HK Squash Open: Ladies Final (by Andrew Wood) 

Nicol David (MAS) v Laura Massaro (ENG)

 

The first final of The Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial HK Open 2015 event saw reigning champion, Nicol David (3) from Malaysia beat Laura Massaro (2) from England in 3 straight sets in 39 mins.

Nicol looked mostly untroubled and unbeatable for the entire tournament, proving she's still queen of the Hong Kong Open. The Malaysian former world number one raised her game in her favourite event as she cut Laura down to size in the women’s final to win for an unprecedented 10th straight year.

David, lost her number world one spot after 109 months at the summit to Raneem El Welily of Egypt in September, proved she’s still very much a major force with this straight game victory over Laura, the world number two.

Laura started nervously, stroke against to go 2-0 down and another stroke against to go 4-2 down, before settling to draw level at 6-6. They were matching punch for punch to 9-9, before Laura had first game points at 10-9, 11-10 and 12-11. A few more lets and VDO reviews saw the match turn in the favour of Nicole for her first game ball at 13-12, but Laura again drew level 13-13. Nicol edged ahead again 14-13 and with her second game point caught Laura accidently on the lip with her back swing and a let was called. Nicol then served to take it 15-13.

The first game proved crucial, as Laura had a strong start but after missing three game points before losing after deuce, she seemed to lose her momentum. After going up 4-3 following some light interference, she was never able to come back from 5-4 and 10-5 down, losing 11-5 on the second game ball. Nicole pounced on every loose shot with a deft front court drop, boast or deep drill.

It got even worse for Laura, as Nicole’s tight boasts gave her a 5-0 lead in the third game, before taking a 10-3 lead and closed out the match on her first championship point, 11-3

And after her 15-13, 11-5, 11-3 victory, the champion could not help but cry in front of the crowd in her favourite tournament that she has been dominating since 2005, when she won the World Open.

“I did cry before when I won a tournament but the victory here is so special to me,” said 32-year-old David, whose ranking has dropped to third.

“It has been a very long season and all the hard work paid off. I just really wanted this title to finish off the year.

“I enjoyed every moment out there on court, I gave all I got, enjoyed the crowds and I was able to play my game. The feeling is good that I still can’t believe I have won my 10th title here. It’s an amazing feeling.”

The home favourite said she would definitely come back next year to defend her title. “I will come back as long as I can,” said David.

“If I can have another four years, I will come back four times.”

Having yet to win a world series this year as her last major title was the 2014 World Open, David was under pressure against the in-form Massaro, who had a 14 match unbeaten record with two world series under her belt before coming to Hong Kong.

 

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