2:06 pm
30 May 2024

Australia & England To Meet In Eleventh World Final

2 Oct 2004

Favourites Australia and second seeds England will meet in the final of the Women's World Team Championships for the eleventh time after convincing 3/0 victories in today's (Friday) semi-finals at the Frans Otten Stadion in Amsterdam.

Third string Amelia Pittock gave Australia the perfect start against Egypt, beating the fourth seeds' Eman El Amir, ranked three places lower in the world, 10-8 10-8 9-4 in 41 minutes.

With world No1 Rachael Grinham then due to take on the Egyptian No1 Omneya Abdel Kawy, ranked ten places below, Australia's place in the final seemed assured. However, the 19-year-old world junior champion from Cairo took the opening game against the best player in the world, and had two game balls in the third to take a 2/1 lead.

Grinham senior maintained her composure however and swept to her sixth successive win in the tournament by beating Kawy 6-9 9-5 10-8 9-5 in 59 minutes to put Australia into their tenth final in a row.

Rachael's younger sister Natalie Grinham took just 13 minutes to maintain the team's clean sheet in the event, beating Engy Kheirallah 9-2 9-0 in the dead rubber.

"Omneya played really well tonight, putting us under pressure for the first time in the event," conceded Australia's team manager and coach Michelle Martin, the former world No1 and three-times world champion. "But Rachael came through well in the end - and I was particularly pleased with the way Amelia played in the opening rubber, against a tough opponent."

In the later semi-final, it was again the third strings that put the early shape on the tie as veteran English star Fiona Geaves gave the second seeds the first point against New Zealand with a 9-4 9-4 9-1 victory over the sixth seeds' Louise Crome.

Cassie Jackman, the England No1, was next on court - eager to make up for her disappointing showing 24 hours earlier against Dutch No1 Vanessa Atkinson. The world No2 showed New Zealand's Shelley Kitchen, unbeaten at the Frans Otten Stadion so far, no mercy - and clinched England's sixth successive place in the final with a 9-4 9-5 9-4 triumph over the world No14 in 42 minutes.

"I'm just so happy I put in a performance like that after what happened yesterday," said the beaming Jackman afterwards. "After not being involved with this event for the past six years because of injury, it's so good to be back with the team again and now I just can't wait for tomorrow."

In the dead third rubber, Linda Elriani beat New Zealand's Tamsyn Leevey 9-6 9-6 in 28 minutes.

New Zealand and Egypt will meet in the play-off for third place, with Egypt one day away from their best ever finish in the event.

Fifth seeds Malaysia will take on hosts Netherlands in the play-off for fifth place, guaranteed to improve on their previous best seventh place finish - while seventh seeds Scotland will do battle against Denmark in the play-off for 13th place in the knowledge that this will be the team's worst ever finish in 12 appearances in the championships.

Final: [1] AUSTRALIA v [2] ENGLAND
3rd place play-off: [4] EGYPT v [6] NEW ZEALAND
5th place play-off: [3] NETHERLANDS v [5] MALAYSIA
7th place play-off: [9] IRELAND v [10] USA
9th place play-off: [8] CANADA v [13] SOUTH AFRICA
11th place play-off: [11] BELGIUM v [15] HONG KONG
13th place play-off: [7] SCOTLAND v [14] DENMARK
15th place play-off: [12] FRANCE v [17] SWITZERLAND

Semi-finals:
[1] AUSTRALIA bt [4] EGYPT 3-0 (Rachael Grinham bt Omneya Abdel Kawy 6-9, 9-5, 10-8, 9-5 (59m); Natalie Grinham bt Engy Kheirallah 9-2, 9-0 (13m); Amelia Pittock bt Eman El Amir 10-8, 10-8, 9-4 (41m))
[2] ENGLAND bt [6] NEW ZEALAND 3-0 (Cassie Jackman bt Shelley Kitchen 9-4, 9-5, 9-4 (42m); Linda Elriani bt Tamsyn Leevey 9-6, 9-6 (28m); Fiona Geaves bt Louise Crome 9-4, 9-4, 9-1 (29m))
5th - 8th place play-offs:
[5] MALAYSIA bt [9] IRELAND 3-0 (Nicol David bt Madeline Perry 3-9, 9-3, 9-2, 4-9, 10-9 (58m); Sharon Wee bt Anna McGeever 7-9, 9-1, 10-8 (34m); Tricia Chuah bt Laura Mylotte 10-8, 9-2, 9-2 (33m))
[3] NETHERLANDS bt [10] USA 3-0 (Vanessa Atkinson bt Latasha Khan 9-3, 9-4, 9-7 (33m); Annelize Naude bt Meredeth Quick 9-6, 10-8 (23m); Karen Kronemeyer bt Louisa Hall 8-10, 9-7, 9-7, 9-5 (54m))
9th - 12th place play-offs:
[8] CANADA bt [11] BELGIUM 3-0 (Runa Reta bt Kim Hannes-Teunen 9-6, 9-3, 9-1 (29m); Melanie Jans Burke bt Katline Cauwels 4-9, 9-5, 9-5 (28m); Alana Miller bt Charlie de Rycke 6-9, 9-3, 9-4, 9-4 (46m))
[13] SOUTH AFRICA bt [15] HONG KONG 2-1 (Claire Nitch lost to Rebecca Chiu 3-9, 6-9, 9-4, 5-9 (47m); Farrah Sterne bt Annie Au 9-2, 9-4, 9-4 (34m); Tenille Swartz bt Joey Chan 4-9, 9-2, 9-5, 7-9, 9-5 (59m))
13th - 16th place play-offs:
[7] SCOTLAND bt [12] FRANCE 2-1 (Wendy Maitland bt Maud Duplomb 9-1, 9-6, 9-5; Frania Gillen-Buchert bt Celia Allamargot 9-1, 9-2, 9-3; Louise Philip lost to Soraya Renai 7-9, 3-9, 1-9)
[14] DENMARK bt [17] SWITZERLAND 2-1 (Ellen Petersen bt Gaby Schmohl 9-2, 9-1, 9-5 (29m); Line Hansen bt Olivia Hauser 9-5, 9-4, 9-4 (28m); Ditte Nielsen lost to Gabi Hegi 9-7, 9-2, 7-9, 7-9, 7-9 (46m))
17th - 19th place play-offs:
[19] AUSTRIA bt [18] JAPAN 2-1 (Pamela Pancis bt Chinatsu Matsui 9-4, 6-9, 9-4, 9-7 (52m); Birgit Coufal bt Kozue Onizawa 9-7, 9-4, 5-9, 2-9, 10-8 (61m); Ines Gradnitzer lost to Sachiko Shinta 4-9, 6-9, 1-9 (36m))