Scotland Suffer Second Upset As Hopes Of Top Eight Finish Subside
29 Sep 2004
Seventh seeds Scotland suffered their second successive upset in the Women's World Team Championships when they were crushed 3/0 by tenth seeds USA in today's third qualifying round at the Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam.
Considerably weakened by the absence of world No20 Pamela Nimmo - who was forced to withdraw from the squad suffering with a cyst on her right tonsil - Scotland lost 2/1 to 15th seeds Hong Kong on the second day. This latest defeat severely weakens their chances of maintaining their position inside the world top eight.
Squad No1 Latasha Khan led the rout for the USA. The five-times US National champion from Seattle, ranked 21 in the world, despatched Scotland's world No42 Wendy Maitland 9-6 9-3 9-5, then team-mate Meredeth Quick made sure of victory with a 9-5 9-0 9-0 win over Susan Dalrymple in the second string clash. New York-based Louisa Hall completed the US offensive by defeating Scotland's third string Frania Gillen-Buchert 9-1 9-2 9-7.
Scotland face No2 seeds and Pool B leaders England - who enjoyed a rest day today - in Wednesday's final qualifying round. The tie which is likely to decide the runners-up position in the Pool, however, will be the one featuring USA and Hong Kong, who also secured a 3/0 win today, over Japan, the 18th seeds.
While USA will be favoured to win the clash, and gain the chance of improving on their previous best-ever finish of sixth place, Hong Kong won the encounter 2/1 at exactly the same stage of the event two years ago in Denmark.
Favourites Australia became the first team to guarantee a place in the last eight when they beat Canada, the eighth seeds, without dropping a game. The Grinham sisters were again in devastating form - world No1 Rachael beating Runa Reta 9-0 9-3 9-1 and Natalie Grinham defeating Canadian National champion Alana Miller 9-4 9-0 9-1, a scoreline which brought the younger sibling's total of points dropped in the tournament to just 18 in four matches!
The other Pool A tie saw ninth seeds Ireland beat Germany, the 16th seeds, 2/1. The scene is now set for Canada and Ireland to meet in tomorrow's final qualifying round to decide the runners-up position behind Australia.
Action in Pool D was resumed today after a rest day - and fourth seeds Egypt romped to a 3/0 win over France, the 12th seeds. After a tight first three games, world No11 Omneya Abdel Kawy established her authority over France's Isabelle Stoehr, ranked four places below, to win 10-9 4-9 10-8 9-4 - after which team-mates Engy Kheirallah and 15-year-old Egyptian National champion Raneem El Weleily beat Celia Allamargot and Soraya Renai in straight games respectively.
World No8 Nicol David was back in top form to lead fifth seeds Malaysia to a 3/0 win over South Africa in the other battle in Pool D. The former world junior champion, who suffered an unexpected loss in her first qualifying match, took less than 20 minutes to crush retired pro Claire Nitch 9-5 9-0 9-0. But in the third and final match, 17-year-old South African newcomer Tenille Swartz led 7-2 in the fifth, and had three match-balls from 8-5, before going down 9-6 9-2 8-10 0-9 10-8 to Kuala Lumpur's world-ranked Tricia Chuah.
There was a late finish in Pool C when 14th seeds Denmark registered a 3/0 win over Austria, the 19th seeds. The first string battle was an 83-minute marathon in which Austria's 14-times national champion Pamela Pancis fought back from 0/2 down to force the match against world-ranked Ellen Petersen into a fifth game decider. However, despite leading 6-2, part-timer Pancis was unable to topple Petersen as the Danish doctor went on to win 9-3 8-10 9-4 2-9 9-7.
Earlier, sixth seeds New Zealand cruised to a straightforward 3/0 win over 11th seeds Belgium, with world No14 Shelley Kitchen, National champion Tamsyn Leevey and third string Louise Crome all enjoying straight games wins over their Belgian opponents.
Third qualifying round - Pool A:
 AUSTRALIA bt  CANADA 3-0 (Rachael Grinham bt Runa Reta 9-0, 9-3, 9-1; Natalie Grinham bt Alana Miller 9-4, 9-0, 9-1; Amelia Pittock bt Marnie Baizley 9-1, 9-2, 9-5)
 IRELAND bt  GERMANY 2-1 (Madeline Perry bt Kathrin Rohrmueller 9-2, 9-1, 9-0; Aisling Blake lost to Karin Beriere 10-8, 2-9, 5-9, 5-9; Anna McGeever bt Katharina Witt 6-9, 9-5, 9-2, 9-5)
 USA bt  SCOTLAND 3-0 (Latasha Khan bt Wendy Maitland 9-6, 9-3, 9-5; Meredeth Quick bt Susan Dalrymple 9-5, 9-0, 9-0; Louisa Hall bt Frania Gillen-Buchert 9-1, 9-2, 9-7)
 HONG KONG bt  JAPAN 3-0 (Rebecca Chiu bt Chinatsu Matsui 9-1, 9-1, 9-3; Karen Lau bt Kozue Onizawa 9-6, 7-9, 9-2, 9-2; Annie Au bt Sachiko Shinta 9-5, 10-8, 9-4)
 NEW ZEALAND bt  BELGIUM 3-0 (Shelley Kitchen bt Kim Hannes-Teunen 9-5, 9-0, 9-1; Tamsyn Leevey bt Katline Cauwels 9-4, 9-1, 9-5; Louise Crome bt Charlie de Rycke 9-4, 9-3, 9-6)
 DENMARK bt  AUSTRIA 3-0 (Ellen Petersen bt Pamela Pancis 9-3, 8-10, 9-4, 2-9, 9-7; Line Hansen bt Birgit Coufal 9-3, 9-5, 9-2; Ditte Nielsen bt Ines Gradnitzer 9-1, 9-2, 7-9, 7-9, 9-7)
 EGYPT bt  FRANCE 3-0 (Omneya Abdel Kawy bt Isabelle Stoehr 10-9, 4-9, 10-8, 9-4; Engy Kheirallah bt Celia Allamargot 9-0, 9-5, 9-0; Raneem El Weleily bt Soraya Renai 9-3, 9-0, 9-1)
 MALAYSIA bt  SOUTH AFRICA 3-0 (Nicol David bt Claire Nitch 9-5, 9-0, 9-0; Sharon Wee bt Farrah Sterne 9-4, 9-6, 9-2; Tricia Chuah bt Tenille Swartz 9-6, 9-2, 8-10, 0-9, 10-8)