Historic win by Malaysian squash queen Nicol David

Drexel University in Philadelphia – USA, Oct 19, 2013: In her longest title triumph since the introduction of PAR (point-a-rally) scoring, favourite Nicol David overcame second seed Laura Massaro in the final of the Women’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championship at Drexel University in Philadelphia to become the first player in the event’s history to retain the title.

600_NicolDavid_Massaro_USOpen13aThe match, the first US Open final to go the full distance in ten years, saw Malaysia’s world number one (pictured above, left, with Massaro) fight back from 2/1 down to defeat England’s world number two Massaro 13-11, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 in 84 minutes.

It was an appropriate climax to the Women’s Squash Association World Series Platinum event, which – for the first time ever – was providing equal prize money to the men’s event.

For five games the pair traded blows, testing each other out with long, patient, well-crafted rallies – with unforced errors few and far between.

Barely a point separated the finalists in the first two games: Massaro reached game ball first in the opener, but David took it 13-11. From nine-all in the second, it was the Malaysian who had the first chance to get the game – but Massaro drew level after a second tie-break game.

Massaro held onto a slender lead through the third to take the lead 11-7, but was unable to capitalise on a 7-4 lead in the fourth as David took five points in a row to force the decider.

From two-all in the fifth, David moved ahead to 7-3 after some rare errors from her opponent. A winning boast for 10-5, then a ball driven into the deep that Massaro was unable to retrieve saw David leap into the air in delight.

“It feels fantastic, it means a lot to win that match and to win another US Open title,” said David.

“It’s been such a journey this year; I knew Laura was playing well and I would have to dig deep. When I was down in the fourth, she maybe stepped off it a little, I just knew I had to keep going and going to the last point.”

David held an 18-5 career head-to-head lead over Massaro going into the final – but had lost their two most recent encounters. The victory marks the 30-year-old from Penang’s third WSA Tour title in a row, and the 69th of her career.

“Liz helped me such a lot, she gave me the confidence to go in there, to know I could do it, and she and the team in Amsterdam have been doing that for the last ten and a half years,” added David, in praise of her coach Liz Irving.

“This is such a fantastic event – all credit to US Squash, the sponsors and the venue. Making the prize money equal is putting the women’s game where it deserves to be and we all look forward to coming back for the next ten years!”

RESULTS: Women’s Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA

Final: [1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [2] Laura Massaro (ENG) 13-11, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 (84m). —- WSF/WSA

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