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Friday, April 29, 2016

Nicol fails to defend world title, loses to Sherbini in last eight


Malaysia's squash queen Nicol David's hopes of claiming her ninth world championships title came to a halt after losing to world number two, Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in the quarter-finals of the 2016 Naza PSA Women's World Squash Championships in Kuala Lumpur.
Despite receiving boisterous cheers from the home crowd and also her parents who came down from Penang, Nicol failed to stop the lanky Egyptian, losing in 14-12, 4-11, 11-3, and 11-7 in the 47-minute match in the tournament held at the Nicol David Arena, National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.
For the record, Nicol had won the world championships title eight times - in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Today's victory saw Sherbini, who was the 2013 World Championships runner-up, extending their meeting record to 6-4.
Speaking after the match, Nicol said it was her best performance against Sherbini out of their 10 meetings so far, adding that the Egyptian was in her element to secure victory in today's match.
"It was a tough one, totally disappointing to lose it. If I got (won) the first game, it would probably be a different story. I just let Sherbini get her confidence in the third game, and I just probably wanted to do so much so fast and opened the court so easily.
"At the end, I tried to come back, fighting and did all that I could... put a few things together at the right time (but it remained the same)... just disappointing," said a dejected Nicol.
The world number five player said she would shift her attention to the 2015/16 season-ending PSA World Series finals in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from May 24-28 before taking a long break.
Nicol also vowed to come back strongly in the next world championships, while asserting that she was not ready to hang up her racquet yet despite many people feeling that she should do that after showcasing topsy-turvy performance, lately.
For Sherbini, the victory means everything to her, especially when beating Nicol in the latter's own backyard.

Prior to this, she had defeated Nicol in three previous occasions this season - Tournament of Champions in January, Windy City Open in February and the British Open, a month later.
The 20-year-old Alexandria native said she would be focusing on the semi-final match tomorrow rather than thinking of becoming the first Egyptian to clinch the world title.
"Of course, every player wants to win this tournament badly, but I will go step by step," Sherbini said, while hoping to see an all-Egyptian affair in the final match on Saturday.
- Bernama

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