Monday, December 4, 2023

WSA: Nicol halts Laura’s London dream


Nicol David holds the trophy aloft after her brilliant win over Laura Massaro. Picture by JORDAN MANSFIELD

Nicol David Retains World Series title in London


Nicol David retains the World Series Finals title in front of a packed Queen’s Club venue with Sky Sports broadcasting to the world.

The world No.1 brushed aside home favourite Laura Massaro in a straight games win, dispelling any hint of an upset following the Englishwoman’s victory over her in the group stages early in the week.

The Malaysian started the match confidently, immediately finding her length and setting about putting the pressure on her opponent.  She leapt to a 4-point lead with Massaro struggling to find a competitive length early on.  Massaro’s attacking boast, which had been so dangerous in her earlier matches this week, seemed less effective and her early attempts were punished by David.

The rallies grew longer as the game progressed, but Massaro’s attacking threats were mostly absorbed by the seven-time world champion, whose consistency was a level above in this match.

She closed out the first game and returned with similar vigour for the start of the second, amassing a five point lead with Massaro registering just one point.  In her struggle to finish of the rallies, the world No.3 began forcing the ball short earlier, but the movement of David proved quick and she was unable to find the killer ball.

The third game was more of a contest, as Massaro seemed to find a decent width and length to trouble her opponent.  Her body language and court position appeared more confident and she matched David point for point up to the latter stages of the third.  Stepping higher up the court, she found some success in cutting the ball short, but at the business end of the game a trademark flat-boast hit the tin to give David a 9-8 lead.  The Malaysian took the opportunity and didn’t look back.

A buoyant David spoke to the crowd after her win: “It really means a lot to get off to a winning start in 2013, and after losing to Laura in the week, getting back on top of things.  I’m really pleased to win 3-0, it didn’t feel like three games, it was a really great match.  Knowing that she was playing in front of a home crowd, it really made it important to start off strong and get the lead.  I thought that if she got ahead at all then she’d just be feeding off the crowd, so I had to make sure I did it instead!

“It’s been tremendous to have had this event live on Sky Sports and Eurosport this weekend.  It’s been live back in Malaysia too and it’s amazing what they’ve done with the whole TV product.  They’ve made squash look so good, showing how the live audiences are getting involved and really showing us in a great light.

“It’s fantastic to be here with the men’s PSA World Tour too.  We’ve had the top eight players from both tours competing this week; only the best players get to play here at Queens Club and what better place to showcase our sport?”


Nicol David (MAS) bt Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-2, 11-3, 11-9

RED HOT: Nicol David controls the court against Laura Massaro. Picture by JORDAN MANSFIELD

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