In her longest title triumph since the introduction of PAR (point-a-rally) scoring, favourite Nicol David overcame second seed Laura Massaro in the final of the Women’s Delaware Investments US Open Squash Championship at Drexel University here to become the first player in the event’s history to retain the title.
The match, the first US Open final to go the full distance in ten years, saw Malaysia’s World No.1 fight back from 2/1 down to defeat England’s World No.2 Massaro 13-11, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5 in 84 minutes Friday.
It was an appropriate climax to the Women’s Squash Association World Series Platinum event, which -- for the first time ever -- was providing equal prize money to the men’s event.
For five games the pair traded blows, testing each other out with long, patient, well-crafted rallies -- with unforced errors few and far between.
Barely a point separated the finalists in the first two games: Massaro reached game ball first in the opener, but David took it 13-11. From nine-all in the second, it was the Malaysian who had the first chance to get the game -- but Massaro drew level after a second tie-break game.
Massaro held onto a slender lead through the third to take the lead 11-7, but was unable to capitalise on a 7-4 lead in the fourth as David took five points in a row to force the decider.
From two-all in the fifth, David moved ahead to 7-3 after some rare errors from her opponent. A winning boast for 10-5, then a ball driven into the deep that Massaro was unable to retrieve saw David leap into the air in delight.
“It feels fantastic, it means a lot to win that match and to win another US Open title,” said David.
“It’s been such a journey this year; I knew Laura was playing well and I would have to dig deep. When I was down in the fourth, she maybe stepped off it a little, I just knew I had to keep going and going to the last point.”