In a first, Nicol David retains US Open squash title

Philadelphia: 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."

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