Hong Kong, Dec 9, 2013: The unstoppable Malaysian squash superstar Nicol David today celebrated her record 90th WSA World Tour final appearance in the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open by capturing her eighth Hong Kong Open crown in a row – and her ninth successive major title in Hong Kong.
The final WSA World Series Gold event of the year came to a glorious climax today on an all-glass showcourt at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on the spectacular Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront.
The women’s final, a re-run of the 2011 climax, saw world No1 David take on Egypt’s Raneem El Welily, the third seed from Cairo.
After evenly-contested first halves of the first two games, David (Featured image in action with El Welily) romped away to open up a 2/0 lead – but world No3 El Welily led briefly in the third before the Malaysian again took charge to close out the match 11-7, 11-7, 12-10 in 35 minutes.
Today’s outcome can be simply summed up numerically: It was 30-year-old David’s 6th WSA World Tour title of the year; her 9th consecutive title in Hong Kong after winning the first of her record seven World Open titles in the special administrative region of China in 2005; it was the Penangite’s 45th successive match win in Hong Kong; the 71st WSA World Tour of her career; and a record-equalling 90th Tour final appearance.
The win will without doubt also see David into her 9th decade at the top of the world rankings in January!
“Hong Kong is a lucky charm of mine, I guess,” David told SportAsia. “It means the world to me to win in Hong Kong every time. It’s always special. Having won here since the 2005 World Open, it’s really an experience for me. There’s definitely something special in Hong Kong that keeps me going and wanting to do well here.”
Of the final, David added: “The tempo was so high. It was such ruthless squash from the both of us. No one took their foot off the pedal. It was all the way, just full on, so I was really happy to stay in there with her. All of our matches have been this fast, this intense.
“It was really close in the first and second games, neck and neck until the very end. It could have gone her way in the first two games, but I came back stronger at the end of each just to make it clear that I won that game.”
David (pictured above with men’s champion Nick Matthew) can now look forward to a well-earned Christmas break: “I’ll be back in Malaysia a lot longer this time to really have a proper Christmas and New Year with my family and friends.
“I did miss out last year and certainly looking forward to some down time at home.”
RESULTS: Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong
Final:  Nicol David (MAS) bt  Raneem El Welily (EGY) 11-7, 11-7, 12-10 (35m). —- WSF