Atkinson Destroys Home Hopes In Malaysian Open

25 Jul 04

Top seed Vanessa Atkinson disappointed Malaysian squash fans in Kuala Lumpur when she despatched local heroine Nicol David in straight games in the final of the Women's Malaysian Open at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.

Atkinson, the world No3 from The Hague who had to fight back from a game down to overcome fifth-seeded New Zealander Shelley Kitchen in the semi-finals, crushed the Asian Champion 9-2 9-4 9-0 in just 25 minutes to win her fourth successive WISPA World Tour title this year.

"My game plan was to use a lot of drives to keep Nicol in the back corners," Atkinson told the Malaysian Star after the match. "She is much faster than me and there was no way I was going to outrun her," conceded the seven-times Dutch National champion.

David, who was celebrating her second successive appearance in the final against the seedings, upset England's No2 seed Linda Elriani in a four-game semi-final.

"After playing at a very high level against Linda, it was hard to push my game up so soon," added Nicol, who won the Asian championship for the fourth time at the same venue last month. "The final was a good lesson for me. I need to learn to recover faster from long hard matches."