Photos from Andrew Shelley in Monaco


POHRER TAKES
BACK-TO-BACK TITLES

Final:
[1] Natalie Pohrer bt [2] Rebecca Macree 9/3, 9/5, 9/3  (31m)

Natalie Pohrer managed to win back to back WISPA Tour titles when she beat Rebecca Macree in the final of the Monte Carlo Classic, having won the Grasshopper Cup in Zurich last week.

25 year old Pohrer had husband Eddie with her, trying to keep her mind on the job during games. He looked as if he may have failed in the second as she fell 5/1 behind, but she regrouped, moved further up the court and volleyed her way back into the match.

From then on Macree remained competitive but found Pohrer in dominant mood as she claimed another title to add to her rapidly growing collection.

As Macree said I was pleased to get to the final, but Natalie was too strong for me

Pohrer, who like her opponent was celebrating her last WISPA tournament of the year, said: "It has been a great way to end 2002. Coming back this year has been really positive with only a few lapses. I think I will be up to three in the next WISPA ranking and my target for next year is to take out the top two!

"For now, I can't wait for the next two weeks in the sun in South Africa, with my racket left in my bag."

     
The finalists ... Kitchen and the Pohrers at
the historic village of St Agnes

Semi-Finals

Photos from Andrew Shelley in Monaco

TOP TWO INTO MONACO FINAL

   [1] Natalie Pohrer bt [3] Suzanne Horner 9/7 9/0 9/0 (21m)
   [2] Rebecca
Macree bt [Q] Tegwen Malik 9/7 3/9 9/2 9/4 (47m)

Top seed Natalie Pohrer, from the USA, will meet England's No2 seed Rebecca Macree in the final of the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic in Monaco.

Macree, the 31-year-old world No10 from London, ended Welsh qualifier Tegwen Malik's giant-killing run in the $18,000 event with a 9-7 3-9 9-2 9-4 semi-final victory in 47 minutes.  The former Welsh champion, who has been out of action for almost three years nursing a mystery virus, toppled two seeds in Monte Carlo before coming unstuck against the rejuvenated Englishwoman.

"Lead me to a hot bath," said Malik as she came off court.  "I probably won't be able to crawl out of bed tomorrow, but it has been a great week. I really have enjoyed Monaco ... and the ranking points!" added the current world No 129.

It took just 21 minutes for Natalie Pohrer to overcome England's World Over-35 champion Suzanne Horner, the third seed, 9-7, 9-0, 9-0 in the other semi-final.  The veteran Englishwoman had been having treatment for a trapped neck muscle and was slightly impaired as a result.

Pohrer, the 25-year-old world No4 from St Louis, Missouri, who recently switched allegiance from England to USA, is enjoying a good run of form since reaching the World Open final at the beginning of the month and winning the Grasshopper Cup in Switzerland last week.

Pohrer beat Macree in the semi-finals in Zurich - and also faced the
Englishwoman in the finals of the first three WISPA World Tour events she won.

However, Macree faces their next clash with optimism:  "I played Natalie in Zurich last week and I think I learned a few things," said the underdog.


Vicky Lankester coaches Malik between games,
Wee, Naude and Pohrer visit
historic hilltop village of Eze
,
Nimmo and Pohrer pose in Monaco ...
 

Quarter-Finals

Photos from Andrew Shelley in Monaco


Sharon Wee looks for inspiration against an in-form Pohrer ...MAYBE MY RANKING'S A BIT LOW!
Welsh qualifier Tegwen Malik maintained her giant-killing march in the Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic when she upset Scotland's fourth seed Pamela Nimmo to reach the semi-finals in Monaco.

The former Welsh champion, laid low by a mystery virus which left her bedridden for several months and unable to walk, is competing in only her second WISPA World Tour event after almost three years out of action. 

After winning the Washington Open in Seattle, USA, last week, Tegwen trounced sixth-seeded Annelize Naude in the opening round in Monaco before fighting back from a game down to beat Pamela Nimmo, the world No16 from Edinburgh, 5-9 10-8 9-7 9-3 in 56 minutes.

Neat, trim and light about the court, Malik won a match featuring the drive and boast philosophy as she left Nimmo chasing too many rallies.  The Scot chastised herself regularly but was edged out by Malik, who said:  "My drops, especially on the backhand, were not working so I had to take her short another way.  I had to boast regularly.

"Maybe my WISPA ranking of 129 is a little low," joked the Welsh wizard after her quarter-final victory.

Malik now faces England's No2 seed Rebecca Macree who ended French interest in the event with a 9-1 9-2 3-9 9-4 win over 7th seed Isabelle Stoehr.

The other semi-final will feature USA's top seed Natalie Pohrer and England's third seed Suzanne Horner. 

Horner, the world Over-35 champion from Wakefield in Yorkshire, was taken the full distance by fifth-seeded New Zealander Shelley Kitchen before winning 7-9, 9-1, 9-0, 9-10, 9-4.  Horner, after bemoaning the missed match ball at 9-8 in the fourth ("why did my racket have to break then"), was quick to praise her opponent.  "Shelley is improving all the time and is a good prospect.  I was pleased to win tonight."

Pohrer simply outplayed Malaysia's Sharon Wee to win 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 in just 18 minutes.

Quarter-Finals:
[1] Natalie
Pohrer (Usa) bt Sharon Wee (Mas)  9/0, 9/1, 9/0 (18m)
[3] Suzanne Horner (Eng) bt [5] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)  7/9, 9/1, 9/0, 9/10, 9/4 (47m)
[Q] Tegwen Malik (Wal) bt [4] Pamela Nimmo (Sco)  5/9, 10/8, 9/7, 9/3 (56m)
[2] Rebecca Macree (Eng) bt [7] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)  9/1, 9/2, 3/9, 9/4 (41m)

 

First Round  


A delighted Tegwen Malik after her win ...BBC interview with Tegwen Malik
as she started her comeback

MALIK'S COMEBACK CONTINUES
While the top seeds passed their first round tests in Monaco with flying colours, it was Wales' Tegwen
Malik who created the big upset of the night.

Out of the WISPA tour for almost three years, initially troubled by a back injury, the 27 year-old former Welsh champion then suffered from 'fatigue syndrome' and made her comeback only last week, winning the Washington Open in Seattle.

Tonight's opponent, Annelize Naude, appeared slightly apprehensive and Malik never allowed her to settle as she stormed to victory in straight games 9/1, 9/0, 9/6 in 24 minutes.

"The long break wasn't enjoyable but it has done me good in several ways. My perspective has changed; I am focusing on different things and playing the way I want to play. It was emotional for me as I have had to wait a long time to play in a big WISPA event," commented a delighted Malik after the match.

Rebecca Macree - late arrival has her sights on the trophy ...She now faces Scotland's Pamela Nimmo in the quarter-finals, after the Scot recovered from losing the first game to beat English qualifier Laura Lengthorn 5/9, 10/8, 9/4, 9/7. 

Top seeds Natalie Pohrer and Rebecca Macree both scored straight games victories, Pohrer beating Wendy Maitland 9/2, 9/1, 9/0 while Macree beat Shabana Khan 9/5, 9/4, 9/3, and remain favourites to contest Saturday's final.

Macree suffered a frantic journey to Monaco, due to the cancellation of her flight yesterday, and arrived just two hours before she went onto court.

Where IS that girl, asks Suzanne Horner ...Third seed Suzanne Horner was also kept waiting, as Janie Thacker arrived just in time, only to suffer a 14-minute 9/0, 9/2, 9/0 beating at the hands of the O35 World Champion.

Round One:
[1] Natalie Pohrer (Usa) bt Wendy Maitland (Sco)  9/2, 9/1, 9/0 (19m)
Sharon Wee (Mas)  bt Latasha Khan (Usa)  9/0, 9/4, 9/3 (25m)
[3] Suzanne Horner (Eng) bt Janie Thacker (Eng)  9/0, 9/2, 9/0 (14m)
[5] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl) bt [Q] Vicky Lankester (Eng)  5/9, 9/1, 9/2, 3/9, 9/1 (46m)
[Q] Tegwen Malik (Wal) bt [6] Annelize Naude (Ned)  9/1, 9/0, 9/6 (24m)
[4] Pamela Nimmo (Sco) bt [Q] Laura Lengthorn (Eng)  5/9, 10/8, 9/4, 9/7 (47m)
[7] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra) bt [Q] Kim Hannes (Bel)  w/o
[2] Rebecca Macree (Eng) bt Shabana Khan (Usa)  9/5, 9/4, 9/3 (26m)

Qualifying  


Round 2
Lankester Bt Kollathova  9/0 9/0 9/0
Malik Bt Heal  9/2 9/2 9/1
Lengthorn Bt Castets  9/3 9/7 3/9 9/1
Hannes Bt Pasteris  7/9 9/3 9/1 9/0

Round 1
Vicky Lankester (Eng) (1) bt Chiara Ferrari (Ita)  9/1 9/1 9/1
Henrieta Kollathova (Svk) (5) bt Dagmar Vermeulen (Ned)  9/7 9/6 9/5
Tegwen Malik (Wal) bt Dana Betts (Usa) (3)  9/5 9/1 9/1
Caroline Heal (Eng) bt Soha Mohamed (Egy) (8)  walkover
Corinne Castets (Fra) (7) bt Margriet Huisman (Ned)  9/2 9/6 9/1
Laura Lengthorn (Eng) (4) bt Carlin Wing (Usa)  9/0 9/1 9/2
Sonia Pasteris (Ita) bt Milja Dorenbos (Ned) (6)  8/10 9/7 9/1 9/4
Kim Hannes (Bel) (2) bt Camilla Dora (Mon)  9/3 9/1 9/2

The Monte Carlo Classis is fast becoming one of the mainstays of the  WISPA tour, featuring a rich history and a fantastic venue.

A word from the President :

7 years, this is becoming a "Classic"!

The Monegasque Federation of Squash is very honoured to organize the Monte-Carlo Squash Classic 2002.

The Classic does indeed today stand up for its name, as this is the 7th 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.


Photos from the 2001 and 2000 Classics, from Andrew Shelley

Monte Carlo Classic 2001

Women's Monte Carlo Classic, Monaco, 21-24 Nov, $17k

Final:
[4] Cassie
Campion (Eng) bt [2] Fiona Geaves (Eng)   9/5 9/3 9/0  (32mins)

Champion Campion Hits The Jackpot In Monte Carlo
Fiona Greaves and Cassie Campion
1999 champion Cassie Campion beat the title holder Fiona Geaves 9-5 9-3 9-0 in a 32-minute all-English final of the Women's Monte Carlo Classic in Monaco to claim the 20th WISPA Tour title of her career.

Second seed Geaves, the world No6 from Gloucester, raced to a 5/0 lead in the opening game, but Campion then settled into a rhythm and did not allow her opponent to win a further point until the start of the second game as she reeled off several backhand volley drops that became an enduring feature of the match. Whilst Geaves continued to fight hard, the former world champion and world No1 from Norfolk maintained control of the match as she cruised to her fourth successive straight games win in the tournament.

"I've been working on getting onto the ball early and it seemed to work today," said world No7 Campion after her second Tour win since returning to the circuit following back surgery last November. "I just hope that I can keep the winning habit into next year!"

Geaves added: "Cassie didn't let me join her party. She was just too strong today."

Semi-finals:
[2] Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt [8] Natalie Grinham (AUS)     6-9 10-8 10-8 9-2 (52m)
[4] Cassie Campion (ENG) bt [1] Linda Charman-Smith (ENG)   10-8 9-1 9-3 (39m)

Q
uarter-Finals:
[2] Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt [7] Jenny Tranfield (ENG) 9/5 9/6 9/3  38m
[8] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt [3] Suzanne Horner (ENG) 9/7 9/7 9/4  36m
[4] Cassie Campion (ENG) bt [6] Rebecca Macree (ENG) 9/3 9/1 9/5  38m
[1] Linda Charman-Smith (ENG) bt [5] Vanessa Atkinson (NED)  6/9 9/5 9/1 9/4   46m

1st round:
[2] Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt Liz Irving (AUS)  9-4 10-9 7-9 9-6 (50m)
[7] Jenny Tranfield (ENG) bt [Q] Louise Crome (NZL) 10-8 9-3 9-1 (28m)
[3] Suzanne Horner (ENG) bt Nicol David (MAS)   6-9 9-7 9-1 10-8 (42m)
[8] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt Ellen Petersen (DEN)   9-4 6-0 ret. (15m)
[6] Rebecca Macree (ENG) bt [Q] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA)   9-5 8-10 9-3 9-0 (52m)
[4] Cassie Campion (ENG) bt Janie Thacker (ENG) 9-1 9-4 9-3 (22m)
[5] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [Q] Latasha Khan (USA)    9-5 10-8 9-3 (28m)
[1] Linda Charman-Smith (ENG) bt [Q] Helen Easton (ENG) 9-1 9-4 9-2 (24m)

Monte Carlo Classic 2000

Final:
[3] Fiona Geaves (Eng) bt [4] Stephanie Brind (Eng) ) 6-9 1-9 9-7 9-2 9-3

'MATURE' GEAVES CLINCHES
MONTE CARLO TITLE

Fiona Finally succeeds ... 
Andrew Shelley reports

England's Fiona Geaves fought back from 2-0 and 5-6 down to claim the $17,000 Women's Monte Carlo Squash Classic title for the first time after beating compatriot Stephanie Brind 6-9 1-9 9-7 9-2 9-3 in the 61-minute final in Monaco.

It was the world No10 from Gloucester's first WISPA World Tour title success for more than two years - and achieved just ten days after her 33rd birthday.

Furthermore, the final victory, watched enthusiastically by His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco, was against a lower-ranked opponent who was selected ahead of her by England for last month's World Team Championships.

"I didn't think that I would win when I was 2-0 down - I haven't felt that tired in a match for ages, but fortunately Steph made enough mistakes to help me through at the end," said the new Monte Carlo champion.

"I beat Steph last week, so the match was there to be won. The year couldn't have finished any better for this mature player!" added Geaves.

Semi-finals:
[3] Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt [1] Suzanne Horner (ENG)        9-3 5-9 9-3 2-9 9-7
[4] Stephanie Brind (ENG) bt [2] Rachael Grinham (AUS)    9-1 10-8 9-3

Quarter-finals:
[1] Suzanne Horner (ENG) bt [6] Natalie Grinham (AUS)    9-0 9-1 9-5
[3] Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt [7] Vicky Botwright (ENG)        9-7 9-2 9-7
[4] Stephanie Brind (ENG) bt [5] Pamela Nimmo (SCO)      9-5 8-10 9-4 9-1
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [8] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA)     9-6 9-6 9-7

1st round:
[1] Suzanne Horner (ENG) bt Lisa McKenna (SCO)       9-2 9-2 9-1
[6] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt Shabana Khan (USA)       9-0 9-2 9-4
[3] Fiona Geaves (ENG) bt Wendy Maitland (SCO)        9-0 6-9 9-4 9-0
[7] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt Cheryl Beaumont (ENG)    9-1 9-2 9-1
[5] Pamela Nimmo (SCO) bt Janie Thacker (ENG)         4-9 5-9 9-5 9-4 9-1
[4] Stephanie Brind (ENG) bt Elin Blikra (NOR)              9-1 9-6 9-7
[8] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) bt Kate Allison (ENG)              9-4 9-1 9-1
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Corinne Castets (FRA)     9-3 9-3 9-3

FIONA FINALLY SUCCEEDS
Andrew Shelley reports on the Monte Carlo Classic 2000

If the Monte Carlo Classic proved one thing it is that patience really is a virtue. Not only had Fiona Geaves played in each of the five Classics but also in the European Champion of Champions ’95 which preceded it. Now for the first time she left Monaco a winner.

Initial seeds progress in the Principality was as serene as the December weather. Fifth placed Pamela Nimmo, with boyfriend Del Harris on hand to support her between games, had a bumpy ride before finally emerging the winner against Janie Thacker. But then with the strong Englishwoman returning after a knee injury she always expected it to be hard.

Even the quarter finals went with seeding, although Nimmo herself made it difficult for 4th ranked Stephanie Brind before going down 3/1. That said, Vicky Botwright could have presented more problems for 3rd seed Geaves had she not developed a strong liking for the tin when ahead in the 1st and 3rd games.

The local squash enthusiasts were pleased to see French top player Isabelle Stoehr reaching the last eight, after evergreen Corinne Castets had bowed out to 2nd seed Rachael Grinham on day one. But she too was despatched by Grinham, whose languid style was not quite undone by Stoehrs’ combination of Gallic flair and conventionally strong accurate placement, and won on a flattering 3/0 scoreline.

After one of the event “trademark” social evenings with players that makes the event one of the most friendly and relaxed on the circuit – this time joining with the Federation committee over plates of pasta – it was back to the courts for the semi finals. It was in this round that the wheels of progress failed to rotate for the top two seeds.

Brind had not met Grinham on court for getting on for 3 years but clearly knew how to counteract what she called her opponents’ unique style. “I had to hit it hard as she likes it floated around” she said. “I stopped doing it for a while in the second game and nearly lost it”. That was at the point when the Australian had leapt to 8/3 up before being pegged back by more solid play in only one hand. The third game was easier and after 32 minutes Brind was through to an unexpected final 

The other semi between top seed Suzanne Horner and Geaves was a much longer see-sawing affair. After the first four games were shared Geaves raced to 8/2 up in the decider and looked for all the world to have beaten her 37 year old opponent. But then Geaves relaxed state allowed her to donate a handful of points to her grateful opponent. How often this happens.

Then with the score standing at 8/7 Geaves realised that the next rally would need to be longer. It certainly was.  Back and forth down the backhand wall upward of thirty times until a let was called. Then it was the same again until after something like 40 strokes Horner put an attempted cross court drop down and it was all over.

Tired after the 48 minute match, Geaves was enlivened to know that she would be playing the final in front of His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco.

The squash playing royal visitor couldn’t have wished for a better match. Both players clearly wanted the title badly and it showed. Initially it seemed certain that Brind, a member of the England team which won the world title in November would comfortably dispose of a player left out on age grounds, as indeed Horner had been. Brind was two games up after 27 minutes, and afterwards Geaves reported that at that point she did not think that she could win. However she tenaciously clawed her way back using great width, aided it must be said by an increasingly error-ridden response by Brind.

The 33 year old just kept going and going to eventually emerge as a 6/9 1/9 9/7 9/2 9/3 winner after 61 minutes. “I haven’t felt this tired playing a match in a long time” she exclaimed.

There was no hint of weariness when she returned to the court to receive the trophy and royal congratulations. The patience had finally been rewarded.

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