Nicol David in a file photo. She beat England's Alison Waters 8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 in the British Open semi-finals.
PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Nicol David checked into her seventh British Open final in eight years after wearing down England’s Alison Waters in the semi-finals.
The four-time winner was slow off the blocks but recovered superbly for an 8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 win over fifth seed Waters on Saturday.
With the win, the 30-year-old Nicol set up a mouth-watering rematch of last year’s final after world No. 2 and defending champion Laura Massaro of England checked into the title playoff with a 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 win over world No. 3 Raneem El Weleily of Egypt.
But it was not an easy match for Nicol as Waters came out determined to avenge her 27-minute defeat to the Penangite in last year’s semi-final by taking the first set 11-8.
That, however, woke Nicol from her slumber and she bounced back quickly to take both the third and fourth sets 11-4.
That knocked the wind out of Waters and Nicol only dropped two more points before emphatically sealing her spot in the final in 43 minutes.
It was an extraordinary 23rd win in 24 meetings for the seven-time world champion over Waters and she will be eager to regain the title she lost last year.
“It was really a tough game because Alison came out firing in the first and second sets and I had to work hard to stay in there,” said Nicol.
“But I knew I had a chance if I just hung in there and I’m just pleased to win the match 3-1.
“As for the final, I don’t think either me or Laura will be doing anything too different. There is only one thing we will do, and that is to go out there and play our best squash, so it will be a good battle.
“But it will be great to win once more because the British Open is so prestigious, like the world title, and it means a lot going out and being a part of it,” added Nicol.