Kitchen Stops R. Grinham in
Apr 25, 2007, By Ron Beck with WISPA information on SquashTalk.com, Independent News; © 2007 SquashTalk LLC
SHELLEY KITCHEN ADVANCES IN FIVE GAMES [WISPA DRAW/RESULTS]
|Shelley Kitchen advance to the Korean quarters. (photo:© 2007 Debra Tessier)|
Shelley Kitchen scored her second successive win over Rachael Grinham and advanced to the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Seoul Open here in Seoul, Wednesday afternoon.
SHELLEY SHOWS ITS "NO FLUKE"
The first two games saw the Australian, Grinham, floating the ball, but more often than not setting up a straightforward kill. She bounced and floated, sometimes spun, but was being taken apart by the focused and determined Kitchen.
Grinham straightened things up in the third and seemed back in the driving seat, but while she then was able to also edge ahead in the fourth, the rangy Kiwi Kitchen was always only a rally away from parity. She was now pushing Grinham in shorter more often and it was paying dividends.
Eventually the Kiwi, now wearing blue and white rather than usual black, profited from a misjudgement at seven all where Grinham opened the court and instead hit the ball back to her floundering opponent who was able to create an opening herself. At match ball a long rally ended with a Grinham flick into the top of the tin and she was out.
|Alison Waters in Korean first round. (photo:© 2007 WISPA)|
Afterwards, Kitchen explained her entry philosophy. “I had played well against her in Kuwait and I just wanted to do well again. I wasn't thinking about winning or losing, just to show that my win there was not a fluke”.
The afternoon shift was at the sprawling Sejong University which features four glass back courts; with the evening four matches back at the central city Seoul Plaza where the rest of the play would take place.
Kitchen faces another surprise quarter finalist, Jenny Duncalf who upset compatriot Vicky Botwright in five games to ensure an unseeded semifinalist in this inaugural Korean event.
Botwright came to Korea on the back of a semi final slot at Kuwait but after a trough Duncalf was playing with more confidence of late.
|Jenny Duncalf enjoys upset win . (photo:© 2007 WISPA)|
It was a genuine all-court match, full of long rallies, attempted winners and superlative retrieving. Even without the court having fully settled down from recent sanding the players were able to go at it toe to toe.
At different times both players had the ascendancy but Duncalf’s athleticism never faltered for a moment, and she hung in. While Botwright did manage to take the fourth, but only after squandering a 7/4 lead, she contrived to lose the match from 6/3 up in the decider by virtue of a sequence of six errors at the end of protracted exchanges, and with that the unseed Duncalf prevailed to meet Shelley Kitchen.
Duncalf told the media that although she had been playing well and controlling the match for long periods, “at 6/3 down in the fifth it was not looking good so I thought keep it play, just keep it in play and wait for her errors. I didn't want to force anything”.
In a mature performance she didn't.
LENGTHORN SETS UP INTRAMURAL CONTEST
In the last match of the afternoon Elise Ng put in another spry performance but the qualifier couldn't match the strength and accuracy of seventh seed Laura Lengthorn who set up an all-English quarter final against Tania Bailey, who advanced with ease.
Following the afternoon session, Players and officials dashed back into the city centre to be ready for the evening action to begin at Seoul Plaza. Another pleasingly large crowd had gathered, the TV set up by Seoul Squash in place and a number of outdoor heaters thoughtfully provided by the organisers to help combat a cool to cold evening were pumping.
PERRY PASSES JETLAG TEST
Second seed Natalie Grinham was in no mood to follow her sister out of the championship and never let opponent Sharon Wee settle. Her opposing quarter finalist became known when Madeline Perry beat Korean wild card Eun Ok Park. But not without a struggle in the end. Park had arrived from across town, but Perry had only landed the previous afternoon after winning the Irish Open.
|Park stretches but can't stretch Perry. (photo:© 2007 WISPA)|
The sixth see took the first two games comfortably but an altogether different Park came out for the third. Much more of a handful. The 29 year old showed a solid game that was matching Perry. A game ball was secured by the Korean at 8/7, much to the delight of the crowd – and then lost to disappointing aaahhs.
That was her only glimmer as a relieved Perry escaped from the need to play a fourth.
Perry commented afterwards, “She played really well in the third. Went for a few winners and they came off”. Park thought more of the first two, “This was the first big match in Korea and I had pressure. I am sorry for the spectators that I could only relax and play my game in the third” she said.
The final two matches of the evening saw Nicol David and Alison Waters record straight games wins to meet each other tomorrow. Waters had to save a game ball in the second before reeling in Rebecca Chiu, and it was Latasha Khan who was put to the sword by the World No 1
.A quarter final win by David tomorrow will be her fiftieth consecutive victory. But she will need to get to fifty two to lift the Seoul Open crown. Others, including recent regular finalist Natalie Grinham, will want to have a say in the matter too.
1st round matchups [COMPLETE
 Nicol David (MAS) def [Q] Latasha Khan (USA) 9-3 9-1 9-2
 Alison Waters (ENG) def Rebecca Chiu (HKG) 9-2 10-8 9-0
Shelley Kitchen (NZL) def  Rachael Grinham (AUS) 9-3 9-4 1-9 9-7
Jenny Duncalf (ENG) def  Vicky Botwright (ENG) 4-9 9-4 9-3 7-9 9-6
 Laura-Jane Lengthorn (ENG) def [Q] Elise Ng (HK) 9-3 9-7 9-4
 Tania Bailey (ENG) def [Q] Kasey Brown (AUS) 9-1 9-2 9-3
 Madeline Perry (IRL) def Eun Ok Park (KOR) 9-3 9-2 10-8
 Natalie Grinham (AUS) def [Q] Sharon Wee (MAS) 9-2 9-0 9-0