Tuesday, May 28, 2024

New York: Nicol in fighting mood to show who’s boss



By Lee Horton

Nicol David is ready to unleash a whole lot of frustration in New York this week as she battles to consign a year of relative disappointment to the trash can.

The world number one is in unfamiliar territory, not the Big Apple, but the mindset that demands she convince herself once again that she is still the best woman player on the planet.

Until last month’s Malaysian Open final win over Raneem El Weleilly, Nicol had gone through 2013 without bagging a single WSA title. Almost unthinkable for the 30 year old player who has not relinquished the world No.1 spot for a single day in seven years.

Nicol now has the chance to restore her own pride and inner-confidence when opens her account at the $50k Carol Weymuller Open in Brooklyn, NY. She is seeded to meet her great rival, Laura Massaro in the final and will be gunning for revenge having surrendered both the British Open and the Kuala Lumpur Open titles to the girl from the north of England.

“It certainly hasn’t been easy seeing the other players notch up wins over me this year,” admits Nicol “But winning the Malaysian Open was just the boost I needed, especially since it was in front of my home fans.

“With all the disappointments from the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision on squash for the 2020 Games, I just want to put all that behind me and continue to show that squash will only continue to step up.

“The next step now is just to keep the consistency, which is always the hardest part of being a squash player.”

Nicol, who lost to England’s Alison Waters in last year’s quarter-finals, has a favourable draw this time. She began with a 3-0 win against Australia’s Donna Urquhart in Thursday’s first round and last night beat India’s  Dipika Pallikal  (11/7, 11/5, 11/4) to ease into the last four where she’ll face  EL Weleilly  who downed Joelle King of New Zealand (11/6, 11/7, 11/9).

Massaro kept her part of the bargain by beating Low Wee Wern 3-0 and now faces Camille Serme conqueror of Jenny Duncalf.

In the semi finals, Nicol downed El Weleilly while French sensation Camille Serme defeated Massaro…both matches finishing 3-0.

Nicol David and Raneem El Weleilly who face one another in this evening’s semi final in New York


[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) 11-8, 11-7, 11-4
Camille Serme (FRA) bt [2] Laura Massaro (ENG) 12-10, 11-6, 11-4

Quarter Finals:

Nicol David (MAS) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 3-0 (11/7, 11/5, 11/4)

Raneem EL Weleilly (EGY) bt Joelle King (NZL) 3-0 (11/6, 11/7, 11/9)

Camille Serme (FRA) bt Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-0 (11/7, 11/7, 11/7)


1st round:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11-8, 11-5, 11-4
Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [8] Kasey Brown (AUS) 6-11, 10-12, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9
[3] Raneem El Weleilly (EGY) bt [Q] Line Hansen (DEN) 11-9, 11-3, 11-4
[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11-7, 11-4, 11-8
[7] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Victoria Lust (ENG) 11-5, 11-5, 11-4
Camille Serme (FRA) bt [4] Alison Waters (ENG) 11-7, 11-13, 11-4, 11-9
[6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [Q] Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 13-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-3
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [Q] Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-4, 11-6, 11-7

Qualifying finals: Aisling Blake (IRL) bt Sarah Kippax (ENG) 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6 Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8 Victoria Lust (ENG) bt Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11-3, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6 Line Hansen (DEN) bt Lisa Aitken (ENG) 11-5, 11-3, 11-9    

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Laura after her won over Low Wee Wern.

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