KUALA LUMPUR: Nicol David stayed true to her word and was merciless in her first match of the Ohana National Squash Championships.
The eight-time world champion, competing in the nationals for the first time since 2013, trounced Chan Yiwen 11-6, 11-2, 11-2 in the quarter-finals at the NSC Squash Centre in Jalan Duta yesterday.
Credit to 16-year-old Yiwen for giving some fight to the 33-year-old Nicol in the early stages of the first set.
But once the Penangite got into her groove, there was simply no holding her back as she wrapped up the win in just 24 minutes.
World No. 6 Nicol was pleased with the competitive spirit shown by the younger girls.
“It’s nice to be back playing in the nationals ... especially since I’m almost 15 years older than everyone else,” grinned Nicol.
“Yiwen has good court movement, she hits the ball well and has a pretty good squash mind.
“It’s also really nice to see all these girls fighting hard to get a shot at playing against me. It’s good that they feel inspired this way and I’m happy they’re really pushing each other hard for places in the national team.”
Nicol, who is gunning for a fourth national title, faces another youngster – Andrea Lee – in the semi-finals.
World No. 92 Andrea defeated Zoe Foo 11-7, 11-6, 11-3.
“I have nothing to lose against Nicol. It would be nice if I can take a set off her,” said the 18-year-old.
The other semi-final pits Teh Min Jie against Rachel Arnold.
In men’s event, top seed Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan overpowered former champion Ong Beng Hee 11-1, 11-7, 11-5 in the quarter-finals.
The world No. 28 will meet Mohd Syafiq Kamal in the semi-finals. Syafiq defeated Mohd Addeen Idrakie 7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6.
“It feels just like old times playing against Beng Hee in the nationals. It’s not nice winning 3-0, but I had to get the job done,” said Nafiizwan.
In other results, world junior champion Ng Eain Yow cruised into the semi-finals after beating Elvinn Keo 11-4, 11-4, 11-5.
He will meet second seed Ivan Yuen next.
Men: Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan bt Ong Beng Hee 11-1, 11-7, 11-5;Ivan Yuen bt Sanjay Singh Chal 11-7, 11-3, 11-8; Ng Eain Yow bt Elvinn Keo 11-4, 11-4, 11-5; Mohd Syafiq Kamal bt Mohd Addeen
Idrakie 7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 7-11, 11-6.
Women: Nicol David bt Chan Yiwen 11-6, 11-2, 11-2; Andrea Lee bt Zoe Foo 11-7, 11-6, 11-3; Teh Min Jie w.o. Aifa Azman; Rachel Arnold bt Ooi Kah Yan 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5.