David is 96pc certain of title

The World Open is finally here and all eyes will focus on six-time champ Nicol David of Malaysia who has one of the most dominant records of any individual in any sport.

Top level women’s squash begins at the South Sound Squash Club with the qualifying rounds on Friday. They are there for four days before the move to the glass court in Camana Bay.

There are plenty of exciting matches and local players to cheer for, including the current Caribbean Senior Champion Nicolette Fernandes from Guyana, Cayman’s Eilidh Bridgeman and the current Caribbean Junior Champion Mary Fung-A-Fat from Guyana.

For the eventual winner in a week’s time, it is hard to look beyond the incredible David to retain the title.

The Malaysian won the World Championship in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Over the last seven years only one player has beaten her in a World Open.

That was New Zealand’s Shelly Kitchen five years ago. Kitchen literally threw everything at her except her sink.

Kitchen has since retired so she is not plugged in. Rachel Grinham eventually won the tournament in 2007 and is the only other former world champion competing in Cayman. But in 2007 Grinham beat David but has lost the last 12 matches they played. So who can beat Nicol David?

Not many. In 2008 David played in nine tournaments. She won them all. 39 matches and 28 of them she won 3-0 (she wasn’t pushed to five sets for a single match).

In 2009 she played in 11 tournaments and won seven, losing only four times for the year. In 2010 she made up for the ‘poor’ results of the previous year and won all nine tournaments that she played in, including 39 matches, 32 of them she won 3-0 and she was only pushed to a five set match once. Pretty impressive.

In 2011 she played in 10 tournaments and won seven, losing only three times for the year.

For 2012 she has played in eight tournaments so far and won six.

So over the past five years David has played 206 matches, won 197 and lost only nine, a winning percentage of 96, a fantastic testament to her consistency and professionalism.

David plays Omneya Abdel Kawy of Egypt in the first round. The tournament’s No.2 seed is another Egytian Raneem El Weleily. Other potential winners include Laura Massaro, Kasey Brown, Alison Walters, Jenny Duncalf and Natalie Grainger.

The whole thing is being put together by Dan Kneipp who has brought major tournaments to the Cayman Islands since beginning the Cayman Open in 2009.

Sadly, he is returning to Australia with his family in the New Year. “Once we are finished with the hosting of the Cayman World Open I will technically be unemployed,” Kneipp said.

“We’ve been in Cayman for nearly six years and with a couple of young kids that miss their grandparents, Steph have made the difficult decision to move back to Australia to live in early January.

“Cayman has been a fantastic place for us and we have a lot of friends that we’ll miss and people that we need to thank who have helped us while we’ve been here. “Hopefully we’re able to host a great Cayman World Open as a last hurrah.”

For the eventual winner in a week’s time, it is hard to look beyond the incredible David to retain the title.

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