Stunning setting for glass court in Colombia
By SEAN REUTHE in Colombia
Malaysia’s eight-time World Champion Nicol David lifted her first PSA World Tour title since December 2015 after a dominant display against World No.27 Olivia Blatchford in the final of the inaugural Ciudad de Floridablanca, PSA W70 tournament held at the Parque el Santisimo, Colombia.
Playing in the shadow of the stunning El Santisimo statue, World No.7 David – who topped the World Rankings for nine years between 2006-2015 – stormed out of the blocks to take a two-game lead amidst a nervy start from Blatchford, who was appearing in her biggest ever final.
Play was then suspended for 40 minutes at 6-6 in the third game after a sudden period of rainfall plunged the completion of the final into doubt, but the sky cleared and David returned to court in a determined mood as she closed out the win to wrap up an 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 victory in 70 minutes.
David’s win sees her take a share of the $70,000 prize fund, the most lucrative purse ever to be offered at a women’s squash tournament in South America, in addition to claiming the 81st Tour title of her glittering career – and her first since the 2015 Hong Kong Open.
“It feels great to win a tournament again,” admitted David. “It’s been quite a while and I think this is really special to have my first title here in Floridablanca. It’s going to have a special place in my heart.
“Thank you so much to the people in Floridablanca for hosting us here at the El Santisimo, it’s been such a special week for all of us girls here.
“There was so much support from the mayor and everyone here, who put so much effort into making this happen.
“It’s such a team effort, and everyone has worked so hard to make this happen for women’s squash.”
Blatchford paid tribute to the experience of playing one of the sport’s greatest ever players, saying: “This whole trip has been crazy. It’s amazing to be here and get the experience. I don’t really get to spend too much time on glass courts, especially glass courts like this.
“To play Nicol, who is an idol in the game, is incredible.”
2017 Ciudad de Floridablanca, Colombia.
 Nicol David (MAS) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA) 3-0: 11-3, 11-4, 11-8 (70m)
Pictures courtesy of Squash Colombia