Monday, May 19, 2014

SQUASH: Nicol gets her revenge


NICOL David downed world champion Laura Massaro to win the British Open for a fifth time in seven final appearances in Hull yesterday.

The 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 victory avenged Nicol’s defeat to England’s Laura in last year's final and also soothed the disappointment of failing to win the World Championship in her home state Penang in March.

Nicol’s 74th WSA title from 93 finals took her to joint-fifth on the British Open title list, level with England's Margot Lumb but way behind the record of 16 titles held by Australian Heather McKay.

Yesterday’s final should have been played out in Penang but for seven-time world champion Nicol’s surprise defeat in the semi-finals and the World No 1 took a while to get into her rhythm.

For the second match in a row, Nicol dropped the opening game but reeled off seven points in a row from 4-5 down in the second to even the final at one game apiece.

Nicol pulled away from 7-6 in a close third game to take the lead and the fourth followed a similar pattern, until a tin by Laura set up three match points for Nicol at 10-7.

Laura saved one match ball before Nicol won the next point to regain the title she last won in 2012 and extend her head-to-head record against the World No 2 to 21-5.

Meanwhile, national men’s No 1 Nafiizwan Adnan won his fourth title on the Malaysian Squash Tour when he defeated Valentino Bong in the fifth leg final in Bukit Dumbar, Penang yesterday.

Nafiizwan won 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 and is now just one title short to match the five he won last year.
Egyptian Farrah Abdel Meguid won the women’s final in a tournament sanctioned by the WSA Tour by beating unseeded Vanessa Chu of Hong Kong 11-6, 11-8, 11-9.

Second seed Vanessa Raj, days after winning a trial to be picked for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, was upset by fellow national junior Nazihah Hanis Abdul Razak in the first round.
Another national junior, third seed Rachael Arnold, was beaten by Vanessa Chu in the semi-finals.


By DEVINDER SINGH | devinder@nst.com.my  

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