Nicol David Wins Seventh World Open Title
David defeated Laura
Massaro in straight games in the WSA Cayman Islands World Open 2012 to
become World Champion for the seventh time.
For the second successive year, the World Open was to be decided by a Malaysia
versus England finale, this time featuring world No.3 Laura Massaro.
David had dispatched last year’s finalist Jenny Duncalf in straight games in the
semi-finals, as well as 2010 finalist Omneya Abdel Kawy in round one. Further
defeats of Annie Au in round two and a four game win over Madeline Perry ensured
that the Malaysian was able to defend her six World Open titles.
By contrast, Massaro experienced over three hours of court-time on her way to
the final, including a dramatic five-game thriller against second seed Raneem El
Weleily in the semi-final, and a 51-minute effort to dispatch local hero and
qualifier Nicolette Fernandes in round two.
David has been on the receiving end of an upset from Massaro, losing to the
Englishwoman in both the Singapore Masters and the Cleveland Classic in 2011,
but the world No.1 has avenged these losses with six wins over Massaro in WSA
events in 2012.
The defending champion made a solid start to her fifth successive World Open
final, establishing a three-point lead which was held for the majority of the
first game. Massaro attempted to close the gap after a tentative start to her
first World Open final, but David was too far ahead and closed out the first
The second game was much closer, with the Englishwoman matching David’s line and
length game plan, whilst causing some problems for her opponent. The
Malaysian’s response to a challenge is to simply up the pace and she did just
that. She weathered the storm created by Massaro’s pressure, before coming
through the business end of a pivotal second game to extend her lead.
David refused to falter in her dominance, and the experience of six previous
World Open finals weighed heavily to her advantage. She ran out another early
lead in the third game, and a dejected Massaro settled into the game too late to
do any serious damage to her opponents 5-point lead.
A stroke and a tin gave the 29-year-old from Penang championship-point and she
leapt on a loose Massaro shot to drive home her seventh World Open title.
“I can’t believe it,” exclaimed a delighted David. “I’m so pleased with my game
tonight. Laura played so well and was pushing me on every point, I just
couldn’t relax at any time, she played a brilliant match today.
“I was focused, but I had to step up another gear to win today. I just wanted
to win so much. To win again in Cayman and that seventh world title… I wanted
“It’s been a great experience here again, I’ll try to see a bit of the island
tomorrow before I leave! Thanks to Dan [Kneipp, Promoter], the sponsors and
organisers, and the fantastic Cayman crowd, we feed off their energy, and they
all do it better than anywhere else we go."
Normally a successful WSA World Tour Gold event in
spring-time, Grand Cayman this year hosted the $165,000 World Open event that
has previously been held in Rotterdam, Sharm El Sheikh, Amsterdam and
2012 has been a near perfect season for David, finishing just one event shy of a
World Series clean-sweep after losing out to Raneem El Weleily on home soil in
the Malaysian Open in September. The Malaysian also lost out in the Carol
Weymuller Open in New York later that month, but returned in emphatic style to
claim the elusive US Open in Philadelphia. Claiming not only the one World
Series title that had eluded her, it was also David’s 63rd WSA World Tour title,
which moved her above the record held by Sarah Fitz-Gerald of 62. David
finishes 2012 with an incredible 65 WSA titles to her name, with eight of them
coming in the last 12 months.
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-6,
11-8, 11-6 (44m)
Thanks to SquashSite for quotes and photographs all week.