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Natalie Grinham & Thierry Lincou Win European Titles

European Individual Closed Championships
- 30 May, Herentals, Belgium
Men's Draw

Round One
  27 May
Round Two
28 May
28 May
29 May
30 May
[1] Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
11/3, 11/2, 11/6 (16m)
Valery Litvinko (Rus)
Gregory Gaultier
11/4, 11/2, 11/8 (31m)
Rasmus Nielsen
Gregory Gaultier
11/4, 7/11, 11/4, 11/6 (51m)
Adrian Grant
Gregory Gaultier
5-11, 11-8, 11-1, 11-9 (67m)
Laurens Jan Anjema
Gregory Gaultier
12-10, 8-3 ret. (35m)
Thierry Lincou
[9/16] Rasmus Nielsen (Den)
11/4, 13/11, 11/3 (31m)
Petr Martin (Cze)
[5/8] Adrian Grant (Eng)
11/2, 11/3, 11/4 (22m)
Miroslav Celler (Svk)
Adrian Grant
11/9, 11/6, 11/5 (38m)
Dylan Bennett
[9/16] Dylan Bennett (Ned)
5/11, 11/8, 11/5, 6/11, 11/7 (54m)
Andrea Torricini (Ita)
[5/8] Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned)
11/3, 11/3, 11/8 (27m)
Mark Andrew Burke (Bel)
Laurens Jan Anjema
11/7, 11/6, 11/4 (38m)
Simon Rosner
Laurens Jan Anjema
11/6, 9/11, 11/2, 11/2 (57m)
Peter Barker
[9/16] Simon Rosner (Ger)
13/11, 11/8, 11/3 (30m)
Marek Manik (Svk)
[9/16] Rene Mijs (Ned)
11/4, 11/2, 11/8 (19m)
Kostyantyn Rybalchenko (Ukr)
Rene Mijs
11/4, 11/7, 11/5 (33m)
Peter Barker
[3/4] Peter Barker (Eng)
11/3, 11/4, 11/4 (32m)
Alexandre Benassi (Bel)
[3/4] Thierry Lincou (Fra)
11/6, 11/5, 11/3 (14m)
Stefaan Vereecke (Bel)
Thierry Lincou
11/5, 11/2, 11/8 (25m)
Kristian Frost Olesen
Thierry Lincou
11/7, 11/5, 11/1 (39m)
Borja Golan
Thierry Lincou
6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 (65m)
Nick Matthew
[9/16] Kristian Frost Olesen (Den)
12/10, 11/6, 11/4 (37m)
Lukas Jelinek (Cze)
[5/8] Borja Golan (Esp)
11/7, 11/7, 11/1 (36m)
Rusian Sorochynskvi (Ukr)
Borja Golan
12/10, 11/6, 12/10 (45m)
Piedro Schweertman
[9/16] Piedro Schweertman (Ned)
11/4, 11/1, 11/9 (31m)
Marton Szaboky (Hun)
[5/8] Renan Lavigne (Fra)
11/3, 11/4, 11/6 (23m)
Alexei Severinov (Rus)
Renan Lavigne
11/6, 7/11, 11/4, 11/5 (51m)
ose Facchini
Renan Lavigne
11/4, 11/5, 15/13 (49m)
Nick Matthew
[9/16] Jose Facchini (Ita)
11/3, 11/4, 11/5 (31m)
Sam van Brusselen (Bel)
[9/16] Aqeel Rehman (Aut)
7/11, 9/11, 11/3, 11/8, 11/5 (64m)
Carl-Johan Lofvenborg (Swe)
Aqeel Rehman
11/8, 11/1, 11/8 (40m)
Nick Matthew
[2] Nick Matthew (Eng)
11/2, 11/3, 11/5 (33m)
Mats Raemen (Bel)

European Individual Closed Championships
- 30 May, Herentals, Belgium
Women's Draw

Round One
  27 May
Round Two
28 May
28 May
29 May
30 May
[1] Natalie Grinham (Ned)
Natalie Grinham
11/4, 11/9, 11/3 (33m)
Maud Duplomb
Natalie Grinham
11/8, 11/9, 9/11, 11/7 (45m)
Camille Serme
Natalie Grinham
15-13, 11-8, 11-6 (38m)
Isabelle Stoehr
Natalie Grinham
9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 (35m)
Vanessa Atkinson
[9/16] Maud Duplomb (Fra)
11/6, 11/4, 11/5 (30m)
Xisela Aranda Nunez (Esp)
[5/8] Camille Serme (Fra)
Camille Serme
11/4, 11/6, 11/4 (20m)
Victoria Lust
[9/16] Victoria Lust (Eng)
11/4, 11/7, 11/4 (17m)
Yara Delagrange (Bel)
[5/8] Orla Noom (Ned)
Orla Noom
11/4, 11/6, 11/1 (18m)
Kim Hannes
Kim Hannes
11/0, 11/4, 11/8 (18m)
Isabelle Stoehr
[9/16] Kim Hannes (Bel)
11/4, 11/9, 11/4 (19m)
Helga Kecse-Nagy (Hun)
[9/16] Linda Hruzikova (Svk)
11/2, 11/7, 11/5 (15m)
Nikoleta Pozidi (Gre)
Linda Hruzikova
11/8, 11/3, 11/7 (44m)
Isabelle Stoehr
[3/4] Isabelle Stoehr (Fra)
[3/4] Vanessa Atkinson (Ned)
Vanessa Atkinson
11/2, 11/2, 11/3 (20m)
Celia Allamargot
Vanessa Atkinson
11/9, 9/11, 11/9, 12/10 (46m)Manuela Manetta
Vanessa Atkinson

12-10, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5 (44m)
Laura L-Massaro

[9/16] Celia Allamargot (Fra)
 11/1, 11/3, 11/3 (20m)
Eliza Kargioti (Gre)
[5/8] Manuela Manetta (Ita)
Manuela Manetta
11/9, 11/3, 11/7 (32m)
Birgit Coufal
[9/16] Birgit Coufal (Aut)
11/5, 11/4, 11/8 (25m)
Sonja Schrijvers (Bel)
[5/8] Annelize Naudť (Ned)
Annelize Naudť
11/8, 11/8, 11/9 (35m)
 Annabel Romedenne
Annelize Naudť

11/8, 11/3, 11/6 (29m)
Laura L-Massaro

[9/16] Annabel Romedenne (Bel)
7/11, 11/5, 11/7, 7/11, 11/4 (37m)
Anna Detter (Swe)
[9/16] Sina Wall (Ger)
11/4, 11/7, 11/4 (18m)
Nathalie Philipsen (Bel)
Sina Wall
11/8, 11/5, 11/3 (33)
Laura L-Massaro
[2] Laura L-Massaro (Eng)

Natalie Grinham & Thierry Lincou Win European Titles


Natalie Grinham, the world No4 from the Netherlands, and Thierry Lincou, the world No8 from France, have been crowned European Individual Champions after first-time triumphs in the European Squash Federation event at the Flemish Squash Center in Herentals, Belgium.


It was a long-awaited maiden title success as a Dutch player for Natalie Grinham, the Queensland-born 31-year-old who became the first player ever to win three squash gold medals in the Commonwealth Games in 2006 before becoming a Dutch national at the beginning of last year.


Grinham recovered from a game down to beat compatriot Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion and world number one, 9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-4 in 35 minutes.


"I made a few errors at the start," admitted Grinham afterwards.  "First, itís all about getting used to the court again, getting the feel of it, but also, Vanessa played very well.  I was a bit nervous, because I was out at the start of the year, Iíve been ill, so Iím still not that confident, Iím coming back into it slowly.


"Also, Iím still not that confident about the change of scoring.  Before, I could be at 6-0 down, I was pretty confident I could come back, whereas now, if you donít take a good start, you are really in trouble.


"I still havenít won a world title though, and this year itís in Holland so thatís something I really want to achieve," Grinham added.  "And I havenít decided yet when I want to stop and try having kids.  One thing I know, now is not the time, Iím not ready for it yet, Iím too busy!"


The men's final was a repeat of last year's all-French climax in which Gregory Gaultier beat Thierry Lincou to win his fifth title in a row.  But this year's meeting - the pair's 21st since December 2004, with their head-to-head record poised at ten-all - was to bring Gaultier's 29-match unbeaten run in the event to an end when the 26-year-old from Aix-en-Provence was forced to retire injured with the score standing at 12-10, 8-3 in Lincou's favour.


"This was a great week for me - I was very keen to play here," said a delighted Lincou, the former world champion and world number one from Marseille, afterwards.  "Maybe Greg wasnít as determined as I was today, and I was lucky in the final.


"But at 33, I havenít retired - Iím still here - and for that, Iím happy. And Iím happy to keep going a bit longer!"

Lincou & Atkinson Charge Into European Finals in Belgium


Dutch and French winners of the European Individual Squash Championships' titles are assured after Thierry Lincou and Vanessa Atkinson claimed unexpected places in the finals of the European Squash Federation event at the expense of English opponents at the Flemish Squash Center in Herentals, Belgium.


Frenchman Thierry Lincou, the former world champion and world number one from Marseille, secured his first victory over world No6 Nick Matthew for almost three years when he beat the second seed from Sheffield 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 in 65 minutes.


"I hear that some people say that I donít attack enough, that my game compared to the Egyptians is not as flamboyant, I donít play that many nicks, that I play 'the old squash' way," explained Lincou afterwards. 


"Well, I do attack - another way, thatís all.  And I think I probably showed it today, by finding some good short game, by mixing the shots, high, low, in the front, at the back - but still, as ever, itís my length that saves me. Thatís where I win the match.


"In the first game, he was in total control of the T, so I forced myself to take the ball earlier, to play faster, and I was lucky, all my shots went in."


In a repeat of last year's final, 33-year-old Lincou will face national rival Gregory Gaultier, the favourite from Aix-en-Provence who is now one step away from winning the title for a sixth successive year.  In a game which also lasted more than an hour, the world number two beat Laurens Jan Anjema, a 5/8 seed from the Netherlands, 5-11, 11-8, 11-1, 11-9.


The men's final is sure to be a close-fought affair, with the French duo poised on ten wins apiece in their career head-to-head tally!


Vanessa Atkinson, also a former world champion and world number one, pulled off one of her best victories in recent times when she upset world No7 Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, the No2 seed, 12-10, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5 in 44 minutes to reach the women's final for the first time since winning the title in 2005.


"Itís nice to play well, and still be able to compete at that level," said the 33-year-old from The Hague who is studying for an English Literature degree in Leeds, England.  "If I had lost today, I would have been disappointed, but still happy I was able to compete at her level - itís nice to feel that fire in the belly.


"Laura is a strong and fit player, she had some pretty good results lately.  Itís a good win.  She is motivated, something Iím struggling with at the moment," added Atkinson.


The 11 times Dutch National champion will now face her new national rival Natalie Grinham, the former Australian who became a Dutch national last year and is competing in the event for the first time.  Favourite Grinham beat France's 3/4 seed Isabelle Stoehr 15-13, 11-8, 11-6.


"The first game was crucial - especially for Isabelle, I think," said Grinham, the world No4.  "It was a big mental blow for her.  Not so much for me, fitness is not so much of a problem; I know she is recovering from injury.  Only thing, after winning that game, I was able to play more freely."


"Tomorrow, it will be a good day for Netherlands - number one and number two playing in the final!"

Anjema Beats Barker To Book Semi Slot in Belgium


Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema brings a surprise look to the semi-final line-up of the European Individual Squash Championships after upsetting England's 3/4 seed Peter Barker in the men's quarter-finals of the European Squash Federation event at the Flemish Squash Center in Herentals, Belgium.


Anjema is back in action after being forced to miss the European Team Championships at the beginning of the month following an ankle injury.  But the world No19 from The Hague was in stunning form against fellow left-hander Barker, now ranked eight in the world, winning 11-9, 9-11, 11-2, 11-2 in 57 minutes to reach the semi-finals for the second successive year.


The four-time Dutch National champion now faces favourite Gregory Gaultier, the world No2 from France who is bidding to win the title for the sixth year in a row.


Gaultier, 26, from Aix-en-Provence, was taken to four games by Englishman Adrian Grant before beating the 5/8 seed 11-4, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6.


English hopes for men's success in Herentals now rest on the shoulders of second seed Nick Matthew, the world No6 from Sheffield who defeated Frenchman Renan Lavigne 11-4, 11-5, 15-13.  The former British Open champion will now renew his rivalry with another Frenchman Thierry Lincou, the former world champion and world number one from Marseille.


Lincou, runner-up twelve months ago, ended Spanish interest in the event when he beat Borja Golan 11-7, 11-5, 11-1.


The women's semi-final line-up is the one predicted by the seedings - but Dutch favourite Natalie Grinham, the world No4, had to battle for 45 minutes to overcome 5/8 seed Camille Serme, the 20-year-old from France ranked 30 places lower.  Grinham ultimately prevailed 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 to set up a meeting with a further French opponent Isabelle Stoehr.


Defending champion Stoehr ended the giant-killing run of tournament organiser Kim Hannes, the 9/16 seed from Belgium who claimed an unexpected quarter-final berth following her second round upset over 5/8 seed Orla Noom.


But Stoehr, the 11 times French national champion, was too strong for Belgian champion Hannes, winning 11-0, 11-4, 11-8 in just 18 minutes.


The prospect of an all-Dutch final was kept alive when former world champion Vanessa Atkinson beat Italian Manuela Manetta 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10.  The 3/4 seed from The Hague will now face England's No2 seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, who needed just 20 minutes to overcome Dutch opponent Annelize Naude 11-8, 11-3, 11-6.

Gaultier Sets Off On Super Six Sortie in Belgium


Frenchman Gregory Gaultier marked up his 26th successive match victory in the European Individual Squash Championships as he began his bid to win a sixth men's title in a row in the European Squash Federation event at the Flemish Squash Center in Herentals, Belgium.


The 26-year-old world number two from Aix-en-Provence despatched Russian qualifier Valery Litvinko 11-3, 11-2, 11-6 to set up a second round clash with Rasmus Nielsen, a 9/16 seed from Denmark who beat Czech teenager Petr Martin 11-4, 13-11, 11-3.


Top seed Gaultier is expected to meet English rival Nick Matthew in Saturday's final.  The second seed from Sheffield, a quarter-finalist two years ago, beat Belgian qualifier Mats Raemen 11-2, 11-3, 11-5 and will now face Austrian number one Aqeel Rehman for a place in the quarter-finals.


Whilst there were no surprises in the men's competition, there was domestic delight in the women's event when tournament organiser Kim Hannes pulled off a notable upset over 5/8 seed Orla Noom to claim an unexpected place in the quarter-finals.


The 30-year-old nine-time Belgian champion, a runner-up in the European Junior Championships 12 years ago, defeated Noom, ranked 41 in the world, 11-4, 11-6, 11-1.  Hannes will now face 11-time French national champion Isabelle Stoehr, the defending champion, for a place in the last four.


Top seed Natalie Grinham, the former Australian looking to win her first squash title since becoming a Dutch national 15 months ago, beat Maud Duplomb 11-4, 11-9, 11-3 and will now take on a second French opponent Camille Serme for a place in the semi-finals. 


Serme, a 5/8 seed and a record three-time winner of the European Junior Championship crown, avenged her defeat by England's Victoria Lust in the Welsh Open in January by defeating the former British Junior champion 11-4, 11-6, 11-4.