PETALING JAYA: Nicol David squandered a two-set lead to lose to England’s Sarah-Jane Perry (pic) in the final of the Netsuite Open squash championships in the United States.
The 34-year-old Nicol, who is bidding for her 82nd Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour title, looked home and dry after taking the first two sets with identical 11-8 scorelines at the Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco on Friday.
But the eight-time world champion’s killer instinct deserted her when it mattered and world No. 7 Perry bounced back to pull off a sensational 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-7 comeback victory in 74 minutes.
The loss was a massive blow to Nicol, who headed into the final on a high after an 11-3, 11-0, 11-5 win over India’s Dipika Pallikal in the semi-finals.
The win earned Perry her ninth career title.
“I was just thinking about my grandmother, who passed away a few weeks ago, at match ball down. This win is dedicated to her,” said Perry, who has now beaten Nicol four times in a row.
“I had nothing left in the tank, but I just kept hitting another ball back against someone who was playing amazingly.
“I don’t know how I won that. But I hope that winning this will kick start my season. It’s a sign of more things to come for the rest of the year.”
In the men’s final, Egyptian world No. 3 Mohamed El Shorbagy nailed his first title in 12 months after turning the tables on compatriot and world No. 2 Karim Abdel Gawad.
Mohamed, whose last title was the US Open in October 2016, won 11-9, 11-6, 11-3.