Wednesday February 6, 2013
Nicol out for a high in Ohio
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Seven-time world champion Nicol David is just a match away from winning a record 65th title in the Cleveland Classic squash tournament in Ohio, the United States.
The Penangite, who defended her World Series Finals title in London last month, faced a strong challenge from eighth seed Madeline Perry of Ireland before winning 11-6, 11-7, 4-11, 11-7 in 50 minutes in the semi-finals at the Cleveland Racquet Club. It was the first time Nicol dropped a set in the tournament.
Nicol, the world No. 1 since August 2006, will face second seed Raneem El Weleily of Egypt in the final.
The 24-year-old Raneem had an easier time, beating Alison Waters of England 11-9, 11-9, 11-5.
Nicol has only lost once – in the final of the Malaysian Open last September – to Raneem in 10 meetings. The Malaysian, however, avenged the defeat by beating Raneem in the final of the US Open a month later.
Nicol, who will turn 30 on Aug 26, is expecting a tough match against Raneem.
“I have to be wary of Raneem as she has improved a lot. I will have to raise the level of my game,” said Nicol.