Sunday, 15 September 2013

Nicol David... Ascending, hither to unseen heights....

(Sunday, September 15, 2013, Kuala Lumpur)

The final this afternoon was not only highly anticipated, it was literally standing room for all three levels of viewing room inside The Curve Mall. The lines were queuing up an hour before the men's final, which was played first. By the time it was over it felt like the whole of Kuala Lumpur had showed to see their national sports hero: Dato' Nicol David.

Tour de Force, that's really all one can say. Nicol has laid down the gauntlet, and in spectacular fashion. Let the world of women's squash start all over, fighting over the scraps. Nicol's new attacking game is firmly in place, confidently played and now one can see that she's trusting it. 

Not sure if there is anything scarier for an opponent than seeing a Dato' Nicol David playing with NO FEAR. Yes today was another test, to discover how her new attacking style would fare against Raneem, an opponent renowned for the ethereal control within her soft hands, a right hand that so often finds the nick.

Sure it was tough, Raneem found plenty of nicks, and soft misdirection. And yes, Nicol hit some errors, and some errant shots into the middle. But it was obvious from the start, that Raneem was in for a monumental task, already half way through the first game she was showing physical signs of of the work rate. That's how high the pace of the match was, with both players in constant pressure and attack mode.

Nicol has taken the Malaysian Open Squash Championship for 2013 on  a stormy weekend, and fired off an enormous lightning bolt across the landscape. The rain is on the parade of all those who want to be world number ones. No longer will it be enough to find the attacking combinations that will break through a defense that has won 7 senior world championships, and 2 junior world championships.... Nope,  it will not be enough....

Dato' Nicol David is no longer waiting, and reacting on the court, she's become the hunter. She's setting the pace now, she's forcing the issue, add these to her speed and fitness.... and now it is a new Mt Everest for every opponent..... One that they've likely never seen the likes of before. Still with the speed of Peter Nicol, the Nicol David stamina, the David Palmer-like pressure tactics and the mental fortitude of Jahangir Khan..... we witnessed - Nicol is Ascending.... again..... 

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