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Squash: Debutant David conquers Tournament of Champions in New York

Malaysia’s World No. 1 Nicol David (left) beat World No. 2 Laura Massaro to win the Tournament of Champions in New York on her event debut. Photo: Tournament of Champions.

Malaysia’s World No. 1 Nicol David (left) beat World No. 2 Laura Massaro of England to win the Tournament of Champions in New York on her first appearance in the event. Photo: Tournament of Champions.

January 25, 2014: World No. 1 Nicol David claimed her first J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions title with a resounding 11-4, 13-11, 11-8 victory over World No. 2 Laura Massaro on the iconic glass court in Grand Central Terminal in New York.


“I wanted this title badly. The ToC is huge. There is something in the air here. I get goose bumps every time I walk into Grand Central,” said the Malaysian superstar after the triumph over her English rival in the climax of the WSA Gold event.


This was the first time the world’s top-ranked player for over seven years had competed in the Tournament of Champions and the first time in a decade that the two top players in the sport contested the final. However, David lived up her favourite tag by winning the first game comfortably.


“In that first game, both of us were figuring out how the ball was going to play this evening. The ball got faster as we were playing and I was able to play some good, low attacking shots,” said David, who now has 72 WSA titles to her name, including seven World Open crowns.


However, Massaro received some coaching advice from her husband Danny after the first game and the English No. 1 was the attacker at the start of the second, taking a 7-2 lead by playing more aggressively and moving up in the court.


Just as it looked as if Massaro was on her way to levelling the match, David dug in and began chipping away at the second seed’s lead. The 30-year-old from Penang reeled off six straight points to move ahead 8-7 before clinching the game on her second game ball.


“I just kept telling myself, ‘keep going, keep going, keep going,” said David, who has been World No. 1 for 90 consecutive months.


Massaro, 30, also praised her opponent’s fighting spirit. “As soon as Nicol’s back in the game at all, she’s like a dog with a bone. She doesn’t let go,” said Massaro, the only player on the current Tour who has beaten David five times.


At the start of the third, the players exchanged points until David surged ahead 7-4. Massaro fought back to 7-6 and then saved two match balls when her opponent took a 10-6 lead. But the top seed was not to be denied the one major title missing from her collection and closed out the championship 11-8 in the third game.


Source: WSA

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