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11/04/2006
WOMEN'S VASSAR COLLEGE CLASS OF 1932
 

Six Year Drought Ends With WISPA Title For Bailey

Tournament
Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Squash Open,
Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

Final:
[2] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt [5] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) 9-3, 9-2, 9-6

Semi-finals:
[5] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt [4] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) 9-1, 9-3, 2-9, 9-3
[2] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt [3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 9-1, 9-1, 9-3

Quarter-finals:
[5] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt [Q] Lauren Briggs (ENG) 9-1, 9-5, 9-1
[4] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) bt [7] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 9-5, 10-8, 9-4
[3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt [8] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) 8-10, 9-2, 9-2, 9-7
[2] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt Pamela Nimmo (SCO) 9-6, 9-4, 9-2

1st round:
[Q] Lauren Briggs (ENG) bt [1] Natalie Grainger (USA) 9-2, 9-4, 5-9, 9-7
[5] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt Sharon Wee (MAS) 9-5, 9-1, 9-4
[4] Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) bt [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG) 4-9, 9-5, 9-6, 9-2
[7] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) bt [Q] Suzie Pierrepont (ENG) 9-6, 9-1, 9-6
[8] Isabelle Stoehr (FRA) bt [Q] Runa Reta (CAN) 2-9, 9-4, 9-1, 2-9, 9-3
[3] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Samantha Teran (MEX) 9-6, 10-8, 9-10, 9-5
Pamela Nimmo (SCO) bt [6] Fiona Geaves (ENG) 9-2, 4-9, 9-3, 9-3
[2] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter (ENG) 9-1, 9-2, 9-4

Six Year Drought Ends With WISPA Title For Bailey
Years of illness and injury woes which have beset England's Tania Bailey since reaching a career-high world No4 in March 2003 were finally laid to rest in the USA on Thursday when the 26-year-old from Lincolnshire won her first WISPA World Tour title in six years at the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Squash Open in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Since turning professional after winning a host of British junior titles, two European crowns and the World Junior trophy in 1997, Bailey looked set for a bright future on the WISPA Tour. But a series of mystery viruses, coupled with a car accident which injured her knee, provided setbacks which the Stamford star seemed unable to overcome.

Finally able to fully extend herself in training for the first time in years, Bailey made a breakthrough at the beginning of 2006 by winning the British National title for the first time - then last month won a doubles bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

After reaching the final of the Vassar College Class of 1932 Open without dropping a game, Bailey defeated New Zealand's Shelley Kitchen – a singles bronze medallist in Melbourne - 9-3, 9-2, 9-6.

Right from the outset, the second seed from England indicated her intent – keeping the ball tight to the wall and using her backhand slice to good effect. There were long rallies with both women striking the ball cleanly and crisply. Bailey barely put a foot wrong in the opening two games.

In game three, Bailey jumped ahead three-love, and by her own admission was perhaps guilty of thinking ahead and assuming victory. But Kitchen is a fighter and she showed that she too could produce some winners. She not only got back to level terms, but then went ahead 6-3. The crowd sensed that she could take the third game and generate some momentum going into the fourth.

But Bailey was on a mission and refocused her efforts and clawed her way back to 6-6. Then with the wind gone from the New Zealander's sails, Bailey finished strongly to win in straight games.

"I'm just over the moon to have finally won a WISPA Tournament, it's been six years since I've won one!" said a smiling Bailey, who paid tribute to her opponent by saying that it had been a really hard taxing match, and she was just very pleased with the quality of the performance.

The triumph marks Bailey's fourth Tour title - but her first win since the San Francisco International Challenge in May 2000, when she beat the current world No1 Vanessa Atkinson in the final.

Bailey & Kitchen In Vassar College Final
New Zealand's Shelley Kitchen recorded her second upset in a week over England's Laura-Jane Lengthorn to set up a meeting with another English opponent Tania Bailey in the final of the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Squash Open in Poughkeepsie in the US state of New York.

Fifth seed Kitchen, who beat Lengthorn in last week's Texas Open in Houston, again needed four games to overcome the No4 seed 9-1, 9-3, 2-9, 9-3.

Kitchen, the Aucklander who won a surprise bronze medal in last month's Commonwealth Games after beating Malaysia's top seed Nicol David in the third-place play-off, now faces an opponent whom David beat to reach the semi-finals in Melbourne.

Bailey, the second seed, faced Egypt's No3 seed Omneya Abdel Kawy in the other semi-final a match which pitted the English woman's power, athleticism and fitness, versus the Egyptian's shot placement.

In the end, it was the more consistent shot-making that won the day for Bailey, who cruised to a 9-1, 9-1, 9-3 victory to reach the final without dropping a game throughout the WISPA World Tour event.

Both Kitchen and Bailey are celebrating their tenth appearances in a WISPA Tour final! Whilst the 26-year-old Kiwi is marking her second of the year, after winning the Buler Challenge Cup in Hong Kong in February, Bailey is in her first since reaching the climax of the US Open in New York in November 2002.

The 26-year-old from Lincolnshire, who became the British National champion for the first time in February, is enjoying a long-awaited return to form after a series of injuries and illnesses over the past three years.

Smooth Ride For Seeds At Vassar College
In the quarter-finals of the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Squash Open in Poughkeepsie in the US state of New York, English qualifier Lauren Briggs was unable to reproduce the form which saw her despatch US favourite Natalie Grainger in the opening round.

New Zealand's fifth seed Shelley Kitchen was too strong for the 26-year-old from London, winning 9-1, 9-5, 9-1 to set up the second meeting with England's Laura-Jane Lengthorn in a week.

Kitchen, the bronze medallist in the women's singles event at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, upset her higher-seeded opponent in the Texas Open in Houston and is again seeded below Lengthorn in Poughkeepsie.

The 22-year-old from Lancashire beat Hong Kong's No7 seed Rebecca Chiu 9-5, 10-8, 9-4.

The other semi-final will also have English interest when Tania Bailey takes on Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy. Bailey, the No2 seed, brushed aside Scotland's Pamela Nimmo 9-6, 9-4, 9-2, while third seed Kawy recovered from a game down to defeat France's eighth seed Isabelle Stoehr 8-10, 9-2, 9-2, 9-7.

Briggs Breaks Grainger In Vassar College Upset
US favourite Natalie Grainger crashed out of the Women's Vassar College Class of 1932 Squash Open after losing in four games to English qualifier Lauren Briggs in the first round of the WISPA World Tour event in Poughkeepsie in the US state of New York.

Briggs, the 26-year-old world No25 from London, defeated top seed Grainger ranked 18 places higher - 9-2, 9-4, 5-9, 9-7 to earn a surprise quarter-final clash with New Zealand's Shelley Kitchen.

The fifth seed from Auckland, a bronze medallist in last month's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, despatched Malaysia's Sharon Wee 9-5, 9-1, 9-4.

There was another upset in an all-British clash in the other half of the draw when Scotland's unseeded Pamela Nimmo beat England's US-based sixth seed Fiona Geaves 9-2, 4-9, 9-3, 9-3.