falls short after her stirring semi final victory
BRIT TANIA RULES IN SAN FRANCISCO
Tania Bailey followed up her
big win over Leilani Joyce in Munich in April with an important
WISPA win in San Francisco yesterday.
In the finals, England's 20-year-old
world No 13 Tania Bailey scored her first overseas WISPA World Tour title
when she beat Vanessa Atkinson, the world No 11 from the Netherlands,
9-3 5-9 9-1 9-4 in the final of the women's $11,000 San Francisco International
Certainly her impressive play this
weekend provides a signal that she may be ready to challenge for the top
of the rankings.
Fourth seed Bailey, the former
world junior champion from Stamford in Lincolnshire, secured her biggest
WISPA title - and her third since turning pro in 1998 - after dismissing
Australia's Natalie Grinham in straight games in the semi-finals.
Vanessa Atkinson had been hot
all weekend, and looked like her training with Liz Irving had put her
in superb condition, but Bailey cooled her down with her error-free play
and calmly efficient tactics. Though Bailey's day off on Friday may have
played a role, while Atkinson had to work hard all tournament, especially
in her marathon win over Stephanie Brind on Saturday, Bailey clearly displayed
the play and confidence of a player on the way up.
Bailey came out extremely focused,
playing error free and aggressively, to take an early 5-1 lead. While
Vanessa neutralized the momentum and brought the score back to 3-5, Bailey
again applied her focus and took home a 9-3 win in the first game.
Vanessa came out smoking in game two,
determined to match focus for focus. With some great touch and wonderful
nicks, Vanessa roar out out to a 5-0 lead. Some more Dutch touch brought
the lead to 7-1 and Bailey couldn't salvage the game, losing 5-9.
SEMI FINAL TOLL?
Surprisingly, Atkinson looked a bit
tired in the third game. Bailey appeared to work
that to her advantage. This game featured some exceedingly long rallies.
As both players were error-free and making great retrievals, points had
to be won or lost on a nick. We only counted five tins the entire match!
But Bailey hit more as Atkinson tired, and Bailey ran out the match 9-1,
TOURNAMENT A BIG DRAW
This inaugural San Francisco
WISPA event, was a stirring success. The event, sponsored by the internet
startup Imagelock.com and by Sportkit, the squash clothing maker, was
a hit with both the professional and amateur players. Despite unusally
clear and warm weather in San Francisco, the tourney drew a revolving
crowd of spectators, included all day Thursday, a workday in San Francisco.
The finals drew an estimated 130 spectators.