Friday, 21 March 2014 | MYT 10:18 PM
Nicol on track as Wee Wern shown exit
Nicol David (right) in action against France’s Camille Serme during the 29th Penang-CIMB Women’s World Championship quarter-finals on Friday. Nicol won 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4. — ZHAFARAN NASIB / The Star
GEORGE TOWN: Malaysian Nicol David stayed on course for her eighth world title, but it was the end of the road for compatriot Low Wee Wern in the Penang-CIMB 29th Women’s World Championship 2013 at the SPICE Arena.
World No. 1 Nicol received an early jolt against France’s world No. 6 Camille Serme but fought back to secure a 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4 win to reach her sixth straight semi-final appearance.
“I played the best I could against Camille and she played really good squash. It was one of the best I’ve ever faced from her,” said Nicol.
“Even though we’ve met so many times, it has always been close and tough because she’s such a strong competitor. She never gives up. I’m definitely happy to win in five sets.
“The fans were great. They spurred me on and it kept me working hard. Hopefully, I’ll put on another great show tomorrow (Saturday),” added Nicol, who will meet 18-year-old Egyptian Nour El Sherbini, the youngest ever semi-finalist, for a place in the final.
Wee Wern went into battle ahead of Nicol, but failed to please her home crowd. The 23-year-old went down 14-12, 6-11, 11-6, 11-13, 7-11 in 105 minutes to world No. 2 Laura Massaro of England.
Never getting past the quarter-finals in the championship, world No. 7 Wee Wern had a great chance to seal her first last-four place when she led 10-7 in the fourth set. But the Penangite lost her composure to allow Massaro to force a rubber game.
Wee Wern was again in the lead – 5-1 – in the fifth set. But she suffered a meltdown and Massaro grabbed the opportunity with relish as she won 11-7 to stay alive in the championship.
It was Massaro’s eighth win over Wee Wern in nine Women’s Squash Association (WSA) meetings and she will meet Egypt’s world No. 3 Raneem El Weleily in the semi-finals.
“Wee Wern was really solid with her backhand and all her shots were tight,” said Massaro, who made the final in 2012 in the Cayman Islands.
“This was definitely Wee Wern’s best showing against me as she put me under so much pressure. It’s a sign of how much she’s improved but I’m proud of myself for pulling through,” added the 30-year-old.
Wee Wern, a quarter-finalist from 2010-2012, admitted Massaro’s experience made the difference.
“It’s a bit hard to lose in Penang ... but I really gave it everything I had,” said Wee Wern.
“I had my chances in the fourth set, but Laura played better on the crucial points. That’s something I have to learn,” added Wee Wern dejectedly.