Nicol David (front) on her way to beating Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-7, 12-10, 11-4 in the British Open quarter-finals. – SquashSite Photo
PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Nicol David is on track to reclaim her British Open crown after sweeping into the semi-finals in superb fashion.
The 2012 champion who was dethroned by England’s world No. 2 Laura Massaro last year, didn’t face the toughest of matches against Egypt’s Omneya Abdel Kawy, winning in straight sets 11-7, 12-10, 11-4.
The 30-year-old Nicol mixed a good variety of speed and killer shots to put Omneya, who had toppled world No. 5 Camille Serme a day earlier, constantly on the move.
It worked to perfection for Nicol as Omneya struggled to regain her earlier form despite offering brief resistance.
And a two-set lead eventually knocked the fight out of the Egyptian as Nicol comfortably went on to seal her semi-final berth in 39 minutes.
“I played much better today. Omneya is such a crafty opponent and you have to be on your toes all the time,” said Nicol.
“I just couldn’t afford to relax at all and had to stick to my game plan at all times which worked out well in the end.
“It’s great to play in this event, in front of such a great, knowledgeable crowd, and I’m looking forward to the semi-finals when there will be more people.”
The seven-time world champion will go on to meet England’s world No. 6 Alison Waters, in a rematch of last year’s semi-final.
Last year, Nicol won the tie in just 27 minutes but the British national champion looks to be back in form, having edged out world No. 4 Joelle King 11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 11-1 in the quarter-finals.
The other semi-final will be played between Massaro and world No. 3 Raneem El Weleily of Egypt, who defeated Sarah Kippax (England) and national No. 2 Low Wee Wern respectively in their quarter-final matches.
In the men’s event, top seed and reigning world champion Nick Matthew kept the flame of hope alive for English fans with an emphatic 11-4, 12-10, 11-9 win over rising star Fares Dessouki of Egypt.
The veteran Sheffield player will go on to meet another Egyptian – world No. 3 Mohamed El Shorbagy, who doused the challenge of Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, for a place in the final.