CANBERRA: Malaysia's squash queen Datuk Nicol David scalped England's Jenny Duncalf in straight games here Sunday, to claim the Australian Open title in her first attempt.
Displaying brillance, she outclassed Duncalf 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 to ensure her name is added to the Heather McKay Trophy, alongside some of the greatest players the game has ever known.
The world number one took control from the first game when she took a 6-1 lead, and although Duncalf fought back to level terms, she was always playing catch-up and Nicol closed out the opener with a drive deep into the back corner.
Nicol, who is coached by Australia's Liz Irving, opened another early lead in the second and this time, Duncalf was unable to peg it back, the Malaysian wrapping the game up when she was awarded a stroke by the referees.
Duncalf had a better start to the third but at 4-4, Nicol again broke clear and the end was inevitable, the world number one smashing a backhand cross-court deep into the corner, leaving Duncalf swinging at air.
"You just know this Australian Open has so much history," said the 27-year-old from Penang.
"With all those big names on that trophy, you just know you want to get that title, as well, and I'm really pleased to win it. I knew that today was going to be a tough final, she knows my game really well and we play each other a lot.
"I really had to stay consistent in there, I was moving well, I focussed well and I just stayed on my game."
Nicol said her good starts to the first two games had given her a big advantage.
"Knowing I was watching the ball well, I could move well and I had to give her no time to play her shots, because she is so dangerous when she has time," she added.
"I was trying to keep the ball going and not make any errors."
Duncalf conceded her slow start had cost her dearly. "You're always playing catch-up. Especially the first, it ended up being pretty close, so those few points make a difference," she said.
"She gets everything back, against Nicol you've almost got to play a run of winners because in the actual rallies, she picks up most shots, which you've got to try and let not frustrate you.
"She's a great mover and a great retriever which makes it quite difficult, but you've still got to be positive and take it in when you can." - Bernama
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