|Mon 08 Dec, Qualifying Finals:
Leevey Leads The
World Open Qualifiers
Colin McQuillan reports from Hong Kong
New Zealand’s Tamsyn Leevey sprang the
biggest seedings upset of the Qualifying Finals for the Credit Suisse
Privilege Women’s World Open Championship in Hong Kong today, removing the
third seeded Tegwen Malik of Wales 9-1 9-6 9-7 in 33 minutes that
included a lengthy pause while the Welsh 28-year-old recovered from a sharp
accidental racket blow to the bridge of her nose.
But those who have watched the progress of the Wellington based 25-year-old
since she came back from pregnancy last year to achieve a ranking of three
in New Zealand and 40 in the world will not have been completely surprised
by the tough tidy squash she produced to so completely defeat a player
ranked six places above her.
The closest watch yesterday was kept by her national colleague Shelley
Kitchen, the New Zealand No2, who was not entirely pleased at the end of the
session to see Leevey’s name come out of the draw as her opponent in the
first round proper tomorrow.
Sixth seeded Heidi Mather of Australia also lost her qualifying
final, to 25-year-old Belgium Champion Kim Hannes-Teunen, ranked only
107 in the world and seeded 13th for this qualifying competition after time
out for injuries and marriage last year.
Now coached by Shaun Moxham, Belgium National Coach and privately connected
to the men’s world champion, David Palmer, the tall and strong Hannes-Tuenen
took 41 minutes to defeat Mather 3-9 9-4 9-7 9-0 with enough flow and
confidence to suggest she might do well tomorrow against Fiona Geaves, the
36-year-old from England.
Headed by Carla Khan of Pakistan and Wendy Maitland of
Scotland, the remaining qualifying rankings stood up to examination in Hong
Kong today. Khan, the 22-year-old World No23 from London registered for the
land of her famous squash family, easily dismissed England’s Kate Roe
in straight games. Maitland, the 28-year-old Nottingham based World No26,
dealt similarly with Egypt’s Eman El Amir.
The fourth seed, Karen Kronemeyer of Holland, went out to El Amir
yesterday, but today the fifth seed, Engy Kheirallah of Egypt,
survived a strong 55 minute assault from England’s Becky Botwright
5-9 9-3 9-0 9-5 only to find after the draw that she would have to do the
same thing again tomorrow against Becky’s elder sister, Vicky, the World
No9, in the first round proper.
England’s 10th seeded Laura Lengthorn accounted for the seventh
seeded Australian, Amelia Pittock, today 9-4 9-4 10-9 in 35 minutes
to reach a first round encounter with Natalie Grainger, last week’s Qatar
Alison Waters of England was the eighth seeded qualifier and
delivered in uncompromising style with a 10 minute 9-5 9-2 9-2 win over
Denmark’s Line Hansen that took her to a main round encounter with
British Open Champion Rachael Grinham.
Vicky Lankester of England dealt with yesterday’s seedings buster,
Runa Reta of Canada, by defeating her 9-2 9-3 4-9 9-6 in 33 minutes to
reach a first round match against the younger Grinham, Natalie, who rose to
World No4 on the December WISPA list.
Rebecca Chiu in front of the World Open poster
(featuring her) that is
three stories high on the side of the Hong Kong Squash Centre.
During Credit Suisse Women's World Open ceremony Hong Kong
number one Rebecca Chiu presented flowers to guest of honour Mrs
Betty Tung, wife of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief
Executive. Flanking them are (left) Andrew Shelley, WISPA Director
who was representing WISPA & WSF, (right) Mr David Mui, Chairman,
Hong Kong Squash.
Qualifying round one:
Reta Rules in Hong Kong Qualifying
Colin McQuillan reports from Hong Kong
Hong Kong, with their champion, Rebecca Chiu, into the first round of the
Credit Suisse Privilege Women’s World Open Championship by right, had reason
to be positive today despite losing the rest of their squad in the first
round of the qualifying competition.
Joey Chan, a 15-year-old who refused to be overawed by the occasion, took
the experienced fifth seed, Engy Kheirallah of Egypt, to four games over 41
minutes, Karen Lau kept the sixth seeded Heidi Mather on court for 25
minutes in their straight games encounter, forcing the strong Australian
into many nervous tinned errors in the opening phase, Elise Ng pushed the
12th seeded Kate Roe of England to five games over 61 minutes, only losing
touch in the dying minutes of the match, Christina Mak played determinedly
against England’s Becky Botwright for 25 minutes and Chiu Ka Kei
2-9, 3-9, 0-9 scoreline against Tamsyn Leevey over 16 minutes that may compare
favourably with other results from the talented New Zealander in future
The resounding success of the first qualifying round came, however, from
Canada’s unseeded Runa Reta, a 23-year-old fast footed player from Ontario,
coached by the former Scottish No1, Heather Wallace, who out-ran and
eventually out-psyched the fourth seeded Dominique Lloyd-Walter 8-10, 9-1, 9-7,
1-9, 9-1 over 55 minutes to reach a qualifying final against the 11th seeded
Vicky Lankester of England.
The only other qualifying seed to fall was Holland’s Karen Kronemeyer, the
14th seed, who was beaten 9-1, 6-9, 9-1, 9-10, 9-4 over 89 minutes by Egypt’s
Eman El Amir, who will play the second seeded Wendy Maitland in the
Carla Khan, the top seed from Pakistan, defeated Egypt’s Sra Badr 9-0, 9-5,
9-2 in 18 minutes, but the fastest win of the day went to the third seeded
Tegwen Malik of Wales who defeated in ten minutes without dropping a point.
First Qualifying Round Results:
 Carla Khan (Pak) bt Sara Badr (Egy) 9-0, 9-5, 9-2 (18m)
 Kate Roe (Eng) bt Elise Ng (Hkg) 9-1, 5-9, 2-9, 9-2, 9-5 (61m)
 Amelia Pittock (Aus) bt Milja Dorenbos (Ned) 9-5, 9-0, 9-0 (19m)
 Laura Lengthorn (Eng) bt Sarah Kippax (Eng) 9-3, 9-0, 9-0 (19m)
Runa Reta (Can) bt  Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Eng) 8-10, 9-1, 9-7,
1-9, 9-1 (55m)
 Vicky Lankester (Eng) bt Magriet Huisman (Ned) 9-5, 9-4, 9-2 (25m)
 Alison Waters (Eng) bt Raneem El Weilily (Egy) 9-0, 9-5, 9-2
 Line Hansen (Den) bt Maha Zein (Egy) w/o
 Kim Hannes-Teunen (Bel) bt Amnah El Trabolsy (Egy) 10-8, 9-0,
 Heidi Mather (Aus) bt Karen Lau (Hkg) 9-3, 9-2, 9-2 (25m)
 Tamsyn Leevey (Nzl) bt Chiu Ka Kei (Hkg) 9-2, 9-3, 9-0 (16m)
 Tegwen Malik (Wal) bt Frania Gillen-Buchert (Sco) 9-0, 9-0, 9-0
 Becky Botwright (Eng) bt Christina Mak (Hkg) 9-3, 9-2, 9-1
 Engy Kheirallah (Egy) bt Joey Chan (Hkg) 9-3, 1-9, 9-6, 10-8
Eman El Amir (Egy) bt  Karen Kronemeyer (Ned) 9-1, 6-9, 9-1,
9-10, 9-4 (89m)
 Wendy Maitland (Sco) bt Katline Cauwels (Bel) 9-6, 9-3, 9-5