Qualifying Finals (Wed
Sarah Kippax bt Ivy Pochoda 9-10, 9/2, 9/1, 9/1
Katie Patrick bt Tara Mullins 9/3, 9/6, 9/5
Judith Casbolt bt Carlin Wing 3/9, 9/4, 9/3, 9/2
Meredeth Quick bt
Nicolette Fernandes 9/0, 9/7, 10/9
Qualifying first round:
Sarah Kippax Bye
Ivy Pochoda bt Menuela Manetta, 9-2, 9-7, 9-5
Katie Patrick Bye
Tara Mullins Bye
Judith Casbolt bt Louisa Hall, 9-5, 3-9, 6-9, 9-2, 9-0
Carlin Wing Bye
Nicolette Fernandes bt Margaret Elias, 9-6, 9-0, 9-7
 Fiona Geaves (Eng) bt  Latasha Khan (Usa)
1/9, 9/2, 9/4, 9/2
 Shelley Kitchen (Nzl) bt  Jenny Tranfield (Eng)
9/7, 9/4, 10/9
Top Seeds to Contest Hyder Final
Alec Decker reports from NY
KHAN TESTS GEAVES
Latasha Khan took the first game over Fiona Geaves 9-1, and only lost 5
rallies in the process. It seemed that Geaves' quarterfinal 5 game
marathon with Lauren Briggs might have taken a lot out of her. Her shots
were loose and her feet appeared sluggish. Khan reeled off the final 5
points by cutting balls off and finishing points with commanding hard
and low volleys.
Khan quickly went up 1-0 in the second before it was apparent that
Geaves would not give in. Using the court to its fullest, she held her
shots so that Khan could anticipate very little. Khan and Geaves went
back and forth until 3-1 for Geaves, when they played a very long point
with Khan running corner to corner
virtually the entire rally. Khan appears to be in excellent condition,
but the point took something out of her and her hard volleys found the
tin where before they found the nick and she chose aggressive shots well
before she had previously. Geaves went from 3-1 to 7-1 and Khan never
challenged seriously again.
Khan went up 4-1 early in the third, but they were on exquisite nicks
which were not likely to become a staple part of her tactical game plan.
At 4-4 they exchanged serves 6 times before Geaves won the final 5
rallies to take the game 9-4.
Geaves was entirely in control in the 4th game, going up 2-0, 5-1, and
7-2 before a few handouts stalled the inevitable. Khan made every effort
and did not give up until the last point, but Geaves' shot selection and
deception were now entirely in control.
KITCHEN OUTLASTS TRANFIELD
Observers and players alike looked to this matchup to be one of the
best. With Fiona Geaves looking tired in her match against Lauren
Briggs, some thought this would essentially be the finals, with the
victor cruising past their opponent in the final. Geaves'
performance had indicated otherwise, but this was to be a clash of
athletic, hard-hitting ladies.
Tranfield began the match slowly, not taking control of points, letting
Kitchen hold the centre of the court for much of the first game. Kitchen
took advantage early and often, pinning Tranfield into the back of the
court only to finish points with crisp
straight drops. Kitchen was up 5-1 before Tranfield awoke and started
fighting back. The points became long, gruelling affairs with both
players taking the ball early, hitting for excellent length, and moving
exceptionally well to get the occasional boast and drop. Tranfield
fought her way to up 6-5 before she seemed to have a lapse in
concentration, and with both ladies breathing heavily from their
exertions, Kitchen moved ahead 8-6. Tranfield brought it back to within
one point before Kitchen took the game 9-7.
The second game started as an extension of the first, with Kitchen on
the offensive, controlling the middle, and Tranfield stretching to stay
in points. With only 1 handout, Kitchen went ahead 8-0 before Tranfield
made an effort to take over the 'T' and push Kitchen to the edges of the
court. She managed 4 excellent point in succession, ending points with
cut drop shots
and lengths for winners. But Kitchen was too far in front and too close
to her second game and a dominating lead to give up quickly. After 3
handouts in a row, Kitchen took the game 9-4 on a Tranfield tin.
The third game seemed to alternate the players' roles. After two points,
Kitchen seemed to lose focus and perhaps feel the results of the
previous two games' exertions. Tranfield took advantage and won a series
of quick points to go up 7-2 with only one handout. Despite the deficit,
Kitchen did not allow the game to slip away, fighting through 3 handouts
to get the score to 4-7.
All of the points were long now, with both players seeing that a shift
in momentum would be pivotal. Kitchen fought to 8-7 match-ball before
Tranfield increased the pace slightly and stretched Kitchen, who
appeared intensely focused but breathing heavily. At 8-8, Kitchen chose
set 2 and promptly
lost the first point, giving Tranfield her first game ball. But it was
not to be. The three final points were long and gruelling, with 2 lets
on the first point and 2 on the final point. At 9-9, Kitchen serving,
Tranfield laced a rail down the forehand which caught
the wall and travelled just to her right, as she leaped out of the way,
but Kitchen was immediately to her left with her racquet prepared, and
the stroke gave Kitchen the match.
Geaves tested by Briggs
Alec Decker reports from NY
The top four seeds progressed as expected, but not without one match
going the distance. Lauren Briggs used exceptional volley drops,
athletic gets, and a steady but high tempo to come back from 2-0 down in
games and down 8-5 match-ball against the number 1 seed, Fiona Geaves.
Geaves chose no-set at 8-8 and lost the point.
The recent champion at the Pittsburgh Invitational then controlled the
rallies all through the 4th game and stayed even with Geaves through the
first 12 rallies of the 5th before hitting the first of a string of
tins, which was uncharacteristic of her play to that time. The
reprieve from Briggs' unreleting pressure allowed Geaves to pull ahead
and finish the game and match with 4 straight points.
Geaves faces USA Nationals champion Latasha Khan in the
semi-finals, while Shelley Kitchen meets Jenny Tranfield,
as the second, third and fourth seeds all recorded 3-0 victories.
06-May, First Round:
Khan and Patrick win
North American duels
Alec Decker reports from NY
The top seeds duly progressed to the quarter-finals of the Hyder Open in
New York, with the main interest being in the two all-North American
The real battle of the day was between the two Canadians, Runa Reta and
Katie Patrick. It appeared as if the match could go either way at 8-8 in
the third, but after Katie won that game, Runa seemed to lose a step.
The match lasted 1 hour 4 minutes.
The anticipated rematch of Latasha Khan and Meredeth Quick was a fun
match, but Latasha had too many weapons working, and Meredeth seemed to
lose some bounce in her step mid-way through the first game, dropping 4
points in a row after grinding to 4-4. That was the last time it looked
like the match might be close.
Unkind draw for
US hopefuls ...
After final qualifying in New York, the
draw was unkind for the local hopefuls, with Meredith Quick drawn
to face Latasha Khan, the two Americans playing each other in a
rematch of the finals of the US National Championships in March.
The other qualifiers were Judith Casbolt, Katie Patrick and Sarah Kippax.
The Hyder Open, the longest continually-running 'softball' squash
tournament in North America, is upgraded for 2004 to a $13k event and
has attracted three world top twenty players to New York's Sports
Club/LA in early May.
England's Fiona Geaves is top seed, scheduled to meet New
Zealand's Shelley Kitchen in the final.
The Hyder Trophy Amateur events, due to run alongside the WISPA
tournament, have been rescheduled to the weekend of 04-06 June, to allow
more time to increase a disappointing original entry.