|Highest Ranking||2 ( Feb 2007 )|
|DATE OF BIRTH ||16th Mar 1978|
|PLACE OF BIRTH ||TOOWOOMBA, AUSTRALIA|
|HANDED ||RIGHT HANDED|
|AGE BEGAN PLAYING ||2|
|CLUB BASED AT ||MEER SQUASH & ACTIVITY|
|SQUASH ACHIEVEMENTS ||TRIPLE GOLD MEDALIST COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2006, EUROPEAN CHAMPION 2009, 4X WORLD OPEN RUNNER UP (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009), 12 WISPA TOUR TITLES|
|BEST RESULTS SO FAR ||AS ABOVE|
|AMBITIONS ||TO BECOME WORLD CHAMPION IN 2011|
|PHOTO ACTION |
|OTHER ||Natalie is the younger sister of Rachael. Her sister chose to base herself in Egypt while Natalie chose Netherlands to maximise her competitive and practice opportunities. Definitely one of the fastest players on the circuit she scampers around the court to great effect and has consistently been in the top six of the rankings since December 2003& getting to second spot in February 2007.|
During 2004 she reached the semi finals in Brunei and Bahrain before being part of the Australian team which won the World Team title in her adopted base of Netherlands. That year ended on a real high note when she reached the final of the World Open in Kuala Lumpur, then paired up with her sister to take the Women’s World Doubles title in India straight afterwards.
2005 started slowly but momentum really got going again when she won the US Open and reached the finals of the British Open and Carol Weymuller Open. Now she was starting to edge closer to the top trio of David, Atkinson and sister Rachael.
Early March 2006 saw her returning to her homeland to marry Dutch squash professional Tommy Berden, and she might have been expected to have had a poor preparation for the Commonwealth Games which followed straight after. Yet the younger of the Toowoomba Twosome took the Games by storm winning an unprecedented three gold medals. The individual title was taken when she beat Rachael in a sisterly final, then paired up with her to win the Women’s Doubles, and with Joe Kneipp to triumph in the Mixed. Who would have bet on it!
Her great form took her to another World Open final in 2006, where she was thwarted by Nicol David, but at the Seoul Open in April 2007 she got her revenge, ending David's 13 month unbeaten run in the final. Despite an ankle injury which caused a tame exit to Tania Bailey in the semi finals of the CIMB Malaysian Open, she bounced back to reach the CIMB Singapore Masters final the following week. However, a return of the problem may have contributed to a defeat by sister Rachael in the semis of the Forexx Dutch Open in September 2007. The up & down nature of her injury affected year continued with her managing to reach the World Open final in Madrid during October 2007 when she succumbed to sister Rachael, while nursing a wrist injury.
She did reach three subsequent major event finals at the end of 2007 and into early 2008 but was thwarted by resurgent Nicol David on each occasion. Then in May the Dunlop British Open saw her forced to retire with a leg injury. This, coupled with her continuing wrist problem forced her to contemplate a break until the end of July.
But her return was emphatic, reaching the final of the CIMB Malaysian Open before going down to Nicol David. Not so good was to follow the next week where a damaged ankle contributed to a five game first round loss to Isabelle Stoehr. But it was business as usual at the Forexx Dutch Open in early September when she reached the final in her adopted country before Nicol David ended the run.
An unexpectedly early exit awaited her in the World Open in October where fifth seed Jenny Duncalf beat her in the quarter finals. However, she bounced back by reaching the final of the Qatar Classic (where David stopped her), but only after a pulsating 12/10 in the fifth semi final win over sister Rachael.
The early months of 2009 saw Natalie recovering from the effects of whooping cough, and her ranking slipped from the second slot that she had held for two years to number four in April. Also in April she became eligible to play for Netherlands for the first time - in the European Team Championships.
Having been sidelined for much of the first six months of 2009 with a respiratory condition Natalie bounced back by winning the Squash Pyramides title in France and was silver medalist behind Nicol David in the World Games in July.
These were followed up by taking David close in the semis of the CIMB Malaysian Open and then reaching the final of the CIMB Singapore Masters a week later before again losing to the Malaysian. However another title was added in the New Zealand Open when she beat Natalie Grainger in straight games.
In September she reached the final of the World Open in her adopted country of Netherlands when she lost in four games to Nicol David in the Amsterdam final, having beaten sister Rachael in the semi finals.
She then travelled to Hong Kong but had to concede before the second round feeling unwell. It transpired later that she was pregnant and so her playing became on hold while she and husband Tommy awaited the birth of their first child – a boy, Kieran born at the end of May. She has vowed to be back on the circuit with him in tow!