Laureus ambassador Nicol David conducting a squash clinic last month. She will analyse what went wrong at last month's Penang-CIMB 29th Women’s World Championship in Penang before attempting to bag the British Open title in May.
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Nicol David is down but not out.
The 30-year-old Penangite hopes to bounce back from her shock defeat to youngster Nour El Sherbini of Egypt in the semi-finals of the Penang-CIMB 29th Women’s World Championship in Penang last month and live up to her top billing at the British Open in Hull next month.
Seven-time world champion Nicol will be gunning for her fifth British Open title.
The Malaysian will open her campaign against a qualifier on May 13.
She is expected to face 16th seed Sarah-Jane Perry of England in the second round.
The English player is a tough opponent as she came close to upsetting seventh seed Madeline Perry of Ireland in the second round of the World Championship.
The other top-seeded players in their half of the draw are fifth seed Alison Waters of England and fourth seed Joelle King of New Zealand.
Nicol is definitely looking forward to the British Open.
“It will be a month of putting things together with coach Liz (Irving) in Amsterdam and also analysing what went wrong during the World Championship,” said Nicol.
National No. 2 Low Wee Wern is seeded seventh in the tournament and she too will face a qualifier in the first round.
Her opponent in the second round will most likely be three-time world junior champion and 13th seed Sherbini.
Wee Wern, who is ranked seventh in the world, calls 18-year-old Sherbini a “giant killer” after her stunning win over Nicol in Penang.
“Her confidence has grown since playing in the World Championship meet and she definitely will be going all out to get the better of higher-ranked players at the British Open.
“I will face a torrid time against Sherbini, who beat me in the final of the Greenwich Open in the United States last year,” said Wee Wern, who put up a good fight against world No. 2 Laura Massaro of England in the quarter-finals of the World Championship.
Massaro, who defeated Sherbini in the final for the world title last month, is also the British Open reigning champion.
She will open her campaign against Joey Chan of Hong Kong.
“It’s a really prestigious event and, for all the British players, it’s a great opportunity to play in front of a home crowd which is something we don’t get to do very often.
“The strength and depth in the women’s draw is really tough. I’ve actually got the same first round draw that I had last year so I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad omen.
“I guess now I need to stop celebrating my World Championship win and start focusing on this,” said Massaro, who upset Nicol in the final to win the British Open title last year.
In the men’s category, none of the Malaysian players are in the main draw. Ong Beng Hee and Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan will be featuring in the qualifiers.
Defending champion Nick Matthew of England is the top seed while second seed is Gregory Gaultier of France.
Last year, Matthew beat the Frenchman in five sets in the final to lift the title.