LAS VEGAS: Malaysian Nicol David's challenge in the Bright Lights Open in Las Vegas, which was her first tournament in five months, ended on Friday when she lost in the quarter-finals to second seed Vanessa Atkinson of Holland.
The Penangite, who took a five-month break from squash after failing to retain the Asian Games title last October, however, gave a good fight to world number seven Atkinson before bowing out 6-9, 10-8, 1-9, 10-8, 2-9.
In the first round, Nicol beat qualifier Samantha Teran of Mexico.
Atkinson will face world number six and third seed Cassie Jackman of England in the semi-finals.
Another national player Sharon Wee, who was expected to reach the semi-finals, was upset by a qualifier Lara Petera of New Zealand in the quarter-finals.
Petera, ranked 30th in the world, upset world No. 23 Sharon 9-3, 4-9, 4-9, 7-9 to reach the semi-finals.
Petera, who stunned world No. 18 and fourth seed Annelize Naude of Holland in the first round, will face top seed Linda Charman for a place in the final.
World No.3 Charman had no problem eliminating Busan Asian Games gold medallist Rebecca Chiu of Hong Kong 9-4, 9-0, 9-6 in the quarter-finals.
Nicol and Sharon's next tournament is the Texas Open from March 25-30. Both will have to play in the qualifying rounds.
Quarter-finals: Linda Charman (Eng) bt Rebecca Chiu (Hkg) 9-4, 9-0, 9-6; Lara Petera (Nzl) bt Sharon Wee (Mas); 3-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-7; Cassie Jackman (Eng) bt Melaine Jans (Can) 9-2, 9-7, 9-6; Vanessa Atkinson (Hol) bt Nicol David (Mas) 9-6, 8-10, 9-1, 8-10, 9-2.