Nicol David Revenge Leads To Malaysian Double In Chennai

7 Mar 10

A victorious Nicol David in Chennai

It took just 25 minutes for Malaysia's world number one Nicol David to re-establish her authority in women's world squash today when she beat England's Jenny Duncalf in the final of the Chennai Open in India to win the $53,500 WISPA World Tour Gold title at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai - and avenge two recent defeats by her main Tour rival.

Duncalf, the world No3 from Harrogate in Yorkshire, was unable to withstand the superior display of David, the 26-year-old from Penang who has topped the women's world rankings uninterrupted since August 2006.

The favourite kept Duncalf pinned to the back before playing aggressive drops to the front. A relieved David made short work of her 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 victory.

"Jenny has been playing very well and I knew she would come out strong so I had to set my game up well," said David. "I was pleased to have managed it.

"When I came here for the Asian Juniors, squash in India was picking up - and now, nearly ten years later, there is this amazing facility and some top men and women players," added the twice former world junior champion at the trophy presentations. "All credit to you all, it has been fantastic."

Referring to the match, a disconsolate Duncalf said: "From the first rally, when I smacked the tin, from there I was making too many errors. I don't know why, I just felt frustrated with myself for most of the match, but she played very consistently."

It was a significant confidence-boosting win for David, who was making her maiden appearance on the WISPA Tour this year since losing twice in succession to Duncalf last November - in the semi-finals of the US Open in New York and then the Qatar Classic in Doha.

The win takes David's career Tour title total to 42. In a remarkable run since the beginning of 2005, Nicol David has appeared in 52 WISPA World Tour events, and claimed the titles in 39!

The final of the men's $25,000 PSA World Tour event also produced a Malaysian success over an English opponent when favourite Ong Beng Hee beat second seed Jonathan Kemp.

The world No19 from Penang dished out an impeccable error-free game in the climax of the Tamil Nadu Government-sponsored championship - notable, particularly, as he had survived a 116-minute five-game semi-final less than 24 hours earlier.

The top two seeds traded point for point in the first game, but the Malaysian favourite showed alacrity in mixing the pace of his shots. Kemp, the world No21 from Wolverhampton who enjoys a fast-paced game, had difficulties in adjusting himself to his opponent's tactics.

Ong Beng Hee, the 30-year-old former world No7, perhaps reserved his best for the final - and finished the match with class, winning 14-12, 11-9, 11-9 in 47 minutes.

"Obviously, having played for two hours yesterday I wanted to be as positive as I could be," said the new men's champion afterwards. "He is very talented, one of the most gifted, so I knew that it would be difficult.

"A few decisions went my way, it was very close and maybe I was a little lucky, but I am really pleased with this win."

The title triumph, his first since claiming the Malaysian Open on home soil in July 2008, takes Ong Beng Hee's career PSA Tour title haul to 13.

Chennai Open Tournament Director Major Maniam was pleased with the event: "We were absolutely delighted that we had the best women players that Chennai has ever seen, and some top guys too. These women stars were so supportive and easy to deal with and an inspiration to our girls.

"And, as a Malaysian, I was so pleased to see a double by Nicol and Beng Hee - along with the media exposure for our Saurav Ghosal and the event too."

Women's final:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (25m)

Men's final:
[1] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [2] Jonathan Kemp (ENG) 14-12, 11-9, 11-9 (47m)