Nicol David’s focus was only on retaining her CIMB Malaysian Open squash title but thanks to the Netherland’s Vanessa Atkinson’s shock loss in the quarter-finals, Nicol is back as World No 1. Vanessa, who wrested the World No 1 ranking from Nicol after the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in March, was shown the exit by Tania Bailey of England. Tania won 9-3, 9-0, 9-2. Nicol had earlier booked her place in the semi-finals when she beat World No 7 Madaline Perry of Ireland 9-2, 9-1, 9-4 at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
According to Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) executive director Andrew Shelley, Nicol only had to finish ahead of Vanessa in the Malaysian Open to regain her No 1 ranking. However, Nicol will only be officially ranked No 1 next month. Way to go, Nicol!
As an aside, Nicol is my youngest sister’s god sister. Both my dad and Nicol’s mum were colleagues in the same secondary school years back. When Nicol was a kid, her mum used to bring her to our house and she plays with my youngest sister. I was in Singapore studying at that time. When young Nicol played squash with my sister, she was way too fast for my sister even at that age and despite being smaller in size. And Nicol would ask my youngest sister to state how many points she wants before each school tournament in Penang. And Nicol would bring more points than my sister’s quote. Those were the days of squash and friendship.