Nicol David wins SRAM Invitational on home soil
By Alex Wan – Squash Mad Asian Bureau Editor
Nicol David romped home with a 3-0 victory over India’s Joshna Chinappa in the final of the SRAM Women’s Squash Invitational Championships at the National Squash Centre in Kuala Lumpur to win her first title on home soil since the Malaysian Open in September 2013..
Victory must have been extra sweet for the Malaysian, winning it at home in front of her legion of loyal fans, who came in droves to pack the gallery to see their star in action.
The 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 victory over 28 minutes was a convincing one, but the ever modest Nicol was full of praise for her Indian opponent, “Joshna played some amazing shots. I guess her five set thriller against Joelle King in the semi-finals must have taken a toll on her.”
The win augurs well for the local squash darling, whose next tournament will be the Hong Kong Open in three weeks time. The world number four, who remains unbeaten in the event, will be gunning for her 11th consecutive title.
“I am pleased with my performance throughout the tournament and I am now looking forward for the new season to start with the Hong Kong Open three weeks from now,” said a jubilant Nicol David.
Joshna, who had already earlier lost out to Nicol in the group stages of the event, was full of praise for her opponent.
“She proved too good today. I tried to play my best but it was not enough. She was simply awesome, what more with the crowd supporting her. I must say I came here hoping not to finish last but I surprised myself by qualifying for the final. I am certainly happy with the results,” added Joshna, who will also be playing in the Hong Kong Open next.
In the classification matches, Omneya Abdel Kawy, the 30 year old from Cairo, avenged her group stage defeat to New Zealand’s Joelle King to finish third.
The pair were locked in a 42-minute battle over five games, a duration, which for a match involving Omneya, is considered lengthy. After winning the first game comfortably, Kawy had to claw back from 1-2 deficit before winning it 12-10 in the decider to claim victory.
In the other match, England’s Jenny Duncalf saw off a spirited challenge of Malaysian number two Delia Arnold to finish fifth.
Final : Nicol David (MAS) bt Joshna Chinappa (IND) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 (28 mins)
3/4 placing : Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Joelle King (NZL) 11-4, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10 (42 mins)
5/6 placing : Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6 (38 mins)
Pictures courtesy of Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia