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Commonwealth Games: David drops game on way to semi-finals

Nicol David dropped her first game of the tournament but made it safely through to the semi-finals of the women's squash tournament at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday (July 25) along with men's top seed Nick Matthew.

GLASGOW: Nicol David dropped her first game of the tournament but made it safely through to the semi-finals of the women's squash tournament at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday (July 25) along with men's top seed Nick Matthew.

Malaysia's world number one David beat England's Jenny Duncalf 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 11-4 and will now face New Zealander Joelle King for a place in the gold medal match. The women's line-up is completed by second seed Laura Massaro, who had a 11-3, 11-2, 11-6 win against Malaysian Low Wee Wern and will now face England team-mate Alison Waters in the last four.

Matthew beat Guernsey's Chris Simpson in three games and he will come up against another Englishman Peter Barker in the semi-finals.

In the other semi-final, India's Saurav Ghosal meets James Willstrop of England after they beat New Zealand's Campbell Grayson and Malaysia's Ivan Yuen respectively.

David, top of the world rankings since 2006, has been playing against Duncalf since they were youngsters and was pleased with the way she bounced back from losing the third game.

"Jenny's such an experienced player and she really brought her game up and was really sharp," said David.

"She played her best squash against me for a while so I had to dig deep and be very alert in the fourth game to get that match in the end.

"Everybody that plays me is going to be play their best squash. They have nothing to lose and they're just going to go for it.

"I knew I couldn't give her the feel of taking it on so I needed to be solid in that fourth game and it went my way so I'm really pleased.

"I'm excited to be in the semi-finals. Joelle is definitely the one to look out for and I know I can't give her anything."

Massaro acknowledged she needed to improve after Friday's round of 16 win against Nicolette Fernandes of Guyana and was pleased with her performance. Her Malaysian opponent Low Wee Wern only left hospital two weeks ago after Dengue fever and was clearly struggling.

The second seed said: "Wee Wern is known for getting ball after ball back - but the rallies weren't very long, so I knew something was wrong.

"I didn't enjoy Friday at all. I was unlucky enough to play someone (Fernandes) who seemed 'possessed' - I've never seen her dive for so many balls before so I just wanted to enjoy myself."

Men's top seed Matthew, 34, is still pleased with the way his knee is holding up just weeks after surgery. Although he won in three games, Matthew felt it was an ideal test ahead of his meeting with fellow countryman Barker, who beat him last time they met in May.

Matthew said: "It was a tough shift. I didn't have too much I could surprise Chris with. He's a long-time training partner, we share the same coach and practice a lot together.

"That sort of battle really sharpens you up and I'm aware of how tough the semi-final will be.

"Peter beat me last time, he's in great form, he's at his peak as a squash player and will really be eyeing that gold medal so I'll have my work cut out."

Fourth seed Ghosal came back from two sets down to overcome 12th seed Grayson in a dramatic quarter-final that lasted 93 minutes before Willstrop made easy work of his win against Yuen.

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