Nivea Body Irish Open 2004
15-18 Apr, Dublin, Ireland, $20k 

18-Apr, Final:
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned) bt [8] Jenny Tranfield (Eng)
10/8, 9/1, 9/3  (34m)

Atkinson Retains Irish Title
Gerry Callanan reports from Dublin

World number three Vanessa Atkinson retained her Nivea Body Irish Open title, beating surprise finalist Jenny Tranfield in straight games in the final at Dublin's Fitzwilliam LTC.

Tranfield got off to a great start, leading 8/0 in the first game, but Atkinson clawed her way back into contention, and put Tranfield under constant pressure as she recovered to take the game 10/8.

It was Atkinson who was dominant in the second, racing to 7/0 before taking the game 9/1, and then quickly finishing off the third as Tranfield struggled to keep up with the pace being set by the Dutch champion.

Full report

2003 Event


Nivea Body Irish Open 2004
1st Round
Thu 15th
Sat 17th
[1] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
9/7, 9/4, 9/0 (28m)
[Q] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng)
Vanessa Atkinson
9/4, 6/9, 9/2, 9/7 (43m)
Stephanie Brind
Vanessa Atkinson

9/2, 9/7, 1/9, 9/4 (43m)

Madeline Perry

Vanessa Atkinson

10/8, 9/1, 9/3  (34m)


Jenny Tranfield

[6] Stephanie Brind (Eng)
9/4, 9/7, 9/1 (40m)
Annelize Naude (Ned)
[4] Nicol David (Mas)
7/9, 10/8, 10/9, 7/9, 9/3 (85m)
Carla Khan (Pak)
Carla Khan
9/6, 10/8, 9/1 (37m)
Madeline Perry
[7] Madeline Perry (Irl)
9/4, 9/5, 7/9, 1/9, 9/7 (70m)
Alison Waters (Eng)
Sharon Wee (Mas)
7/9, 9/1, 9/2, 9/4 (51m)
[8] Jenny Tranfield (Eng)
Jenny Tranfield
9/2, 9/0, 9/0 (30m)
Dianne Desira
Jenny Tranfield

9/3, 9/0, 9/6

Natalie Grinham

[Q] Amelia Pittock (Aus)
9/6, 9/5, 9/2 (39m)
[LL] Dianne Desira (Aus)
[Q] Tegwen Malik (Wal)
8/10, 9/3, 10/8, 9/3 (63m)
[5] Rebecca Macree (Eng)
Rebecca Macree
9/3, 8/10, 9/6, 9/10, 9/7 (110m)
Natalie Grinham
[Q] Vicky Lankester (Eng)
9/7, 9/2, 9/1 (35m)
[2] Natalie Grinham (Aus)

Qualifying (Tue 13/Wed 14):

Qualifying Finals:
[1] Amelia Pittock (Aus) bt [6] Karen Kronemeyer (Ned)  9/4, 9/4, 9/2
[3] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng) bt [7] Runa Reta (Can)  9/2, 10/8, 6/9, 9/5
[4] Vicky Lankester (Eng) bt [8] Dianne Desira (Aus)   10/9, 9/7, 9/6
[2] Tegwen Malik (Wal) bt [5] Rebecca Botwright (Eng)   10/8, 9/6, 9/3

First Round:
[1] Amelia Pittock (Aus) bt Suzie Pierrepont (Eng)  9/4, 9/2, 9/2
[6] Karen Kronemeyer (Ned) bt Sarah Kippax (Eng)  9/2, 3/9, 9/4, 1/9, 9/7
[3] Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng) bt Tanya Owens (Irl) w/o
[7] Runa Reta (Can) bt Zoe Barr (Irl)  w/o
[8] Dianne Desira (Aus) bt Kasey Brown (Aus)  2/9, 9/6, 9/6, 9/2
[4] Vicky Lankester (Eng) bt Aisling Blake (Irl) 9/7, 9/4, 9/0
[5] Rebecca Botwright (Eng) bt Nicolette Fernandes (Guy)  10/8, 9/10, 9/4, 9/2
[2] Tegwen Malik (Wal) bt Laura Mylotte (Irl)  9/3, 9/0, 9/7

18-Apr, Final:
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.

Tranfield 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 15 minutes.

Tranfield came off the court looking very tired and, breathing heavily, she went back on seemingly not recovered from her exertions in the first.

Atkinson 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 minutes. 9-1

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.

17-Apr, Semi-Finals:
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


16-Apr, Quarter-Finals:
Perry goes through to Semis
Gerry Callanan reports from Dublin

Late 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 game.

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 9/6.

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 ...

Home 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 Irish Independent.

"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 bonus."

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 wins.

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 ...
Gerry Callanan reports

Madeline 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.

Nat in Dublin:
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 Finals:
Qualifying Complete in Dublin
Wales' 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 last year.
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.

Tegwen MalikMalik Shows her Class
Gerry Callanan reports

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 9-3.

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
2003 Event

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.

Atkinson aims to 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.