Buoyant Nicol David Wins Historic US Opener

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RESULTS: Women’s Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA

1st round (top half of draw):
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Kylie Lindsay (NZL) 11-5, 11-3, 11-7 (24m)
[10] Camille Serme (FRA) bt Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11-4, 11-6, 11-7 (31m)
[15] Line Hansen (DEN) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 (41m)
[8] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL) 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5 (67m)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-7, 11-6, 11-3 (31m)
[12] Donna Urquhart (AUS) bt [Q] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 (25m)
[13] Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 (33m)
[5] Joelle King (NZL) bt [Q] Nouran Ahmed Gohar (EGY) 11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6 (50m)

Malaysia’s Nicol David successfully began her defence of the Women’s Delaware Investments U.S. Open Championship title after dismissing New Zealand qualifier Kylie Lindsay in the first round of the Women’s Squash Association World Series Platinum event which – for the first time ever – is providing equal prize money to the men’s event.

David, the world number one from Penang bidding to become the first player for more than 20 years to retain the title, eased to an 11-5, 11-3, 11-7 victory in 24 minutes at Drexel University in Philadelphia in her maiden meeting with the world No43 from Matamata.

The distinguished Malaysian is looking for her third straight WSA World Tour title win after successes in last month’s Malaysian Open and last week’s Carol Weymuller Open in New York.

“It’s great to be back, knowing that I had a good run here last year and also last week in New York,” said the title-holder.

“The US Open has set the benchmark for World Series squash events in offering equal prize money and treating the women’s event as equal in very way,” added the 30-year-old. “Everyone just wants to thank them for the effort they’re putting into this.”

In a repeat of last week’s Carol Weymuller final, David will now meet France’s Camille Serme, the No10 seed who beat Canadian Samantha Cornett 11-4, 11-6, 11-7.

The championship, which is boasting five home players in the main draw for the first time in history, started disappointingly for two who fell at the first hurdle.

The indefatigable Latasha Khan, the 40-year-old from Seattle who is making her ninth appearance in the main draw since 2002, went down 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 to England’s 13th seed Sarah Kippax.

“It’s fantastic to get a match under your belt on the glass court so early in the tournament,” said world No21 Kippax. “You can’t give Latasha an inch, she’s so experienced, and she was starting to get into her stride at the end. I was a bit lucky, but pleased to finish it in three.”

Qualifier Olivia Blatchford, a 20-year-old from New York, crashed out 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 to Donna Urquhart, the No12 seed from Australia.

After the disappointment of early exits from the Malaysian Open and Carol Weymuller Open, England’s No4 seed Alison Waters was back at her best to beat Ireland’s Aisling Blake 11-7, 11-6, 11-3.

“Aisling was playing well and finding her length from the start,” admitted the world No4 from London. “It took me a while to find my range. It’s always a bit of an unknown quantity in your opening match, but I’m glad to get through in three and looking forward to the rest of the tournament now.”

Eighth seed Madeline Perry was given a scare by Tesni Evans, a 20-year-old Welsh qualifier making her maiden appearance in the event. Experienced Irish number one Perry led 2/0, but plucky Evans fought back to draw level.

The 36-year-old world No9 dug deep, however, to regain the advantage and close out the match 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11, 11-5 after 67 minutes.

Event website: www.usopensquash.com

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