KUALA LUMPUR: Andrea Lee came into the semi-finals of the Ohana National Squash Championships hoping to steal a set off Nicol David.
And that’s exactly what the 18-year-old did as she produced a stellar performance to take the first set against the eight-time world champion at the NSC Squash Centre in Jalan Duta yesterday.
Nicol eventually stirred into action to notch a 6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 win.
Andrea deserves credit for her performance in the first set, firing off consecutive winners and sending Nicol scrambling all over the court.
World No. 6 Nicol was even forced to adopt a more attacking approach before finishing strongly in 31 minutes.
“Andrea played really well. With a lefty, it’s always different and she really went for her shots today,” admitted Nicol.
“I wasn’t able to get into my game plan in the first set and she was cutting in and putting away the ball.
“I knew I was giving her too much space and angle to play her game and I needed to make her move.
“But I really enjoyed playing against her. It’s good to see how much she has improved and to see her come through.”
Andrea admitted that she ran out of steam after the first set.
“I knew Nicol was a slow starter. I put everything I had into the first set before she could pace herself,” said Andrea.
“After that I was just desperately hanging on ... I was hoping not to finish with an 11-0 scoreline.”
Nicol, who going for her fourth national crown, will face second seed Rachel Arnold in the final.
Rachel defeated Teh Min Jie 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 in the other semi-final.
In the men’s category, national No. 2 Ivan Yuen signalled his intention to dethrone national No. 1 Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan by downing Ng Eain Yow 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 in the semi-finals.
World No. 26 and two-time champion Nafiizwan defeated Mohd Syafiq Kamal 11-3, 11-2, 12-10 in the other semi-finals.