Monday, August 25, 2014

Nicol’s power waning at home


NICOL David will attempt to bounce back from her CIMB Malaysian Open loss in Hong Kong this week as the World No 1 spoke of the pressure to perform in front of home fans.

An eight-time winner of the Malaysian Open, Nicol made her earliest exit from the tournament in more than 12 years following her semi-final defeat by Egypt’s eventual winner Raneem El Weleily.
It was the second time this year Nicol failed to live up to home expectations, following a more painful semi-final loss at the World Championship in her home state Penang.

They are Nicol’s only two losses this year while winning WSA Tour titles in New York, Cleveland and the British Open, Commonwealth Games gold and the Asian Team Cham pionship.

Nicol has triumphed only once, at the 2013 Malaysian Open, in the last five WSA Tour tournaments held in Malaysia, after winning 14 of the previous 16.

“A loss is still a loss and after what happened in Penang, I trained very hard to return and win the British Open,” said Nicol after her defeat at the Nu Sentral Mall.

“This season is going to be a long one and this is one tournament (Malaysian Open) you want to do well.

“For me, every tournament I want to play well but there is no room for error or to let my guard down.
“I have to be at my peak always and that is tough. I love playing in Malaysia and I want to do well here and everyone else wants me to do well.

“But the other players have nothing to lose and can just go for it.”
Nicol begins her Hong Kong Open title defence against a qualifier tomorrow, on her 31st birthday, with the likes of Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt and France's Camille Serme in her path to the final.
With Nicol electing not to defend her China Open title, the Asian Games in Incheon in the second half of September will be her following assignment.

“Now, I just want a little rest before getting ready for Hong Kong,” said Nicol.

National No 2 Low Wee Wern will also hope to make amends for her second round loss at the Malaysian Open though she would have to face Nour El Tayeb, the runner-up on Saturday, in the last-16.


By DEVINDER SINGH - NST

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