KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Nicol David needed just 23 minutes to claim her first title of the year at the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) Women’s Squash Invitational.
The world No. 4 cruised past Joshna Chinappa of India 11-6, 11-6, 11-4 in the final at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil on Sunday to secure a timely morale booster ahead of the start of the 2016-2017 Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour this month.
Chinappa, ranked 10th in the world, kept up with Nicol until 6-6 in the first set. But eight-time world champion Nicol fought back to control the pace after that and did not let Chinappa get back into the match.
Nicol was delighted to win the tournament without dropping a single set.
The tournament featured six of the leading players ranked inside the world’s top 20 in place of the Malaysian Open, which was called off this year.
“I got better with each match and I executed my game plan and put the pressure early on.
“She (Chinappa) was also playing well. She was very confident after beating Joelle King of New Zealand (in the semi-finals) on Saturday, so I knew I had to be very sharp today,” said Nicol, who outplayed Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy in the last four on Saturday.
Nicol’s next assignment is the defence of her Hong Kong Open title from Aug 23-28.
“This tournament is purely to help me build up for the Hong Kong Open. I managed to fine-tune a few things to help me get ready for Hong Kong. Any win is definitely a bonus for me.
“I believe I am getting sharper and more focused mentally. I am looking forward to the start of the season,” added Nicol, who will spend the next two weeks in Australia.
She will train in Melbourne with her Australian coach Liz Irving. The 32-year-old Nicol will also play in some exhibition matches in Brisbane.
Final: Nicol David (Mas) bt Joshna Chinappa (Ind) 11-6, 11-6, 11-4.
Playoff for third: Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt Joelle King (Nzl) 11-4, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 12-10.
Playoff for fifth: Jenny Duncalf (Eng) bt Delia Arnold (Mas) 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 11-6.