Squash superstar Nicol David to defend Aussie Open crown
Posted on June 29, 2012, Friday
MELBOURNE: Malaysian superstar Datuk Nicol David will defend her Australian Open crown when the country’s premier squash tournament is held in Canberra from August 13 to 19.
Nicol, the undisputed queen of women’s squash, won her first Australian Open title when she beat England’s Jenny Duncalf in the 2011 final.
By winning the title, she added her name to the famous trophy, alongside sporting greats such as Heather McKay, Vicki Cardwell, Michelle Martin and Sarah Fitz-Gerald.
Nicol will travel to Canberra with her coach, Australian Liz Irving, who was thwarted three times by Martin in her bid to win the Open during the early 1990s.
Tournament director Gary Hampson was delighted that Nicol had elected to play at Canberra’s Royal Theatre again this year.
“Nicol is an absolute star of the game and we are so pleased she has decided to defend her crown. The women’s field is incredibly strong this year, with eight of the top 10 coming and entries not closing until next Tuesday.
“Anyone who comes to Canberra to watch can be assured they are seeing the best players in the world,” he said here.
Duncalf, the world number two, will be back this year, along with England’s Laura Massaro (3), Madeline Perry of Ireland (5), Hongkong’s Annie Au (6), Frenchwoman Camille Serme (8), and Australian pair Rachael Grinham (9) and Kasey Brown (10).
Nicol’s entry also means there are now six former champions in the draw, with Perry (2010), Au (2008), Grinham (2005), Brown (2006) and New Zealander Joelle King (2009) all having previously lifted the Heather McKay Cup.
The men’s draw features defending champion Ramy Ashour of Egypt, with England’s world number six Peter Barker, the second seed. The Australian Open will be played on the all-glass court at Canberra’s Royal Theatre.
“The tournament has gone from strength to strength over the past five years and Canberra should be proud to be a part of Australian sporting history,” Hampson said. — BERNAMA