Sunday August 19, 2012
Nicol downs Perry to set up final date with Massaro
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Six-time world squash champion Nicol David was back to her devastating best as she defeated Madeline Perry in straight sets to sweep into the final of the Australian Open in Canberra.
The Malaysian superstar won 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 in 39 minutes to register her 16th win in 17 meetings over the Irish player.
The Penangite, who qualified for her 78th women’s tour final since turning pro in 2000, will face world No. 4 and third seed Laura Massaro of England in the final today.
Massaro survived a gruelling five-set, 72-minute battle against India’s Dipika Pallikal, prevailing 11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9.
Nicol and Massaro have met on 17 occasions with the Malaysian winning 15 of them.
But the two defeats to Massaro came last year – at the Cleveland Racquet Classic in Ohio and the Singapore Masters.
Nicol last played Massaro in the British Open in May where the Malaysian world No. 1 won in straight sets in the semis.
“The semi-final triumph has given me real motivation to stay focused for the final,” said Nicol.
“I was moving and hitting the ball well. Hopefully, it will be the same tomorrow.”
Massaro said Dipika had really pushed her to the limit.
“I thought I had lost it when Dikipa had two match points at 9-5 in the deciding set.
“I just wanted to finish well and make the score more respectable.
“She probably thought that she had won it too, but, much to my surprise, I fought back to level the score 9-9 before collecting two more points to win the match.
“I’m really happy with the way I played, coming back from the brink to beat her,” said Massaro.
The men’s final will be an all-Egyptian affair with top seed Ramy Ashour taking on second seed Omar Mosaad.
Defending champion Ashour came back from a set down to beat local player Cameron Pilley 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 in 52 minutes while Mosaad also lost the first set before overpowering Tom Richards of England 9-11, 11-3, 11-3 11-3.