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Monday November 26, 2012

Nicol makes time for best friend’s wedding

Maid of honour: Squash star Nicol David (centre) took time off to be the bridesmaid for her best friend
Elaine Tan on Saturday. — GLENN GUAN / The Star Maid of honour: Squash star Nicol David (centre) took time off to be the bridesmaid for her best friend Elaine Tan on Saturday. — GLENN GUAN / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Nicol David has a very hectic schedule travelling around the world to compete in tournaments while also promoting the sport as an ambassador for the World Squash Federation (WSF).

The 29-year-old Nicol, however, proved that there is more to her than just squash when she took the time to play a different role – that of maid of honour at her best friend Elaine Tan’s wedding to Jake Nevis here on Saturday.

The world No. 1, who returned last Monday after Malaysia’s fourth successive third place finish in the World Teams championship, explained that this was one of those not-to-be-missed events.

“I wouldn’t have missed Elaine’s wedding for the world and it’s always good to come back once in a while to refresh,” said Nicol, who left yesterday morning to compete in the Hong Kong Open.

The six-time world champion expressed regret at finishing third again in the World Teams but believed that it was still a good result overall.

“It’s sad not being able to improve on third place as we really had a shot at the title this time,” she said. “But we’ll learn from that semi-final defeat to England and try again.

“I’m regaining my old form after spending time back in Amsterdam where I managed to clear any negative thoughts about my game.

“Everything is going great and I’m really looking forward to the Hong Kong Open.

Nicol, who is going for her eighth straight Hong Kong title, will face England’s Sarah Kippax in the first round.

A win will probably pit her against second ranked Hong Kong player Joey Chan before a likely clash with fifth seed Madeline Perry of Ireland in the quarter-finals.

With world No. 2 Raneem El Weleily of Egypt not competing, Nicol should make the final with second seed Laura Massaro of England.

The other Malaysian women in the main draw are Low Wee Wern and Delia Arnold.

Wee Wern has an easy opening tie against a qualifier but Delia has a tough task against third seed Jenny Duncalf of England.

In yesterday’s qualifying matches, national men’s No. 2 Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan cruised into the qualifying finals by beating Egypt’s Omar Abdel Meguid 11-6, 11-7, 12-10.

But it was an early exit for Mohd Asyraf Azan, who crashed out in four sets to Egypt’s Ali Anwar Reda.

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