PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Nicol David will have two months to sharpen her game in preparation for a grudge match against Egyptian world No. 2 Raneem El Welily.
The 31-year-old Nicol was outplayed by Raneem in four sets at the Windy City Open final in Chicago, the United States, last week. It was sweet revenge for the Egyptian following her World Championship final loss to Nicol in Egypt last year.
The next time these two giants of the game collide will be at the British Open, which will be held from May 10-17 in Hull.
Nicol, whose form has been up and down since winning her eighth world title, will be going for a sixth British Open crown, having won it in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014.
But the Penangite will have get past some tricky opponents before that as she’s expected to meet in-form Englishwoman Emma Beddoes in the second round and world No. 7 Nour El Tayeb, also of Egypt, in the quarter-finals.
Then, in the semi-finals, she is expected to meet England’s world No. 3 Laura Massaro, who defeated her to win the 2013 British Open title.
“It was a tough 3-1 loss to Raneem in the final of the Windy City Open. She took her chances and played really well. It was still a great week in Chicago and I thank everyone for their kind wishes and support,” posted Nicol on Twitter.
National No. 2 Low Wee Wern, who made the quarter-finals of the Windy City meet, also has a tough draw. She’s up against Egypt’s world No. 18 Nouran Gohar in the first round.
If world No. 8 Wee Wern gets past the 17-year-old Nouran, she’s likely to meet New Zealand’s former world No. 4 Joelle King, who is making a comeback from an Achilles injury, in the second round.
by Kng Zheng Guan - The Star