David reaches seventh heaven

Nicol David extended her record of World Open squash titles to seven from eight finals with another superb display of fantastic, measured shots to beat third seed Laura Massaro at Camana Bay on Friday. 

The brilliant 29-year-old Malaysian won 11-6 11-8 11-6 and silenced critics who suggested younger rivals were on the verge of beating her. 

Massaro, also 29, forced many long rallies and even led 7-5 in the second game, but David responded well under pressure, mixing well-timed drop shots and lightning-quick changes of direction to prevent her English opponent from pulling ahead. 

So dominant is she that David only dropped one game throughout the entire tournament, but she had to focus harder and for longer in the final than in any of her four other encounters.  

Over the past five years David has played 211 matches, won 202 and lost only nine, a winning percentage of 97, a fantastic testament to her consistency and professionalism.  

Her relief and joy at surviving the perpetual pressure of expectations was obvious as she celebrated as if winning the world title for the first time.  

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “I just can’t believe it. 

“I am just so pleased with my match. Laura pushed me every point. She played a very good match.” 

David knew the danger well as Massaro is one of the few players to have beaten her twice. 

“I am a little bit disappointed with that,” said Massaro, who had saved a match point in a long and hard semi-final with Raneem El Weleily, the second-seeded Egyptian, and may have paid a price in the third game of the final. 

“It was just a few points here and there and that’s all the difference.” 

Credit should go to tournament director Dan Kneipp for pulling it all together and Janet Sairsingh, president of the Cayman Islands Amateur Squash Association for her input. Ministers Mark Scotland and Cline Glidden Jr were there representing the government.  

The brilliant 29-year-old Malaysian won 11-6 11-8 11-6 and silenced critics who suggested younger rivals were on the verge of beating her. 

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