Thursday, March 05, 2015

Nicol falters in Windy City final to Raneem


PETALING JAYA: Malaysian squash queen Nicol David's bid for an 80th professional title went up in smoke after she was outclassed by world No.2 Raneem El Welily of Egypt in the final of the US$150,000 (RM534,000) Windy City Open.

The world No.1 Nicol who did not drop a single set en route to the final found the 26-year-old Raneem too hot to handle as she went down 16-14, 10-12, 7-11, 7-11 in Chicago on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old Nicol was made to work extremely hard in covering all corners but lucky to take the first set as Raneem commited 10 errors compared to nine winners.

The Egyptian who won the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in January however drastically reduced her error count in the second set and managed to level the match by taking the set 12-10.
That gave Raneem all the confidence she needed and duly took control of the match as Nicol started to show signs of fatigue.

In the fourth, Raneem had 10-6 match ball lead, an eerily similar situation to the World Championship last year which Nicol came back to win.

But there was no repeat of that feat as Nicol could only save one match ball before slamming the ball into the tin to hand Raneem her second title of the year.

The win means Raneem will improve her head-to-head record with Nicol to four wins from 21 meetings and inch closer to Nicol's No.1 spot in the world.


by Kng Zheng Guan - The Star

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