Brilliant David extends World Open squash title record
Friday, 21 December 2012
December 21 - World number one Nicol David won her seventh women's World Open squash title and fifth in a row in the Caymen Islands following a straight games win over England's number one Laura Massaro, to find herself just one title off equalling men's champion Jansher Khan's feat.
The 44-minute final was stronger than ever with David facing Massaro – one of the few players to have beaten her twice - whose attempts to quell the top seed with long rallies had her leading the second game by 7-5.
But it was short-lived as the 29-year-old Malaysian heroine showcased her ability with lightening quick responses and well-timed drops to pull the game back to 8-7, before going on to win the title with an 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 score line.
The victory, which puts her just one short of equalling former men's world number one Jansher Khan of Pakistan's eight World Open titles, will no doubt prove to be a greatly desired confidence boost to cope with the perpetual pressure of expectations and silence critics suggesting younger rivals could be closing in on her.
An emotional David held her head in both hands and then raised them high on the court before expressing her joy over the win.
"I can't believe it," she said.
"I just can't believe it.
"I am just so pleased with my match, Laura pushed me every point.
"There was no point where I could let up because she was just on it at every point.
"She played a very good match."
David only dropped one match during the entire tournament but it was the final - despite only being three games long – which proved her most difficult encounter.
Her impressive 8-7 comeback in the pivotal middle game was followed in the next rally by a marginally mistimed backhand drive by Massaro, which caused the ball to come away from the wall and resulted in her slightly impeding David, which meant a penalty stroke was awarded.
She fought out to win the last three points in the first game, the last four of the second, and the last three of the match.
Despite Massaro's video review appeal the decision was not overturned.
Massaro, who was making her World Open debut, said she was "disappointed" to have lost her two game lead after saving a match-point and enduring a tough semi-final with the second-seeded Egyptian, Raneem El Weleily on the way.
"It was just a few points here and there and that's all the difference," she said.
"The middle of the games were so crucial and that's what I have to work on.
"It's still pretty rare that she is beaten.
"We are still training hard and improving and she's rising to the challenge."