Malaysia's Nicol David (right) in action against American Amanda Sohby in the semi-final of the Hong Kong Open on Saturday. Nicol won in straight sets.
PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Nicol David relied on her years of experience to check into the final of the Hong Kong Open for the 10th straight year.
Nicol, who turned 31 last week, has been on an extraordinary winning run in Hong Kong since capturing the 2005 World (cum Hong Kong Open) title there and subsequently winning all consecutive eight Hong Kong Open titles.
And it was that experience which propelled Nicol to an 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 victory over American world No. 15 Amanda Sobhy 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 in the semi-finals on Saturday to stretch her unbeaten record in Hong Kong to 49 matches.
“We were both getting a feel of the court in the first set and it was actually quite tough as Amanda played a good, solid game,” said Nicol, who crashed out in the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open last week.
“It was neck-and-neck but I kept the momentum and stayed positive. A few unforced errors by Amanda (who is 10 years her junior) helped me get going and I’m very happy to win 3-0.
“To reach another final here in Hong Kong is definitely special.”
Seven-time world champion Nicol will face a surprise package – 21-year-old Nour El Tayeb of Egypt – in Sunday’s final.
World No. 25 Nour stunned world No. 2 and reigning world champion Laura Massaro of England for the second straight week, winning 11-9, 10-12, 11-2, 12-10.
Nour had also beaten Massaro in the second round of the Malaysian Open.
“I really don’t know how I did it. All I did was think about getting the next point. To beat someone like Laura is very tough and I got really lucky with the last few points,” said Nour after reaching her second WSA World Series final.
In the men’s event, top seed Gregory Gaultier of France ruthlessly dispatched world No. 12 Tarek Momen of Egypt 11-7, 11-2, 11-3 to set up a title clash with world No. 3 Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt.