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Saturday October 19, 2013 MYT 11:03:00 AM
Saturday October 19, 2013 MYT 2:01:42 PM
Nicol David celebrates after scoring the winning point in her US Open final match against Laura Massaro of England. – Photo copyright US Open Squash
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Nicol David exacted sweet revenge over nemesis and world No. 2 Laura Massaro of England to retain the US Open squash championships title at Drexel University in Philadelphia on Friday.
The 30-year-old Penangite, who lost to the Englishwoman twice – 3-1 in the semi-finals of the KL Open in March and also 3-1 in the final of British Open in May, however, had to battle for a gruelling 84 minutes before prevailing 13-11, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5.
Seven-time world champion Nicol screamed for joy after defeating the Englishwoman.
Nicol had met the 29-year-old and 2011 US Open champion Massaro 24 times in the Women Squash Association (WSA) tournaments since 2005 and the Malaysian has won 19 times.
It was a record 69th professional circuit title for Nicol from 88 finals she has featured in since turning pro in 1999.
It was also her third consecutive WSA title as she won the Malaysian Open last month and Carol Weymuller Open in New York on Oct 6.
The first set was very close with Massaro winning the first set with a 10-9 game point but Nicol storming back to win the set 13-11.
It was 9-9 in the second set but this time Massaro played some excellent shots to level the score with a 13-11 win.
Massaro took the third set 11-7 but couldn't capitalise on a 7-4 lead in the fourth set as Nicol took five points in a row, forcing the decider at 11-8.
In the decider, Massaro looked a bit exhausted after a gruelling 3-2 win over Malaysia’s Low Wee Wern in the semi-finals on Thursday and just could not cope up with the pace and lost 11-5.
“It feels fantastic, it means a lot to win that match and to win another US Open title,” Nicol told usopensquash.com.
“It's been such a journey this year. I knew Laura was playing well, and I would have to dig deep. When I was down in the fourth, she maybe stepped off it a little, I just knew I had to keep going and going to the last point.”
Nicol credited her coach Liz Irving for giving her the confidence she needed.
“Liz and the team in Amsterdam have been doing that for the last 10 and a half years.
“This is such a fantastic event, all credit to US Squash, the sponsors and the venue, making the prize money equal is putting the women's game where it deserves to be and we all look forward to coming back for the next 10 years!” said a clearly exuberant Nicol.
“I also thank everyone back in Malaysia or their support in bringing me to where I am especially the National Sports Council (NSC),” said Nicol after receiving her trophy.
Nicol's next tournament is the China Open in Shanghai starting on Oct 24.
Last year, she did not compete in the tournament after failing to get a visa in time.
Meanwhile, in the men's final, Frenchman Gregory Gaultier lived up to his billing by defeating third seed and two-time world champion Nick Matthew of England in straight sets 11-4, 11-5, 11-5 in 51 minutes.
It was Gaultier’s second US Open title as he also won in 2006.
“I gave 500% today, I tried to play fast and use a lot of variation as he is too strong in the middle.
“The last time I won here was in 2006 so to win it again here in this venue in straight sets is like a dream,” said Gualtier.
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squash, US Open, Nicol David, Laura Massaro
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