Monday October 8, 2012
Tough road ahead for Nicol at US Open
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Nicol David has won almost all the major squash tournaments, except for the Olympics and the Women’s World Team championship.
The six-time world champion, however, has yet to get her hands on one major title in the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Tour – the US Open.
The 29-year-old Nicol did not have the best of outings Stateside last year, crashing out in the quarter-finals to Australian Kasey Brown.
This time, despite a fine start to the year, Nicol may still find Philadelphia not to her liking, especially giving her current run of poor form.
After a flawless first half of the year, the impeccable Penangite came unstuck at the Malaysian Open last month when she fell to a stunning defeat to Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily in the final.
Nicol, who has put in so much effort to get squash into the 2020 Olympics by organising various events, including flashmobs, certainly seems to be distracted by her off-court engagements as she endured a nightmarish September – losing in the last eight of the Carol Weymuller in New York.
So, for the first time in a long while, all eyes will be on Nicol when she takes to the court in the first round of the US Open today.
The road to completing her last remaining major title will not be an easy one and Nicol will certainly need to be at her very best.
She is drawn to face a qualifier first – and it well could be England’s Alison Waters, her conqueror in New York last month.
If Nicol gets past her first hurdle, she’ll most likely come up against veteran Natalie Grinham before a potential semi-final clash against either Jenny Duncalf of England or Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini.
National No. 2 and world No. 9 Low Wee Wern faces an equally challenging task as she is drawn to face second seed Weleily in the first round.