Atkinson retains Irish Title
Gerry Callanan reports from Dublin
Vanessa Atkinson retained her Irish
Women’s Open Title at Fitzwilliam this afternoon with a commanding
performance. It took Atkinson, the no 1 seed and world no 3 just, 34
minutes to beat Jenny Tranfield the number 8 seed 3-0.
got off to a great start to go 8-0 up in the first game, forcing the
pace and not letting Atkinson get into a rhythm. Atkinson eventually got
her first score with a quick two wall boast that showed up Tranfield's
relatively poor movement around the court. Atkinson clawed her way back
to 4-8 and a good cross court drop saw her go to 5-8. Tranfield was by
now having to cover every inch of the court to stay in contention and
seemed to be under constant pressure when she failed to get another
boast up. Atkinson got a lucky bounce to get to 7-8 and followed up by a
short kill into the nick to level the game at 8-8.
Atkinson again used her very good cross court drop to get to 9-8 and
game ball, and a superb piece of retrieving saw Atkinson get the chance
to finish off the game with a straight forehand drop to win the game in
Tranfield came off the court looking very tired and, breathing heavily,
she went back on seemingly not recovered from her exertions in the
picked up where she left off in the first game, exposing Tranfield's
uneconomical movement and with a series of great volley drops and cross
court drops built up a lead of 7-0. Atkinson now looked in a different
class to Tranfield, ranked 17 in the world. Atkinson was using every
inch of the court and another cross court drop saw her go 8-1 up.
Atkinson then played another short kill to win the second game in 9
The third game proved a one sided affair with Atkinson quickly building
up a 7-3 lead while Tranfield struggled to keep up with the fast pace.
Atkinson then played another volley drop to gain match ball, however
Tranfield played a good cross court drop to serve at 3-8 but then made
an unforced error into the tin.
Atkinson went back to basics for the final point of the match, pinning
Tranfield to the back of the court with great length which eventually
produced an error to give Atkinson the title in 34 minutes.
Atkinson now travels back to her base in Holland for a few days training
before she travels on to the lucrative
WISPA Grand Prix
Finals in Qatar next week.
Perry Bows Out in Style
Gerry Callanan reports from Dublin
Madeline Perry, the Irish No 1 lost in a tight four setter to last years
winner Vanessa Atkinson, the World no 3, in 43 minutes.
Both players started the first game tentatively with a number of
unforced errors. Atkinson was first to settle playing controlled squash
and seemed comfortable to wait until Perry either made an error or left
her an easy opening. Atkinson with a combination of tight volley drops
and quick low boasts looked to be playing well within herself and won
the game 9-2.
In the second game Atkinson raced into 4-0 lead but Perry fought back to
4-3 with some good cross court drops. Atkinson again played the waiting
game and Perry made a number of unforced errors to let Atkinson get to a
6-5 lead. Perry then played some excellent length to get back to 6-6
Atkinson then brought her full array of shots into play and with a
number of great drops and volley drops went on to win the game 9-7
In the third game Perry won a one sided affair with Atkinson losing
concentration and making 7 unforced errors and Perry playing her by now
trademark court drop to great effect
In the Fourth game Atkinson got back in the zone and even though Perry
played some great squash to go 4-2 up Atkinson never looked in trouble
and got to 6-4 up in one hand with two good drops and two errors from
Perry. Atkinson then made an unforced error to let Perry serve however
two quick drops saw Atkinson go to a 7-4 lead and in the next rally she
seemed to pull up as if she was hurt however Perry was not done and a
good cross court drop brought her in to serve again. Atkinson then
played another drop to serve for the match. Perry now tired made an
unforced error to let Atkinson through to her second Irish Open Final,
this time against Jenny Tranfield.
In the first semi final of the night the Natalie Grinham lost in three
games to Jenny Tranfield, the number 8 seed from England. Grinham looked
sluggish from the start after her quarter final match last night which
lasted nearly two hours and lost the first game 9-3 in the second she
faired even worse losing 9-0 with Tranfield looking very focused and
playing good tight length.
In the third game Grinham started to fight back after going 5-0 down
however she still was not hitting the ball as cleanly as she would
normally and seem to have no confidence in her game at all. Grinham and
Tranfield collided at the front of the court and Tranfield came off the
worse having got a bad bang on the hip. Grinham started to get better
length and width and got to 5-5 in one hand with the help of a stroke.
Tranfield battled and got back in to serve and win the next point with a
good drop . The match then started to get scrappy as both players
struggled to get out of one another’s way. Grinham started to vary her
pace and length in the next couple of rallies and got back to 6-6 with a
good cross court drop. Grinham then fell trying to retrieve a tight
forehand drop and now looked a spent force.
Grinham then mad a bad mistake hitting the ball down and letting
Tranfield serve for the match, Tranfield only need one chance to close
out the match and go through to tomorrow's final against Atkinson which
will be played at 2.30 pm at Fitzwilliam
Perry goes through
Callanan reports from Dublin
last night main attraction at the NIVEA Irish Women’s Open in
Fitzwilliam was the match between Madeline Perry and Carla
Khan – which Madeline won in straight games. However, the match of
the night was the opener between Natalie Grinham and Rebecca
Macree with Grinham winning in five games.
Perry began the match nervously going 3-0 down in the first but settled
in and began to hit some penetrating lengths which had Carla scrambling
to retrieve. As the game progressed Madeline started varying her game
with the use of quick boasts from half-court bringing Carla to the
front. This tactic paid dividends, not only on the scoreboard, but on
the stamina of Carla, who visibly tired towards the end of the first
Madeline maintained the ferocious pace for the opening five minutes of
the second and deservedly led 8-1 before a loss of concentration –
coupled with a loss of length – dissipated her lead and Carla drew level
at 8-8. Having regained hand-in the vociferous support of the crowd
seemed to help Madeline ref-focus and win the game 10-8.
In the third set Carla, who battled hard and never threw in the towel,
was unable to maintain the pace set by Madeline and after nine minutes a
semi-final place was secured 9-1.
Watching the first game between Natalie Grinham and Rebecca Macree one
could never imagine the drama that would unfold. This match was pure
entertainment. High quality rallies interspersed with many unforced
errors and – in the latter games – as the girls tired, many appeals for
lets and strokes.
Natalie took the first game comfortably using her superior mobility to
punish Rebecca who contributed to her own first game loss with a series
of unforced tins. The game ended 9/3.
The second game was when the match ignited with the quality of the
squash improving with each rally. Rebecca used the cross-court lob to
the backhand of her smaller opponent very effectively and weak returns
from Natalie resulted in her being out of position and constantly
punished in the front of the court. At 8/8 Rebecca was the more composed
and won 10/8.
The middle of the third saw Rebecca visibly tire and Natalie was able to
dominate the “T” and reeled off a series of winners to take the game
The spectators thought that the fourth would see Natalie win comfortably
– but Rebecca had not read the script. She was behind for the majority
of the game but her determination and self-belief kept her in the game.
At 9-9 Natalie had three match balls and each of these rallies had the
crowd gasping. Both girls were now playing with intensity and no quarter
was given. Rebecca won the fourth 10/9.
The tension was high early in the fifth with the players, and the crowd
involved in every decision made by the referee, Tony Parker. Early in
this game he gave four “no let” decisions against Rebecca resulting in
Natalie taking a 5/0 lead. Natalie had regained her concentration and
looked like closing out the game comfortably. However, Rebecca again dug
deep and played several winning shots to close the gap. But at this
stage Natalie was in control and closed out the game 9-7 after 110
minutes of play.
In the other two quarter finals Jenny Tranfield easily beat the
lucky loser Dianne Desira 3/0 and Vanessa Atkinson beat the
number six seed Stephanie Brind 3/1 after dropping the second game.
15-Apr, Round ONE:
Perry keeps Irish Eyes
smiling in Dublin ...
hopes were kept alive at Dublin's Fitzwilliam LTC as Irish number one
Madeline Perry survived a five-game challenge against England's
Alison Waters to reach the quarter-finals.
"I thought I had the match under control when I went two games up, but
then I started to lose my way, even though I was encouraged by the fact
that I battled back from 3-8 to 7-8 in the fourth game," Perry told the
"But the fourth game was an absolute disaster for me, and I just managed
to squeeze through on the fifth. I was very nervous and I felt under a
lot of pressure because of the fact that I was expected to win
comfortably. But now I can relax and anything from here on will be a
Perry now meets Pakistan's Carla Khan, who also needed five games
to score an upset win over Malaysia's Nicol David. Khan took two
tie-break games in an 85-minute thriller to record one of her finest
Welsh hopes ended as Tegwen Malik lost a close-fought battle with
Rebecca Macree for the second year running, while top seeds
Vanessa Atkinson and Natalie Grinham both cruised to straight
games victories. Defending champion Atkinson now meets England's
Stephanie Brind while Grinham faces Macree.
Australia's Lucky Loser Dianne Desira progressed into the
quarter-finals, beating fellow Australian qualifier Amelia Pittock in
straight games. Desira meets England's eighth Jenny Tranfield in
the quarters after Tranfield recovered from a first game loss to beat
Malaysia's Sharon Wee.
Perry comes through at Fitzwilliam
but David goes out to Khan ...
Perry, the Irish no 1, tonight came through a tough five setter to
win 9-4 9-5 7-9 1-9 9-7 against Alison Walters. Perry got off too a
great start playing aggressive squash, however in the third game she
seemed to get nervous and made a string of tactical errors playing,
Walters into the match. In the fourth Perry made a string of unforced
errors to lose it 9-1.
In the final game both girls tired and were impeding one another
throughout. Perry struggled to a 7-5 lead and Walters got a bad no let
decision to go 5-8 and match ball down.
Perry made a couple of mistakes to let Walters back in to 7-8, then
Walters made two mistake to give Perry the match and a place in the
second round against Carla Khan who caused a big upset when she
beat Nicol David, the number 4 seed and world no 8, in a marathon five
setter which took an hour and twenty five minutes.
The no 1 seed and holder of the title
Vanessa Atkinson beat Dominique Lloyd-Walter 9-7 9-4 9-0.
Natalie Grinham reports
Tonight I played fairly average. In the first game the ball was
flying and I found it really hard to control, then half way through the
second game the ball just died which is when I started to play better
and Vicky started to make a lot of errors.
Two of tonight's matches were very close, Madeline Perry vs Alison
Waters (which I didn't see), and Nicol David vs Carla Khan... this match
was the most physical match of the night. Nicol who covers a lot of
court not only had to chase the ball but also run around her opponent
who was continually in her path. The referee made a lot of terrible
decisions, and one very important one on game ball at 9-all in the third
which took Carla up 2-1.
The only other upset of the night was in an all-Aussie clash where
'lucky loser' Dianne Desira made up for her loss in the final round of
qualifying by beating compatriot Amelia Pittock 3-0.
Qualifying Complete in Dublin
Tegwen Malik beat
England's Rebecca Botwright, world ranked 38, in three games in the
qualifying finals at Dublin's Fitzwilliam club to set up a repeat match
with Rebecca Macree in the first round, where Malik ran Macree close
England has two qualifiers in
Dominique Lloyd-Walter and Vicky Lankester, who play top
seeds Vanessa Atkinson and Natalie Grinham respectively.
Linda Charman, the number 3 seed has
withdrawn, with a back injury and her place in the main draw will be
taken Dianne Desira as the 'Lucky Loser' from qualifying. Desira
will play fellow-qualifier and Australian Amelia Pittock. Charman
injured her back in Houston and has withdrawn in the hope of being fit
for the Grand Prix
finals next week.
Shows her Class
Tegwen Malik, the Welsh No 1 and World No 28, was slow to start and
was 3-7 down against world no 38 Rebecca Botwright before she got into
her stride. The more experienced Malik forced a couple of mistakes
from Botwright and then levelled at 7 all with a forehand kill into
the nick. Both players then played a series of loose shots leading to
4 lets in as many points. Botwright then got to game ball as Malik
made an unforced error into the tin. Malik then showed why she is
considered so dangerous and hit two nicks in a row to hold game ball
which she won on a stroke.
Malik came out a different player in the second set using all the
shots in her extensive armoury and quickly got to 5-2 lead with a
series of low boasts and drop shots. Botwright fought back to 5-6 down
but Malik then upped the pace and won the second set 9-6. The Third
set was one sided as Malik was in full flight going out the winner
Malik afterwards said she was looking forward to playing Rebecca
Macree in a repeat of last year's first round clash when she ran the
world No 9 so close
Round one session one starts at 2.00pm Thursday with the second
session at 7.00pm with Ireland No 1 Madeline Perry the world no 16
playing Alison Walters (Eng) World No 24 at 7.45pm. Tickets
available at the Door, 10 euro.
retain Irish Title
The second WISPA Irish Open takes place at Dublin's Fitzwilliam Club
from 15-18 April, with world number three and defending champion
Vanessa Atkinson top seed.
Atkinson scored 3/2 wins in last year's quarters, semis and final, a win
which started her rise into the upper echelons of the women's game.