9:43 am
20 Jun 2024

Atkinson Gatecrashes European Final

29 May 2010

Vanessa Atkinson en-route to her third European final

Dutch champion Vanessa Atkinson dashed Camille Serme's hopes of reaching the women's European Individual Championship final for the first time when she upset the second seed in the semi-finals of the 10th staging of the European Squash Federation event at the Tennis & Squash Centre in Saarbrucken, Germany.

Former champion Atkinson, a 3/4 seed but a finalist in both her previous appearances in the championships, recovered from a game down to overcome the fast-rising French star 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4.

Atkinson, the world champion in 2004 and European champion the following year, lost to Serme in the qualifying rounds in last month's European Team Championships in France - but came back to beat the 21-year-old world No10 in the final to lead Netherlands to a first-time title triumph in the event.

The 34-year-old from The Hague, but now based in the UK, will face Jenny Duncalf, the top seed who is also celebrating her third successive appearance in the final.

Duncalf, the world No2 from Harrogate and champion in 2006 and 2007, prevailed in an all-English clash with Tania Bailey, beating the 5/8 seed 11-2, 11-9, 12-10.

The men's climax promises a mouth-watering all-French clash - and a repeat of the last two years' finals - between top seed Gregory Gaultier and defending champion Thierry Lincou.

The Gallic duo have been fierce rivals throughout their careers - and their tournament head-to-head tally is delicately poised on 11 wins apiece as they prepare to do battle for the 2010 European crown!

Gaultier, the five-time champion from Aix-en-Provence, reached the final for the seventh successive year when he beat Hungary's 9/16 seed Mark Krajcsak 11-5, 11-5, 11-7.

Lincou, the former world champion from Marseille who is looking for his second European title, fought off 'Flying Finn' Olli Tuominen, defeating the 5/8 seed from Helsinki 12-10, 11-9, 11-2.

Men's semi-finals:
[1] Gregory Gaultier (FRA) bt [9/16] Mark Krajcsak (HUN) 11-5, 11-5, 11-7
[2] Thierry Lincou (FRA) bt [5/8] Olli Tuominen (FIN) 12-10, 11-9, 11-2

Women's semi-finals:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [5/8] Tania Bailey (ENG) 11-2, 11-9, 12-10
[3/4] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) bt [2] Camille Serme (FRA) 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4