Hyder Trophy 2004
06-09 May, Sports Club/LA, New York, USA, $13k 

09-May, FINAL:

[2] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl) bt [1] Fiona Geaves (Eng)
      8/10, 6/9, 9-0, 9-1, 9-3

Kitchen Comeback
Clinches Hyder Trophy

Alec Decker reports from NY

Shelley Kitchen began the first game of the final of the Hyder Women's Open against world #7 Fiona Geaves trying to jump on every ball, trying to cut everything off, and keeping the pace very high. Geaves used this aggression, holding her shots and making kitchen run twice for virtually every ball. After 6 rallies, Geaves was up 4-0, and Kitchen was frustrated by the slow pace and deliberate play. But Kitchen would not give up the first game easily, and at 3-6 she staged a comeback. Picking up Geaves' delicate drops and artfully placed lobs for length, Kitchen fought to game-ball at 8-6 before turning over the serve. Geaves reasserted her control of the court, stretching Kitchen with drops and length for winners. Kitchen chose set 2 at 8-8 and took the first rally, but Geaves took it right back and ran out the game with Kitchen scrambling the entire way.

Kitchen again had opportunities in the second game, moving out to a 6-3 lead characterized by Kitchen retrieving Geaves' brilliant drops and boasts. Kitchen appeared to be determined to pull the match even, but Geaves would not give in, pulling to a lead at 7-6. After a hand-out, Geaves scored again for a game-ball, which Kitchen battled through, but Geaves' shots were too much for Kitchen, taking the game 9-6.

At the beginning of the third game, the cheering from the crowd of spectators indicated a significant section for Kitchen, or at least an extended match beyond 3 games. The cheering had very little chance to build any momentum as Kitchen stepped forward and drilled deep rails and volley drops that Geaves could not put her racquet on. Geaves earned a handout after the 5th rally, but that would be her only handout of the game, with Kitchen dominating the entire way.

Game 4 was much of the same, with Geaves only taking 4 rallies and 1 point. Geaves was perceptibly trying to work out a new strategy, as Kitchen was retrieving everything that didn't nick, and keeping the torrid pace the entire game.

Game 5 was an exciting culmination of the match, and the tournament. Both players put out their maximum effort, with Geaves in particular upping her pace and retrieving well throughout. The first 5 rallies were back and forth, with Kitchen finally extending to a 2-0 lead. Geaves then slowed the pace again, ticking off 4 rallies and scoring for a 3-2 lead, but Kitchen would not sit back and allow Geaves to re-take the initiative. Despite Geaves' best effort, Kitchen executed hard volley drops and punishing length to run off 5 points. Geaves earned one more handout, and with her shot-making ability, nobody watching thought it was over, but Kitchen wanted her first win in 3 years badly, getting all of Geaves' shots and avoiding an errors.

Kitchen pumped her fist with a great smile as she reached 9-3 to become the 2004 Hyder Women's Open Champion.

2003 Event


Shelley Kitchen
with the Hyder Trophy

Hyder Open 2004
1st Round
Thu 6th
Sat 8th
[1] Fiona Geaves (Eng)
9/3, 9/4, 9/2
[Q] Judith Casbolt (Nzl)
Fiona Geaves
9/2, 9/7, 8/9, 5/9, 9/5
Lauren Briggs
Fiona Geaves

1/9, 9/2, 9/4, 9/2

 Latasha Khan

Fiona Geaves

8/10, 6/9, 9-0,
9-1, 9-3


Shelley Kitchen

[6] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
9/3, 2/9, 9/7, 9/2
Lauren Briggs (Eng)
[4] Latasha Khan (Usa)
9/5, 9/1, 9/3
[Q] Meredith Quick (Usa)
 Latasha Khan
9/2, 9/1, 9/1
Katie Patrick
[8] Runa Reta (Can)
6/9, 9/1, 10/8, 9/2
[Q] Katie Patrick (Can)
Melissa Martin (Aus)
9/5, 3/9, 9/1, 9/7
[5] Carla Khan (Pak)
Carla Khan
9/2, 9/2, 9/4
Jenny Tranfield
Jenny Tranfield

9/7, 9/4, 10/9

Shelley Kitchen

Line Hansen (Den)
9/1, 9/0, 9/0
[3] Jenny Tranfield (Eng)
Becky Botwright (Eng)
9/4, 9/2, 9/5
Tamsyn Leevey (Nzl)
Tamsyn Leevey
9/3, 9/5, 9/2
Shelley Kitchen
[Q] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
9/0, 9/0, 9/4
[2] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl)


Qualifying Finals (Wed 5th):
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

08-May, Semi-Finals:
[1] Fiona Geaves (Eng) bt [4] Latasha Khan (Usa)
      1/9, 9/2, 9/4, 9/2
[2] Shelley Kitchen (Nzl) bt [3] Jenny Tranfield (Eng)
      9/7, 9/4, 10/9

Top Seeds to Contest Hyder Final
Alec Decker reports from NY

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.

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.

07-May, Quarters:
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 matches.

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.