David blitzes best friend at British Open
by Richard Eaton | AFP. Posted on May 18, 2012, Friday
Squash legend Nicol David moved closer to filling the only significant gap in her tremendous list of titles when she reached the quarter-finals of the British Open in less than half an hour on Thursday.
David, the world number one for the last six years, overcame her best friend Samantha Teran, the first Mexican ever to reach a World Open semi-final, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 with a remarkably full range of strokes considering the potential distractions.
It was the Malaysian’s first appearance on the all-glass court at the O2 Arena, the conditions were unusually cold which made the ball less responsive, and David did not enjoy taking on someone she knows so well.
“It’s hard,” she said. “We are sharing a room here, she stays in my house (in Amsterdam), and we train together. So it’s not easy. We were just talking and laughing, and then I said ‘are you ready to go’. So we went off to play the match.
“She wasn’t going to give me any gifts, but I’d watched other players carefully in these conditions, and so I got in there (and played strokes) earlier than she did. I got my eye in and it all started flowing. I was really happy with that.”
This enterprising attitude helped David to continue her atonement for the last British Open, three years ago in Manchester, when she suffered an unusual wobble and suffered a rare defeat.
Her next obstacle is Joelle King, the rising young New Zealander who saved two match points to win 3-11, 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 15-13 against the eighth-seeded former champion Rachael Grinham, a 35-year-old Australian who won the fourth of her British Open titles when it was last held, three years ago.
Earlier, the men’s world champion Nick Matthew joined his career-long rival James Willstrop, the world number one, in the quarter-finals when he survived a tough test from England team mate Tom Richards by 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6.
Matthew only got away from his tenacious opponent in the last few points of a match which was notable for a ten-minute delay for repairs to one of Richards’ shoes and a heated debate with the referee as to how it became damaged.
The referee eventually ruled that it had been caused by Matthew accidentally treading on it, and awarded a let — a decision the world champion described as “ridiculous”.
Matthew, who saved a match point against Willstrop to win the last British Open, is now two wins from a possible re-match with his fellow Yorkshireman and career-long rival.