Alison Waters claims Burning River Crown over Omneya
Feb 3, 2010, by Nathan Dugan © 2010 SquashTalk.com , Independent News; SquashTalk LLC
(updated 4-feb-10 21:53 )
WATERS CLAIMS PNC BURNING RIVER CROWN ... or at least watch ... [Draw and Results]
|Alison Waters takes Burning City Crown. photo © 2010 Ham Biggar.|
Londoner, Alison Waters, became only the second player in the four year running of the event, to lift the Burning River Classic trophy on Wednesday night at the Cleveland Racquet Club. The previous three years had been dominated by Natalie Grainger, who was unfortunately sidelined this time around due to injury. Alison didn’t miss Grainger’s presence though as she survived a valiant fight back from the Egyptian number one.
The two finalists had met only ten days earlier in the final of Greenwich, with Alison winning in three straight games. Tonight looked to be heading the same way after Alison took a 2-0 game lead, but Omneya had no intention of gifting Alison the title and the TAG watch that went along with the winner’s purse. The first game of the night was tight until 6-6, but two lose balls resulting in strokes and an error from Omneya left her with too much to do and Alison took it 11-7.
The second game was a tale about Omneya, or rather the good Omneya and the bad Omneya. The world number seven from Cairo produced three delightful early winners that were un-returnable to take a 4-2 lead, but that was followed swiftly by two errors. Omneya produce some more magic to go 8-6 up, but then again two errors to go back to 8-8. Another spark of inspiration took Omneya to 9-8 but then she got a little too clever for herself as she deceptively hit the ball right up the middle of the court leaving herself pinned in the corner, 9-9. To Alison’s credit she had played a patient, solid game up until this point, so when the big points arose at the end of the game; it may not have been a surprise that she was the player to remain steady and take advantage of the opponent’s errors, taking the game 11-9.
The third game seemed to be going in the same vain as Omneya raced to a 4-0 lead with some great accuracy and stroke play, but then gave the lead right back with some sloppy play to go 5-5. At 7-7 Alison hit a rare tin as she left the margins of her backhand drop shot a little too close. A wonderful combination of shots allowed Omneya a two point cushion before another uncharacteristic mistake on a big point gave Omneya three game balls. She only needed the offer once to take the third game.
The fourth game is one that Alison would surely rather forget. She hit more unforced errors in one game than she probably had for the entire week, as Omneya surged to a 9-3 lead. Omneya herself had stepped up her play with some tight drop shots out of the back hand back corners and a much better quality of length on her shots. Another tin from the English player at 10-3 meant we were going into a fifth game.
Four tins in nine rallies from Omneya was the major story of the fifth game as Alison was able to regain the lead and establish some confidence that seemed to have left her since early in the third game. Omneya’s length suddenly fell shorter and the short game that had been working up until now was suddenly ineffective. Despite a mini come back from Omneya to go from 9-3 to 9-6, the game already appeared out of reach as Alison could see the finishing line near and her confidence visibly increased. It seemed somewhat poetic that the final rally was decided by another tin from the Egyptian which was clearly the difference between the two players on the day. There were flashes of genius from Omneya’s racquet and the lightness of movement and general control from Alison was also to be admired. You couldn’t help but wonder what may have been if they both produced their best squash at the same time! Congratulations to Alison who has made it two wins in two weeks in America.
RESULTS: PNG Cleveland Squash Open, Cleveland Racquet Club, Cleveland Ohio, USA
 Alison Waters (ENG) bt  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11-7 11-9 7-11 3-11 11-6