Carol Owens (Nzl) bt  Vicky Botwright (Eng) 9/2, 9/6, 9/3
 Natalie Grinham (Aus) bt  Stephanie Brind (Eng) 9/2,
9/3, 9/2 (24m)
 Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt
 Jenny Tranfield (Eng) 9/3, 9/1, 9/3 (37m)
 Vanessa Atkinson (Ned) bt  Rebecca Macree (Eng) 9/0,
3/9, 9/2, 4/9, 5/0 rtd (44m)
 Linda Charman (Eng) bt
Madeline Perry (Irl) 10/8, 9/1, 9/0 (22m)
 Cassie Jackman (Eng) bt
 Shelley Kitchen (Nzl) 9/2, 9/0, 9/6 (32m)
 Fiona Geaves (Eng) bt
Isabelle Stoehr (Fra) 9/10, 9/4, 9/5, 9/3 (34m)
Nicol David (Mas) bt  Natalie Grainger (Usa) 4/9, 9/3, 9/5,
Wed 10 Dec, Round Two:
David Downs Grainger
Colin McQuillan reports from Hong Kong
Nicol David, the 20-year-old former World Junior Champion from
Malaysia, made her first serious foray towards the same status in the senior
game today in Hong Kong when she clinically removed the in-form second seed,
Natalie Grainger, 4-9 9-3 9-5 9-7 from a 47 minute second round encounter in
the Credit Suisse Privilege Womenís World Open Championship.
It was Davidís best win to date on the WISPA World Tour and arguably the
finest seedings reversal seen in the Womenís World Open since it began in
Grainger, the 26-year-old US based former South African No1 who last year
came close to the title losing to Sarah Fitz-Gerald 8-10 in the fourth game
and just last week defeated the World No1, Carol Owens of New Zealand, in
the richest final of the year in Doha, Qatar, was expected to seriously
challenge for the world title made vacant by Fitz-Geraldís retirement at the
start of 2003.
"My plan was to stop Natalie playing the short game with which she can be so
strong," David said. "In the early part of the match I was not entirely
successful but as I managed to lengthen the game and keep her in the back
court more later on, I was able to force her into more errors than usual.
"This is absolutely my best win to date. I am so pleased that I stayed with
the game plan and kept my discipline."
Certainly the discipline paid off at two vital stages in the match; when
Grainger fought back to 4-4 in the third game and when she contested six
matchball rallies from 8-6 in the fourth.
Superior racket skills that carried the diminutive Malaysian to junior
success are now reinforced by increasingly powerful athleticism that today
gave her almost complete command of the Hong Kong showcourt. Against an
opponent regarded as one of the better technicians in the modern game, she
span speedily in pursuit of the cleanest shots, conjuring considered
responses from even the most unbalanced situations.
The performance takes her to a quarter-final against Fiona Geaves, at
36 the oldest player still on world circuit duty. Then it could be Cassie
Jackman again in the semi-finals if the fourth seeded British national
champion can overcome Linda Charman in an all-English quarter-final
in the same half of the draw. Jackman dismissed New Zealandís Shelley
Kitchen 9-2 9-0 9-6 in 32 minutes today as Charman was beating Irelandís
Madeline Perry 10-8 9-1 9-0 in 22 minutes.
In the top half of the draw Englandís Rebecca Macree was forced to stop
against the sixth seeded Dutch Champion, Vanessa Atkinson with the
scoreline reading 9-0 3-9 9-2 4-9 5-0 retired after 44 minutes, and was
taken by ambulance to the nearby Adventist Hospital with an ankle ligament
injury that required overnight restriction in a cast and more investigation
The 32-year-old ninth seed seemed ill at ease when she took to the glass
showcourt and Atkinson looked the likely winner from the start through her
ability to occasionally disguise her shot direction both to the front court
and the deep corners.
Trailing 0-5 in the fifth game after fighting hard to level the match at
2-2, Macree changed direction abruptly to chase a deceptive but poor length
delivery towards the top right-hand corner, fell into the wall as she
scooped the ball back into play with her foot angled unnaturally into the
nick and, as she tried to spring upright again, sharply pressured the joint
Within seconds Macree was crying out in pain and immediate attention from
Englandís travelling physiotherapist, Pauline Newton, could only provide
superficial cooling until the ambulance men arrived, suitably masked against
the possible injury contagion that has struck this championship on a daily
basis so far.
Yesterday Tania Bailey was stretchered away with blood streaming from a
racket abused nose, and the day before Tegwen Malik staggered from the court
with a deep cut to the bridge of the nose. Obviously masks were required for
padding if not inhalation protection.
Atkinson will now meet the third seeded Rachael Grinham of Australia,
who took 37 minutes to relinquish seven points to Englandís Jenny Tranfield
compared to the 24 minutes her younger sister, Natalie, allowed for the same
consolidated points score in her straight games victory over Stephanie Brind
in the adjacent quarter.
Natalie Grinham goes to the top seeded
Carol Owens in the quarter-finals after the world number one
dismissed England's Vicky Botwright in 33 minutes.
"This is the biggest win of my career. She
won a major title just last week in Qatar and to beat a player like her is a
big thing for me. I'm just thrilled."
"She played very well. She was very quick
and made few errors. On my part, I tended to get too clever at times. I
played some silly stuff when I should have just kept it simple."
Nicol with Raymond Arnold
"It would be fantastic if I can meet my
sister in the semi-final on the outdoor court with the Hong Kong harbour as
the backdrop. Playing on a glass court, outside is the best thing possible.
I hope I can make it through to the semis."
"We are aiming for higher.
Hopefully one and two soon."
"I have never seen them play against
each other. This is a rare occasion."
Davina Grinham (mother)
So who will you support if
they meet in the semi-finals?
"I suppose neither one"
Quotes courtesy of the
South China Morning Post
Rebecca Macree carried off to hospital after retiring against Atkinson.
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