Malaysian world No. 3's love affair with Hong Kong continues

Malaysian world No. 3's love affair with Hong Kong continues
Malaysia's Nicol David in action in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open. She beat Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy to reach the final.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - Hong Kong is truly a home away from home for Nicol David.

The Malaysian world No. 3 was in blistering form as she blasted her way past Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 to reach the final of the Hong Kong Open.

Since a 35-minute first round win over Hong Kong's Liu Tsz Ling, Nicol has spent no more than 30 minutes in her matches.

Nicol committed just two errors in dismantling the world No. 5 in 24 minutes at the Hong Kong Squash Centre on Saturday.

"It's a great result for me to beat Omneya 3-0. It's not everyday I get to do that against a player of her quality," said Nicol, who has never lost a match on the island.

"My record here was never on my mind. I'm just happy to be here because I love Hong Kong ... it's like a second home to me."

Nicol, who will be gunning for her 11th Hong Kong title, have a tough challenge when she takes on world No. 2 Laura Massaro of England.

Massaro, who has beaten Nicol twice this year, shot down world No. 1 Raneem El Welily of Egypt 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 in the other semi-final.

The result means that the 32-year-old Massaro will be the world No. 1 in January, regardless of who wins in Hong Kong.

"I've always had good matches with Laura. The last few ones were close but this is a different tournament and I'm looking forward to another good run," said Nicol.

In the men's event, Australia's Cameron Pilley extended his giant-killing run by beating world No. 3 Nick Matthew of England in the semi-finals.

World No. 24 Pilley, who had beaten world No. 7 Simon Rosner of Germany and world champion Gregory Gaultier of France, was on top of his game to win 11-9, 13-11, 12-10.

"I've only beaten Nick twice in the past but it's always close. I think I just played a little bit better today to come out on top," said Pilley who will meet Egypt's Mohamed El Shorbagy for the title.

Semi-finals

Men: Mohamed El Shorbagy (Egy) bt Omar Mosaad (Egy) 11-4, 11-6, 11-9; Cameron Pilley (Aus) bt Nick Matthew (Eng) 11-9, 13-11, 12-10.

Women: Laura Massaro (Eng) bt Raneem El Welily (Egy) 11-4, 11-5, 11-8; Nicol David (Mas) bt Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) 11-4, 11-5, 11-2.

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