Unbeatable: Nicol David proves she's still queen of the Hong Kong Open
Malaysian former world number one raises her game in her favourite event as she cut Massaro down to size in the women’s final to win here for the 10th straight year
She’s no longer the world number one or the reigning world champion, but Nicol David is still queen of the Hong Kong Open after the Malaysian captured an unprecedented 10th title in a row at the Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Squash Open on Sunday.
David, who lost her number world one spot after 109 months at the summit to Raneem El Welily of Egypt in September, proved she’s a major force with a straight game victory over Laura Massaro of England, the world number two, in the glass court final at Hong Kong Park Centre.
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, who’s 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, 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.
And the first game was crucial as Massaro had a strong start but missed three game points before losing after deuce.
The English player then seemed to have lost her momentum and was never able to come back.
In the men’s final, unseeded Australian Cameron Pilley’s fairy tale finally came to a halt after his 11-8, 11-6, 11-8 defeat by defending champion Mohamed Elshorbagy of Egypt.
Pilley sent home Simon Rosner, the fifth seed, Gregory Gaultier, the third seed and Nick Matthew, the second seed, before reaching his first ever world series final, but Elshorbagy, who will reclaim his world number one spot after clinching the Hong Kong Open, proved too strong in the end.