- POSTED: 19 May 2014 00:27
Malaysia's Nicol David gained some compensation for the loss of her world title in her home state of Penang last month by regaining the British Open in Laura Massaro's home country on Sunday.
KINGSTON UPON HULL, United Kingdom: Malaysia's Nicol David gained some compensation for the loss of her world title in her home state of Penang last month by regaining the British Open in Laura Massaro's home country on Sunday.
David, the world number one, won 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 against England's world champion Massaro, who beat her in last year's British Open final, played outdoors at the same venue.
This time the conditions were indoors and warmer, and after a slightly edgy start David began to play more accurately and with more control.
She also once again proved herself the better athlete, providing a foundation for the patience which drew errors from Massaro in a tight fourth game.
"I am so pleased -- it means the world to me. It was so close -- there wasn't much in it," added David after winning her fifth British Open title and first since 2012.
"It was neck-and-neck all the time. I was pleased to stay in there. I think she (Massaro) made a few errors at the end."
Although this was true, it only happened after rallies which became increasingly long and varied. Both women found a pleasing capacity to take the ball in short and to play with different rhythms to the back.
Massaro outplayed David at the crucial moments in the first game but, from 4-5 down in the second, David took seven points in a row relatively quickly.
By then the Malaysian was playing more confidently, and from 1-4 down in the third game she again began to make steady progress.
The four points she took from 6-6, with varying angles and patterns, helped change the feel of the match.
For the fourth time, Massaro managed to get her nose in front in the fourth game, and for the third time David pegged her back.
But after an hour's high-speed play the Englishwoman may have been feeling the pace, and three drop-shots into the tin came at a crucial time.
David completed her victory with another patient rally and an uncharacteristically loud scream as Massaro's lob drive floated just out of court. She looked both relieved and delighted.
Before the match David had said: "Sometimes on the day if you put a little expectation on yourself you may not play the way you want to play," a comment which may have referred both to her world championship loss and to the extra pressure on Massaro when she was the one playing in front of her home crowd.
David did not appear to make that mistake this time, and claimed to have learnt a lot from her Penang defeat.
"I just knew I could just have the good times building up for the British Open, and I have been really focusing on that," she said.
There had been a possibility that English players would win both British Open titles for the first time since 1939 and the first time in the professional era -- but Massaro's loss put paid to hopes of a home 'double'.
Nick Matthew of England was due to play the men's final against Gregory Gaultier of France later on Sunday.
Like the women's final, the match will involve the world champion (Matthew) contesting the title against the world number one (Gaultier).