|SquashTalk>Tournaments > British Open 2000 > Second round final report[last update was 12-oct-00 ]|
Parke, Heath and Johnson fall in early play Thursday
news © 2000
10.12.00 Birmingham, SquashTalk News by M Bronstein
THE BRITISH OPEN AT THE NATIONAL INDOOR ARENA IN BIRMINGHAM. midnight GMT
AND THE SHOCKS
JUST KEEP ON COMING:CASSIE OUT, BARADA OUT
Harris went out last night, his mind gone after continuing battles with the referee and getting conduct strokes and warnings. Harris is a brilliant and I mean brilliant player who has one fault, an obstinacy and a truculence that can undo all his skill. That happened early this morning and at 2.19 am and Harris, the number seven seed gave his spot to Australian newcomer Stewart Boswell.
BARADA BOWS OUT
After getting into the top ten three months ago, he has had some inexplicably bad results to drop down to 11th position. He plays Ong Beng Hee, ranked 33, in the quarters and should make his first ever appearance in a British Open semi-final match.
ONG ON SONG FOR LONG Ong Beng Hee must get the best performance medal, if there is one, for this year's open. He's battled through the qualifying rounds and now, after another long battle, has earned himself a quarter final place with a 3/0 upset of Stewart Boswell. Both of them had hard long slogs in the first round, but Ong certainly got to bed earlier and that may have been the deciding factor.
The answer is pressure; the pressure of pace, the pressure of precision and the pressure of near-perfect strategy. Nicol can take that pressure and return some of his own, but Lincou is not yet that good. David Palmer, Power's next opponent won't be as easy. After today we just have to wonder what shocks lie in store tomorrow.
womens coverage next column ------>
While it is true that Vanessa Atkinson had a hand in her departure, it was the sudden onset of a pain in her right calf muscle (the same leg that put Peter Nicol out) almost as soon as she stepped on the court for her first game, that finally felled her. She lost the first game 1-9 but the pain in her leg was not apparent. It appeared at first that she was merely slow starting and Atkinson was in top gear. Fairly simple cross-courts found Campion flat-footed and she frowned a little.
At the start of the second she rubbed her calf and flexed her ankle suggesting that her old ankle problem (she always wears two ankle supports) was reappearing. Strangely, she cut down on her losing boasts, found her length and suddenly she had the second game 9-1.
In the third, it was apparent that her mobility was being hampered but she still won 9-5 and it looked like it was just a matter of cleaning up. But then she lost the first four points of the fourth game and was constantly found wanting at the front of the court. She never could catch up and lost the game 9-4.
She had to stop and rub her calf at the start of the fifth and her movement was now minimal; she continued hoping to get by on shots, but Atkinson was too clever for that and kept putting in her superb boasts and the fifth game was hers in six minutes. The England physio started working on her calf as soon as she came off court but after 30 minutes of kneading and massage, still couldn't understand what had happened. Cassie was miserable and puzzled at the same time.
"I was fine until I got on court and then it started to ache. It felt like I was going to get a cramp, but it wasn't cramps," she said. When asked if she had trouble turning, she replied: "I had trouble walking!"
Last year at the British Open she was again top seed but succumbed to pressure. So for the second year running a genuine chance of a British double in men's and women's has crumbled, but early in the tournament rather than in the finals as happened last year.
This will have to count as one of Atkinson's best results. The English born Dutch national was in a bit of a shock after the match. When someone remarked that she seemed to take her chance coolly, she replied: "Look at my hand I'm shaking like a leaf."
AGE WINS OUT
Natalie Grainger has a fine all round game and loves to attack the ball, but still has to learn discipline and consistency. Fitz-Gerald won 9-4, 9-4, 9-4 in 34 minutes and should be a little grateful that Grainger was so generous with her errors. They were both hitting fine length and using the height of the court, and they were both hitting some superb drop shots. But Grainger tinned twice as many boasts as she won and her game would improve considerably if she cut the shot out of her arsenal or learned to hit upwards.
By the third game Grainger seemed dispirited and there were strokes from loose shots and unthinking thumping of the ball and the result was never in doubt.
Sue Wright is, like Fitz-Gerald, on the comeback trail after illness has put her out for over a year, and, like the Australian, a very experienced campaigner. She had to face the very considerable talent of the young Tania Bailey who has been collecting scalps at an admirable rate in recent months.
Despite the almost ten year age gap, Wright used her experience, speed around the court and lobs to win a 57-minute battle to earn a quarter-final place against Atkinson.
In the third match in the set Omneya Abdel Kawy, the highly talented 15 year old Egyptian came up against reality today in the form of third seed Carol Owens of Australia and was beaten in 27 minutes after winning just seven points. This is hardly a loss for Kawy: how many other 15 year olds have made the second round of the British Open? The Egyptian government should declare her a national monument alongside the Sphinx
|photo: Ong Beng Hee from Malaysia, moves into the quarter finals of the British Open (photo courtesy Dunlop Sports)|
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