David falls to nemesis again

LONDON • Nicol David's bid to win back the British Open squash title ended on Saturday when she lost to rising 20-year-old Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in the semi-finals.

It was the Malaysian's fourth loss in five matches to El Sherbini, who played compatriot Nouran Gohar in the final late yesterday.

The fourth-seeded Egyptian beat the world champion 11-6, 2-11, 11-9, 11-5 with a flawed but aggressive performance that suggested she could soon be the next to grab a frequently changing top ranking.

David lost it last year to Raneem El Welily, while current No. 1 Laura Massaro, was beaten in Friday's quarter-finals.

David showed many signs of producing a more creative and varied short game and led 8-5 in the third game, at which stage it seemed quite possible she would atone for losses to El Sherbini in Qatar, New York and Chicago.

"I started to relax and to win a few outright winners, but when I stepped back slightly she just took her chances," the 32-year-old said. "But I am fine tuning and adjusting my game, and I need to do that and be a consistent as possible.

"With the top four, when they see a window they will take it. It's a question of closing that window as much as possible and finding space they are giving me as well."

David will hope to do that in the short time available before defending her world title in Kuala Lumpur next month.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2016, with the headline 'David falls to nemesis again'. Print Edition | Subscribe