Cayman World Open 2012 presented by BDO
Fri 21st Dec, Final: Nicol David (Mas) 3-0  Laura Massaro (Eng) 11/6, 11/8, 11/6 (44m)
Seventh Heaven for Nicol in Camana Bay
By STEVE CUBBINS
Nicol David claimed her seventh World Open title with a straight-games win over first-time finalist in fornt of a packed, noisy and enthralled crowd at Camana Bay tonight.
The Malaysian went into the match as hot favourite, having long since avenged two rare defeats at the hands of the Englishwoman ranked three in the world, but the match, although over in three games, was one of David’s toughest recent encounters.
The defending champion started solidly enough, opening up a 4-1 lead in the first game, extending it to 7-3 with the patient, accurate squash tat is so effective. Massaro found her way into the game, started matched David in the rallies and got back to as close as 8-6, but David finished off the next three rallies with lengths that were just too good to take the lead 11/6.
The second was tough, close, and probably crucial. David again made the better start, but Massaro was well into the match now, and soon pegged back that 3-1 deficit, levelling at 4-all. The game, the match, was all about long, patient rallies, working your opponent around and taking opportunities to increase the pressure rather than going for outright winners, until the pressure paid off.
That’s Nicol’s game of course, and to some extent she forces opponents to play her at her own game. Massaro was doing that, and for a good portion of the game she was beating Nicol at it. The Malaysian was the one working harder, doing more scrambling, and she edged ahead 504, 6-5 and 7-6.
Another part of Nicol’s game is that she finishes games off well, and she did it again, taking four points in a row, reaching game ball with a lovely dropshot on the full stretch, and doubling her lead 11/8 at the end of another long rally.
That was crucial, and David zoomed into a quick 5-0 lead in the third. Massaro, as in the first, settled but couldn’t get all the way back, 6-4, 7-5 and 8-6 were as close as she could get.
Nicol moved to 9-6 on a stroke, 10-6 as Laura’s volley clipped the tin, and she gleefuly put away the loose ball she’d worked hard to earn at the end of the next rally to claim an amazing seventh World Open title.
“I’m proud to make the final, but a bit disappointed that the games but I couldn’t close any of them out. You have to work really hard to beat her, she doesn’t lose very often but we’re all working to get closer, but she steps up to the challenge too.
“I’ve had a great tournament and a great experience here, and congratulations to Nicol on another title!”
“I can’t believe it,” said Nicol. “I’m so pleased with my game tonight. Laura played so well she was pushing me on every point, I just couldn’t relax at any time, she played a brilliant match today.
“I was focused for the match but I had to step up another gear to win today, I just wanted to win so much, to win again in Cayman, that seventh world title, I wanted it all!
“It’s been a great experience here again, I’ll try to see a bit of the island before I leave tomorrow! Thanks to Dan, the sponsors and organisers, and the fantastic Cayman crowd, we feed off their energy, and they all do it better than anywhere else we go.
Thanks also to my family and friends all watching back home, to my team here and in Amsterdam in Malaysia who have been with me all the way this week and from the beginning, to all the Malaysian supporters who always come and give me such great support, and a special thanks to the SquashCity gang from Amsterdam who have come out here specially this week!”
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