Nicol David still hungry for more titles after winning ninth Hong Kong crown

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 December, 2013, 11:16pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 December, 2013, 11:29pm

World number one Nicol David is still aiming for the stratosphere after capturing a staggering ninth consecutive squash title in Hong Kong on Sunday.

The Malaysian star beat upcoming Raneem El Weleily, the Egyptian third seed, in the final of the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open 11-7, 11-7, 12-10 on the glass court at the Cultural Centre Piazza on the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront.

“I still have a long way to go,” said the 30-year-old, who has a record seven world open titles and has held the world number one spot since August 2006.

In the men’s final, three-time British Open champion and former world number one Nick Matthew, 33, won his first Hong Kong title after beating seventh seed Borja Golan of Spain 11-1, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5.

“I never thought I would have a chance to win the Hong Kong Open after making it to the final in 2004 when I lost to Thierry Lincou. But I am really happy … the Hong Kong Open is one of the few that I haven’t won.”

I am still excited about squash despite my age. If my body can hold, I am looking for five more years
Nicol David

David said: “I am still excited about squash despite my age. If my body can hold, I am looking for five more years. I have never thought of my age because when you train so hard, you always want to prove yourself on court.”

But she admitted she had had probably her hardest week in Hong Kong.

El Weleily, who lost 3-2 to David in the China Open final in October, was 6-5 up in both the first two games before David fought back in each. The two players rallied point by point in the third until 10-all when David sealed victory after deuce.

“She was leading two games in the China Open final but eventually lost and today she wanted revenge,” said David. “The match could have gone either way in the first two games and I had to push her hard, forcing her to make a few errors. The third game was very close and I had to be focused to close out.”

David said El Weleily had the potential to become the next top player in the world.

“She is the one to watch,” said David.

With eight consecutive Hong Kong titles since 2006 and the World Open title in 2005, the Malaysian said she would definitely come back to Hong Kong to defend her title next year.

“Hong Kong always carries a special meaning for me and there are a lot of memories when playing on the harbourfront or in the shopping mall in Diamond Hill,” said David.

“There will be a hectic schedule for me next year, the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games, the World Team Championship … all are very important to me.”