Crome Shines In Vietnam
Vietnam Open 2008
Hanoi Club, Hanoi, 18-20 Mar, $8k
Louise Crome (Nzl)
9/3, 9/0, 9/1 (23m)
Josefa Bertilsson (Swe)
9-4, 9-6, 9-3 (41m)
9-7, 9-1, 9-7 (47m)
Donna Urquhart (Aus)
9/0, 9/0, 9/2 (19m)
Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn)
 Mami Nishio (Jpn)
Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn)
Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
7/9, 9/1, 9/1, 7/9, 10/8 (65m)
 Elise Ng (Hkg)
9-6, 9-7, 9-4 (36m)
Joshna Chinappa (Ind)
10/9, 9/7, 7/9, 9/7 (62m)
 Line Hansen (Den)
Crome Shines In Vietnam
Vietnam's first experience of professional squash drew to a highly
successful climax when New Zealander Louise Crome beat Joshna
Chinappa, from India, in the final of the inaugural Women's WISPA
Vietnam Open to win the second Tour title of her career in the
WISPA Premiere Series event at the Hanoi Club in the country's
capital city Hanoi.
The thirteenth most populous country in the world, Vietnam boasts over
85 million inhabitants. "Squash is so embryonic in the country that it is
without a national squash federation," commented WISPA Chief Executive
Andrew Shelley. "It hasn't been able to co-ordinate with the rest of
the international squash family. But this week has been a catalyst of
"A volunteer has been found and hopefully soon there will be a link to the
proactive Asian Squash Federation. With their help, WSF will soon have
another country on its books too," added Shelley.
Battle lines were drawn early on in the final - Crome opting for driving
mixed with attacking boasts, while Chinappa tried hard to find angles; to
stretch Crome at the front and then punch to the back.
The top-seeded Kiwi reached game ball first, a tight drop ultimately
securing the tight game for Crome. And fifth seed Chinappa made it too
easy for the Netherlands-based 29-year-old from Auckland in the second, as
Crome quickly extended her lead to 2/0.
But it was back to business for Chinappa, from Chennai, who led 6-5 in the
third. Crome reclaimed the advantage, but it was only on her third match
ball that the event favourite was able to win the point to clinch the
match 9-7, 9-1, 9-7 after 47 minutes.
"The first game was crucial," said the maiden Vietnam champion
afterwards. "Joshna was hitting great length and putting me in trouble at
the back. And although I squeezed it I knew I had to find my own length
"I'm going to KL in a good frame of mind and will be ready to get going in
the tournament there after two days
off," she added.
Crome & Chinappa Vie For
Victory In Vietnam
Top-seeded New Zealander Louise Crome and fifth seed Joshna Chinappa,
from India, will contest the final of the Women's WISPA Vietnam Open
after straight games wins in the semi-finals of the WISPA Premiere Series
squash event at the Hanoi Club in the Vietnam capital Hanoi.
Crome, from Auckland but currently based in Amsterdam, faced Australian
Donna Urquhart, the fourth seed from Yamba in New South Wales. Urquhart led
briefly in the second game, but it was Crome who had the upper hand throughout
most of the game, eventually winning 9-4, 9-6, 9-3 in 41 minutes.
"I played quite well in patches, but that was the problem, it was patchy," said
21-year-old Urquhart, a left-hander. "I started each game well but I wasn't
consistent enough. But Louise played really well tonight and had me under a lot
Crome, now celebrating her 10th WISPA World Tour final appearance,
was upbeat about her play. "That was one of the better matches I have played in
a little while. Not only is it the first time I have played her, but the first
Australian for a while. They hit it hard with intensity; and with Donna I had
to keep reminding myself all the way through that she was a left hander. But I
knew I really needed to be up for it today as Donna has had some good results
Whilst Crome has one Tour title to her name, her opponent in the Hanoi final has
yet to mount the winner's rostrum in a WISPA event. Joshna Chinappa, 21, from
Chennai, prevailed in the all-Indian semi-final against future star Dipika
Pallikal, the sixth seed who is just 16. Both have similar physiques, and
both have a languid manner, but only Chinappa really fired in the match.
Pallikal was slow from the blocks and seemed to realise that success was beyond
her despite getting fairly close. The teenager, also from Chennai, went down
9-6, 9-7, 9-4 - and afterwards admitted that her extended win over Elise Ng
in the previous round had affected her.
"I was really sore from yesterday so I couldn't push hard enough. But it was a
good week and I hope that it carries on in Malaysia at the next event," added
Chinappa, ever the perfectionist, was not entirely content: "I was happy that I
won but I wished I had closed it down earlier while I was leading."
The 2008 Vietnam Open - the first professional squash event to be staged in the
country - is the fifth tournament in the WISPA Premiere Series. Launched
with the Icelandair Group Classic in the Icelandic capital city of
Reykjavik in September 2007, the new series went on to stage the Colombo
Open in Lisbon, Portugal, in October, followed by the Iran Open in
the north western Iranian city of Rasht in November. January this year saw the
staging of the maiden Hangzhou China Open.
Hanoi Joy For Dipika & Joshna In Inaugural
Indians Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa scored notable
upsets in the quarter-finals of the Women's WISPA Vietnam Open at
the Hanoi Club in Hanoi to reach the semi-finals of the
maiden international squash championships to be staged in Vietnam.
"The national motto of Vietnam is 'Independence – Freedom – Happiness',"
said WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley, from Hanoi. "While all
eight quarter-finalists in the WISPA Vietnam Open could boast the first
two, only the four winners could claim a full house."
An Indian finalist was assured when sixth seed Dipika Pallikal
upset Hong Kong's No3 seed Elise Ng, and Joshna Chinappa,
the fifth seed, overcame second-seeded Dane Line Hansen in the
final two matches of the day.
Ng found the first game tough going against Indian number two Dipika
Pallikal, though edged home after a 19-minute battle. But 16-year-old
Pallikal, the British Junior Open Under 17 champion, came back to take the
next two games as the higher-ranked Ng seemed out of sorts.
But the Hong Kong player recovered from 4-7 down to win the fourth game
and draw level. Pallikal, however, came back from 0-5 down in the decider
to win 7-9, 9-1, 9-1, 7-9, 10-8 in 65 minutes.
After the match Ng revealed that she had felt unwell during stages of the
encounter: "During the second and third everything was moving 30%. My
head was strange. In the fourth I tried to rally but I thought I would
lose but I got it back again. Before the fifth I took some sugar but this
was the first time this has happened to me so I don’t know what it was,"
said the 27-year-old from Hong Kong.
It took Chinappa 62 minutes to set up the unexpected all-Indian semi-final
when - in her first WISPA World Tour meeting with Hansen - she beat
the second seed 10-9, 9-7, 7-9, 9-7 in a match of great intensity.
Earlier, the packed crowd of enthusiasts at the Hanoi Club were unable to
lift local heroine Josefa Bertilsson. The seventh-seeded Swede,
who recently came to Hanoi when her father's work brought the family to
the city, had a tough task to counter the top seed Louise Crome.
The Netherlands-based New Zealander went through in straight games as
she picked up on any loose shots and errors made under pressure by
Bertilsson, winning 9-3, 9-0, 9-1.
Crome will face fourth seed Donna Urquhart after the left-handed
Australian brushed aside improving 18-year-old Japanese Misaki
Kobayashi 9-0, 9-0, 9-2.