Nicol David regains the British Open title after beating local lass and defensing champion Laura Massaro in the final on Sunday. - SquashSite.co.uk
PETALING JAYA: World No.1 Nicol David let out a scream of joy after coming back in style to beat defending champion Laura Massaro for her fifth British Open title in Hull.
The Penangite, who was beaten in the semi-finals of the World Championship in her hometown March, showed great determination and focus to rally for the 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 win on Sunday. It was sweet revenge for Nicol as she had lost to the Englishwoman in last year’s final.
Nicol has now won the world’s oldest squash tournament for the fifth time to add to her impressive list of seven world titles. She won the other British Open titles in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2012.
It was the 30-year-old Nicol’s 74th Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Tour title.
The Malaysian, however, didn’t have the best of starts. World No. 2 Massaro was always in command, taking an 8-5 lead before pushing on to win 11-8.
But Nicol bounced back superbly in the second, mixing her wide repertoire of shots with good length to reel off seven straight points to level the match at 1-1.
A frustrated Massaro tried desperately to fight back, but a series of errors cost her to lost 11-7 in the third.
Oozing with confidence, Nicol pushed ahead from 6-6 in the fourth to seal the title after a 53-minute encounter.
“Laura played great squash and it obviously meant a lot to her in trying to win the title. I really had to dig deep and I’m just so pleased to win in the end,” said an emotional Nicol after the match.
“It was a real neck-and-neck match and I had to do my best to stay in there. Towards the end, Laura made quite a few errors and I took advantage of that.
“To be honest, I didn’t think about winning my fifth title before the match. I’m really happy to have done it in the end.
“It’s one of the reasons why I love this sport so much. I just want to keep on improving and to continue staying at the top,” added Nicol, who has been the world No. 1 since August 2006.
In the men's event, world No. 1 Gregory Gaultier of France won his second British Open after disposing of world champion Nick Matthew in straight sets.
Last year's finalist Gaultier, whose previous British Open title was in 2007, was on fire en route to a 11-3, 11-6, 11-2 win.