I can’t believe it – I’ve just beaten my idol: Hong Kong’s Joey Chan after downing squash legend Nicol David
World number 19 will now face top seed Camille Serme of France in World Games final in Poland after 7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5 victory over the Malaysian great
Hong Kong’s Joey Chan Ho-ling pulled off the biggest win of her career after beating three-time defending champion Nicol David 3-2 to reach the women’s squash final at the World Games in Poland.
World number 19 Chan, who had lost all eight previous encounters to David including a 3-1 defeat in March’s British Open, won a gruelling 54-minute encounter 7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5 on Thursday.
Malaysian legend David, who has dropped to number six in the world rankings, has won the World Games title three times in a row – in 2005 in Duisburg, Germany; in 2009 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and in 2013 in Cali, Colombia.
“I can’t believe it,” said Hong Kong number two Chan. “Nicol has always been my idol – she’s a role model for all squash players.
“I’ve been getting close to her recently, but to finally beat her for the first time is amazing. I am very happy.
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“She always begins strongly. She was very sharp in the match and pushing up the pace. I had to concentrate on controlling the ball – I had to slow it down.
“At 10-5 match ball, I was a little bit tense. I was seeing the finishing post, but I was quite relaxed during the match, under no pressure. For this event, I feel I am fighting for my Hong Kong team.”
The last time David lost to a fellow Asian player was in 2002 when she was beaten in straight games in the Asian Games final by Hong Kong’s Rebecca Chiu Wing-yin.
“We talked before the match and I said to her if you’re really going to beat her, you have got to stick to your game plan. You have to be patient – and it worked,” said Hong Kong coach Faheem Khan.
“There was no pressure on Chan. She played really well, with confidence. She will definitely benefit from this win.”
Chan will face top seed and world number three Camille Serme of France on Friday night for the gold medal.
Squash is making its fifth appearance in the World Games, the quadrennial multi-sport event for non-Olympic Games sports.