|Highest Ranking||1 ( Dec 2005 )|
|DATE OF BIRTH ||10th Mar 1976|
|PLACE OF BIRTH ||NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND|
|LIVES ||LEEDS, ENGLAND|
|COACH ||MALCOLM WILLSTROP|
|HANDED ||RIGHT HANDED|
|AGE BEGAN PLAYING ||9|
|CLUB BASED AT ||PONTEFRACT SC|
|TIMES PLAYED FOR COUNTRY ||17 EUROPEANS, 10 WORLDS|
|SENIOR NATIONAL TITLES WON ||12|
|SQUASH ACHIEVEMENTS ||WORLD CHAMPION 2004, WORLD NO 1 2005, 24 WISPA TITLES, 12 NATIONAL TITLES, EUROPEAN TEAM CHAMPIONS IN 2010|
|BEST RESULTS SO FAR ||WORLD CHAMPION 2004, WORLD NO 1 2005, 24 WISPA TITLES, 12 NATIONAL TITLES, EUROPEAN TEAM CHAMPIONS IN 2010|
|HOBBIES ||READING , MOUNTAIN BIKING|
|PHOTO ACTION |
|OTHER ||Vanessa Atkinson has been in the top twenty since 1999. For six of those years she was a fixture in the top ten and she held the number one ranking for periods in 2005 and 2006. She also became World Champion in 2004.|
At thirty five years old, Atkinson is still a member of the top ten and showed in 2010 that she still has the game to mix it with the best players in the world.
She started 2010 strongly, reaching the semi final of the Greenwich Open, losing out to top seed Alison Waters. The following month she swept to her twenty first tour title in the Zack's Swedish Open, beating compatriot Annelize Naude in the final.
A disappointing result in the KL Open was followed by success back in France at the European Team Championships.The Dutch team, lead by Atkinson grabbed the title with victory over hosts France in the final. It was the first time in the events history that England didn't win the title. England were without two of their top players and the Dutch took advantage of this in the semi final. Atkinson stunned world number two Jenny Duncalf to seal the victory.
Atkinson couldn't repeat the win over Duncalf in the final of the European Individual Championships in Germany that followed the team championships.
In September she reached another tour final at the Irish Open, losing out to home favourite Madeline Perry in the final.
Later the same month she reached another World Open quarter final. She edged dangerous South African Tenille Swartz in the first round and staged a magnificent comeback to beat another former world number one, Natalie Grainger, in the last sixteen. Alison Waters ended her run, albeit 11-8 in the decider.
She carried this good form across to the US Open, where she collected her twenty second career title at the prestigious event. She subdued the sensational run of American junior Amanda Sobhy in the final. She hit number eight in the rankings following this, her highest place for over two years.
Atkinson was rediscovering her best form it seemed and stormed to another final in October in Monte Carlo. It took world number four Omneya Abdel Kawy to beat her in the final.
She couldn't have finished the year any better. At home at the Dutch Open in November she crowned a wonderful week with her twenty third career title. She battled past top seed and long time rival Rachel Grinham in the semi final before taking charge of the final against Madeline Perry.
Her second Dutch Open victory marks a perfect ending for the 12 time Dutch Champion, who will be retiring from the tour in May 2011.
In her last few months on the tour, Atkinson is sure to cause an upset or two to retire in style.
2010 tour win-loss record: 24-7
Career titles: 23