Fri 23rd, Semi-Finals:
 Vanessa Atkinson (Ned) bt  Shelley Kitchen (Nzl) 6/9, 9/3, 9/6, 9/4 (41m)
 Nicol David (Mas) bt  Linda Elriani (Eng) 9/5, 3/9, 9/2, 10/8 (46m)
Nicol downs Elriani,
now for Atkinson ...
Alex Wan reports from Kuala Lumpur
her sixth meeting with Linda Elriani, local favourite Nicol
David gave the crowd something to cheer about when she chalked up
her first ever victory over the 33-year old English woman after six
meetings, the first one being at the Seattle Open back in 2001 and most
recently, losing in straight games at this year’s Qatar Airways
Challenge. Having played rather sluggishly the past two days, many
didn't give David much of a chance.
In a game lasting 46 minutes, David took the tight first game 9-5 after
some great squash by both players. Elriani, with far more experience on
the tour then came back strongly with the second game, dropping only 3
points. Elriani’s power play was just too much for David to handle.
After the break, David came back with a vengeance, dropping one point
less than Elriani in the opening game.
The fourth game was a rather close affair with both players being neck
to neck most of the time. The local crowd was behind David all the time
and gave her a psychological boost, enough to pull of her first win over
Elriani and a date with top seed Vanessa Atkinson tomorrow
evening for a repeat of February's
Lumpur Open final.
Kitchen, conqueror of world number six Fiona Geaves yesterday, today
hoped to go a step further. However, the red-topped Atkinson had other
ideas. The first game seemed to belong to Kitchen, who had a huge lead
before Atkinson started pulling back, but it was just not enough to halt
Kitchen. In the second, Atkinson played a much more patient game and was
constantly wrong footing the Kiwi with her flicks. Ten minutes and it
was one game a piece.
The third was pretty much a “decider”, as both players seem to show
signs of fatigue. Kitchen, spurred on by fellow Kiwi Tamsyn Leevey at
courtside, was never in front but still managed to stay close. Fatigue
gave in and mistakes began to flow in, allowing Atkinson to clinch the
crucial third game to go up 2-1. The fourth game was filled with
mistakes from Kitchen, who clipped the tin way too often. Atkinson’s
cross court drops and super retrievals was also a key to her victory!
The final will be a repeat of February's Kuala
Lumpur Open final in February,
which Atkinson won, and it represents David's third successive WISPA
final in Malaysia.
Kitchen upsets Geaves
setup Atkinson showdown
Alex Wan reports from Kuala Lumpur
Kitchen, the world number 14 from New Zealand today upset world
number 6 WISPA veteran Fiona Geaves to make her second consecutive
appearance in the semi-final of the YTL Malaysian Open 2004. In a
bizarre match where it took less than 30 minutes to complete, given the
fact that it was over four games, the exotic looking Kitchen started off
very strongly, taking the first few points before Geaves started to
settle down, after 0-2 down in fact. Geaves came back to take the third,
allowing Kitchen only a single point, in barely six minutes. Kitchen
came back storming in the fourth with a merciless 9-0 game to complete
seeded Vanessa Atkinson meanwhile, booked her semi-final berth by
disposing of Rebecca Chiu, who had just won the Singapore Open crown prior
to coming down to Kuala Lumpur. Playing a fast paced game, Chiu found it
hard to keep up. After winning the first game rather easily, victory
seemed to be in the bag. However, Chiu slowly got into the momentum and
gave a better fight in the second, and was leading in the earlier part
of the third game. Atkinson, hoping to land her second title on
Malaysian soil in as many tournaments this year, got her killer instinct
back soon and wrapped up the third game.
David beats Nimmo
and aims for Elriani
darling Nicol David took to court against Scottish champion
Pamela Nimmo, who had a tough match last night where she had to come
back from two games down against Egyptian qualifier Eman El Amir. David
played a smart game combining tight drives, volley drops and angle
boasts to move Nimmo around the court. Nimmo’s tiredness was clearly
showing as David raced to a quick two game lead. Nimmo came back a
totally different player in the third and was chasing everything David
threw at her. The game was close but Nimmo sneaked in to win. A pep talk
from coach Raymond Arnold during the ninety seconds seemed to have done
wonders as David came back to win the fourth commandingly.
the last match of the day, it was a contest between two hard hitters.
The recently married Linda Elriani was to face USA’s Latasha
Khan for a place against Nicol David tomorrow evening. The first
game was a breeze for Elriani, dropping just three points to Khan. At
3-0 up, Elriani questioned the referee in disbelief after a rather clear
let (and possibly stroke too) was ruled a no let! Some tips from David
during the break saw Khan fighting back in the second from 0-5 down to
6-5, but it just wasn’t enough for her to wrap it up. In the third, the
same case seems to happen, with Khan crawling back slowly. Sensing this
trend, Elriani tightened her game to close out the match in just under
half an hour.
Wed 21st, First Round:
Nimmo squeezes through
In the first round all the seeded players progressed to the
quarter-finals, although Scotland's Pamela Nimmo found herself 2-0 down
to Egyptian qualifier Eman El Amir before the seventh seed recovered to
complete the comeback.
Local favourite Nicol David, who retained the Asian Championship title
at the same venue last month, told the Star of her 9/7, 9/2, 10/8 win
over Amelia Pittock:
“The match had a mix of ups and downs. It was a tough match, especially
in the third set. Amelia played well and she managed catch me off guard
a few times. At 8-8, I started to get worried. But I managed to regain
control of the match to win the two crucial points.”
David faces Nimmo in the quarter-finals, with the winner to meet either
Linda Elriani, the second seed, or Latasha Khan.
Top seed Vanessa Atkinson needed four games to overcome Canada's Runa
Reta, and meets Asian Games champion Rebecca Chiu.
Malaysia's other entrant in the main draw, Sharon Wee, failed to
progress as she lost out to New Zealand's Shelley Kitchen.
“The game plan was to keep Shelley at the back corners and use delayed
shots to gain advantage. It worked in the first two sets,” Wee, who was
the runner-up to Nicol in the Asian Championships, told the Star. I led
7-6 in the third set but Shelley managed to gain control in the crucial
moments and won three straight points to win it. She stepped up the pace
again in the fourth set and I just could not keep up with her.”
Kitchen meets England's veteran Fiona Geaves for a place in the
another Home Win
Fresh from winning her fourth consecutive Asian Squash Championships
title in the same venue, Malaysia's Nicol David is seeded four for the Malaysian
Open, but will be aiming to win her home title for the first time.
In 2003 Nicol made it all the way from qualifying to the final, only to lose out to
world number one Cassie Jackman.
This time she finds Vanessa
Atkinson, Linda Elriani and Fiona Geaves above her in
"My initial aim is to justify my seeding," Nicol told the Star. "It's
not going to be an easy tournament because there are many good players
taking part. The home ground advantage is always a positive element.
Just like most players, I tend to play better when the crowd is behind