PETALING JAYA: The queen of squash is back!
World No. 1 Nicol David put the disappointment of squash missing out on the Olympics with a devastating display to crush Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily for her eighth CIMB Malaysian Open title at The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, on Sunday.
Nicol was just too sharp for defending champion and world No. 3 El Weleily, winning 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 for her first Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Tour title of the year.
It was Nicol’s 67th WSA title and set her right on track for the season. Prior to the Malaysian Open, Nicol was having a poor year.
She lost twice to England’s Laura Massaro at the Kuala Lumpur Open and British Open earlier this year. And she was also beaten by El Weleily at the Cleveland Classic in February.
But those stats mattered little to Nicol yesterday as she tore into an error-strewn El Weleily to take the opening set 11-8.
She continued her excellent form in the second and was on top of everything the tricky Egyptian threw at her.
With the roaring support from the home crowd, Nicol proved too strong as she powered home in 34 minutes.
“I was really fired up for this match. To win a title is great, to win one back in Malaysia is a double bonus,” said Nicol.
“I’ve been working on a few things during the summer and it helped a little that Raneem had a big match yesterday that went to five sets.
“I put the pressure on her and she eventually made quite a few errors.
“But she’s still really talented and skilful and I’m really glad that I pulled off the win. This is probably the best I’ve played in a while,” added Nicol, who will now turn her attention to the Carol Weymuller Open in New York from Oct 1-6.
The 24-year-old El Weleily had no complaints for being second best.
“I made a few wrong decisions during the match. Still, I’m happy just being runner-up and I’m looking forward to the season,” said El Weleily.
Nicol pocketed US$10,200 (RM33,558) while El Weleily received US$6,900 (RM22,701).