PETALING JAYA: Malaysian squash queen Nicol David added another feather to her cap, becoming the first player – male or female – to win the the US Open for the third straight year.
The 31-year-old Nicol, a seven-time world champion and five-time British Open winner, exacted sweet revenge over Egyptian teenager Nour El Sherbini to win the US$115,000 (RM374,000) tournament in Philadelphia on Saturday.
At their last meeting in the semi-finals of the World Championships in March, Nour was the victor but this time world No. 1 Nicol was too good as she strolled to an 11-5, 12-10, 12-10 win.
Nicol was very quick off the blocks and took the first set in a flash.
Combining fine athleticism with a splendid retrieving game, Nicol forced the 18-year-old Nour into making errors in the second set and went on to win 12-10.
Nour, however, recovered her wits in the third and looked set to force a fourth set after taking a 10-7 lead. But Nicol never gave up as she scored five straight points to clinch her 76th career title.
“I really can’t believe that I won the match,” said Nicol.
“Nour played such a good game. I think she found her groove and rhythm in the second set onwards. With nothing to lose, she was really putting the pressure on me. I had to be at my best and I am really pleased to win.”
In the men’s event, Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy, who became the new world No. 1 after making the final, fought back to beat compatriot Amr Shabana for his first US Open title.
The 23-year-old Mohamed prevailed 8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-3 over the 35-year-old Amr.
“I’m just overwhelmed. It’s been a dream as I came here with the goal of winning the tournament. It is such an honour and I’m so happy to have done it,” said Mohamed.