World number one Nicol David has again proved too strong for Cambridge squash player Joelle King, as the New Zealander was knocked out in the British Open quarterfinals last night.
David was made to work hard early, but survived a game ball in the first game and went on to take the contest in straight games 13-11 11-8 11-1 in 35 minutes.
Sixth seed King was the only Kiwi in the tournament, which is the second biggest on the women’s calendar and carries a prize pool of NZ$116,000 in the women's section.
The 24-year-old had never beaten the 29-year-old Malaysian in five previous attempts, including at this stage of last year’s tournament.
And the wait continues as David, who has been at the top of the world rankings for nearly seven and a half years, showed all her class.
Due to rain, play was moved away from the all-glass court erected outdoors at Hull’s KC Stadium to a nearby club with conventional plaster courts.
King seemed to adjust best, using her height and power, and hitting hard at the back to cut off David’s cross-court shots.
But down 11-10, the four-time British Open champion managed to fight back and win the opening game, before coming out on fire in the second, getting out to a 3-0 and 7-3 advantage.
King looked tired but out of the blue came back to 7-6, before a stunning David backhand volley drop shot cut King’s momentum.
David never gave King a chance in the third and ran away with the final game.
“It was very close in the beginning, and on that cold court, her shots were working very well for her,” David told the British Open website. “So I had to be sharper at the end of the game, and make sure I sneak in that first game. I just wanted to have the feeling of it, the court, the ball. Once I got that, it became easier.”
In tomorrow morning’s semifinals David will face fourth seed Alison Waters of England, before second seed Laura Massaro (England) meets third seed Raneem El Weleily (Egypt).
- © Fairfax NZ News