Nicol David claims the women’s ATCO World Series Finals title with the world watching on.
SkySports continued their live coverage at Queens Club in London, for the final day of the event that saw the reigning world No1 contain a spirited challenge from Madeline Perry, ranked two places below her.
Perry, who knocked out England’s home hope Jenny Duncalf in yesterday’s semi-final, made a confident start and took an early lead in the first game. David wasn’t going to let her opponent build up too much of an advantage, however, and was always within touching distance.
The scores stayed tight right the way up to 9-9, with Perry stepping forward to volley early and easily matching the higher seed for width and precision. It was only at this stage that David upped the pace, working Perry out of position and finishing off two rallies to take the first game 11-9.
This became the pattern for the rest of the match. Neither player was ever more than three points away from one another, as the finalists seemed to cancel each other out with their efforts. Similarly, at 9-9 in the second game, Nicol again found an extra half-yard of pace and her lethal attacking shots saw off the second game in her favour, also 11-9.
Just as in the previous games, the scoreline showed exactly how closely fought this contest was, with every bit of ground gained by one player, the other would immediately pull level. The standard of line and length squash on display was at its highest all week and easily the most closely matched contest of the week. Again the scores were tied at 8-8 and again, Perry seemed to lack the quality finishing in the most important periods of the match. David on the other hand, held game-balls in the first two games and finished each off on the first time of asking. Match-ball was a similar story, with Perry managing to reduce the deficit by one point before David claimed the title as her own.
The Malaysian played five matches this week and dropped just one game, coming at the hand of Laura Massaro in the semi finals. No player deserved a game more than Perry today for a sterling effort against the world No1 but on this occasion it wasn’t to be.
David said after winning the title: “Winning the World Series Finals title is a great start to 2012 and having the top 8 players here and contending for it makes it very special. It’s never easy but I’ve felt good all week and very pleased to be playing well. Hopefully there’s more to come!
“Knowing that tonight was going to be a longer game felt weird after playing best of three all week. It felt like a longer game today, which is strange as yesterday I played three game too, but I don’t tend to approach matches differently depending on that. I played well during the crucial points tonight and I’m delighted to have won.”
ATCO World Series Final
Nicol David bt Madeline Perry: 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 (41 mins)