2006 All News
Ouseph and Cheung win at ASICS finals in Bath
The ASICS National Elite Open circuit reached its climax tonight with the Grand Finals at the Sports Training Village at the Unviersity of Bath.
If you weren't in the enthusiastic audience to watch the five finals, there’s no need to panic! You can watch the highlights via webstream on the TeamBath website – www.teambath.com <http://www.teambath.com>
In the first final of the night David Lindley (Notts) and Suzanne Rayappan (Herts) took the title against Chris Tonks (Warwicks) and Liza Parker (Herts) in two tight games.
Lindley and Rayappan started the sharper and never really looked back after opening a 5-0 lead, retaining a comfortable gap to take the opening game. The first half of the second game was closer with the interval coming with Lindley and Rayappan 11-10 up. Tonks and Parker raised their game to hold their opponents up to 19-19 but Lindley and Rayappan got their first match point at 20-19 and they didn't waste the opportunity to claim the title after just 28 minutes..
Michelle Cheung produced the biggest win in the senior ranks with a 21-13 21-15 victory over ASICS circuit rival Rachel Howard. Cheung, who beat Howard in the Yorkshire Elite final but lost to her in Sussex before winning the Wimbledon event, dominated the opening game.
Howard looked to be fighting back in the second as she opened up a 10-7 lead only for Cheung to overhaul her to go 13-11 clear. But 21-year-old Howard was in no mood to let the teenager run away with it and the final year psychology student, playing in front of her home fans at the University of Bath, levelled at 15-15.
But then Cheung produced the killer instinct and revealed her London 2012 potential as she reeled off the next six points to take the title in 33 minutes.
Now she has her sights on the English Nationals in Manchester. The Bucks youngster
said: "I was pleased with the way I played although I had to get used to the other end for the second game.
"Now I can look forward to the English Nationals in Manchester at the start of February. With the right seeding I would hope to get to the semi-finals."
Rajiv Ouseph and Nathan Rice, the pair who had dominated the men's circuit this season, produced an attractive final before the Middlesex 20-year-old won 21-12 22-20 in 33 minutes on his second match point.
Ouseph got an early 6-1 lead before Rice reined him back to within one point at 12-11. But Ouseph eased away again to take the first game.
The second, though, was a much tighter affair despite Ouseph again setting the pace with some stylish play. He looked to be cruising to victory at 12-6 and 18-13 ahead but Rice fought back to 18-18 and kept coming from behind at 19-19 and 20-20 after Ouseph's jumped clip had set up his first match point.
But at 21-20 Ouseph took his second chance to take the title to go with the one he won at Wimbledon when he beat Rice in the semi-final and English National champion Nick Kidd in the final.
Ouseph said: "It's my third win over Nathan this season. I beat him in the Yorkshire semi-finals and in the Wimbledon semi-finals and now here.
"I made it hard for myself in the second. I lost concentration at 18-13. But I'm pleased with the win. Now I've got a short break - I have some first year exams for my media studies at Loughborough University - and then the Nationals.
"After two semi-finals I am ready to step up. I feel I can win it this year. It's certainly wide open. Certainly the National title is one of my main targets this season. I've got a tournament in Sweden to help me prepare."
Mariana Agathangelou (Avon) and Gabby White (Yorks) made it a triumph for the teenage pair as they stormed to the women's doubles title with a thrilling win over regular rivals Jenny Wallwork (Yorks) and Suzanne Rayappan (Herts).
Agathangelou, 18, and White, 16, took charge straight away and it wasn't until the 27th point that Wallwork and Rayappan led for the first timeat 14-13. But back came the youngsters to snatch the opener 22-20 in a nailbiter.
And in the second they were 15-10 up but let it slip at Rayappan and Wallwork went into a 16-15 lead. But Agathangelou and White held their nerve to edge home 21-18.
Agathangelou said: "I couldn't have asked for it to be much better. We are both juniors so to win a senior event is just fantastic."
It was tough on Wallwork, twice a loser in last year's finals and now on the losing side once again.
This final was always going to be a cracker with the two pairs finishing joint top of the points table - and it was the only one that went to three. Just what an appreciative audience wanted.
And Dean George (Herts) and Chris Tonks (Warks) withstood a second-game fightback by Robert Adcock (Notts) and Robin Middleton (Yorks) to take the title.
Tonks and George took a close opening game 21-19 but Middleton and Adcock were just as determined in hauling back the advantage 21-17 in the second.
But Tonks and George always held the upper hand in the deciding game and took it 21-19 when Adcock served into the net at match point down. Victory made up for Tonks's mixed doubles disappointment at the start of the evening and also atoned for last year's men's doubles defeat when he was partnering Chris Langridge.
As for Middleton he picked up a yellow card for whacking the net after his side went 17-12 down after a brilliant rally. That just about summed up his night but both these pairs will be in contention again at the Nationals.
ASICS National Elite Open Grand Finals (University of Bath):
David Lindley (Notts) & Suzanne Rayappan (Herts) bt Chris Tonks (Warks) & Liza Parker (Herts) 21-18 21-19
Michelle Cheung (Bucks) v Rachel Howard (Herts) 21-13 21-15
Rajiv Ouseph (Middx) bt Nathan Rice (Bucks) 21-12 22-20
Mariana Agathangelou (Avon) & Gabby White (Yorks) bt Suzanne Rayappan (Herts) & Jenny Wallwork (Yorks) 22-20 21-18
Dean George (Herts) & Chris Tonks (Warks) bt Robert Adcock (Notts) & Robin Middleton (Yorks) 21-19 17-21 21-19