A CHANCE TO END TITLE DROUGHT
Nicol checks into final in Colombia
NICOL David reached her first PSA Tour final in 15 months at the Ciudad de Floridablanca tournament in Colombia on Friday while looking to end a title drought just as long.
The former World No 1 rallied from a game down to overcome England’s 10thranked Alison Waters 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 to book her first final appearance since winning the Hong Kong Open in December 2015.
Next for Nicol is World No 27 Olivia Blatchford, who was gifted a place in the final after top seed Amanda Sobhy retired hurt while holding match point in their all-American semi-final.
Eight-time world champion Nicol, seeking an 81st PSA Tour title in her 101st career final, has won both her previous meetings with Olivia without dropping a game at the 2014 World Team Championship and 2015 Windy City Open.
“I’m glad to get to the finals here, it’s been such a special tournament, I’m just really enjoying it,” said Nicol, 33, playing in Colombia for the first time since winning gold at the 2013 World Games.
“I’ll give it a good go. When you’re in a final, you’re both there to just go for it and I’ll be doing just that.”
Securing the second game against Alison was crucial in World No 7 Nicol’s march to victory as she improved her record against her one-time rival to 26-2.
“I was just a bit reactive in some parts of the match and she was free-flowing,” said Nicol of her early troubles.
“I wasn’t fully comfortable hitting my shots or finding my lines. I managed to settle into the game and started hitting my targets well and putting her under pressure. I was really pleased to enforce my game and pull it through to win 3-1.”
Amanda was just one point away from the final, leading 11-1, 11-6, 10-5, when she tore her Achilles tendon chasing a drop with the World No 6 immediately hitting the floor and unable to continue.
“I know I don’t deserve to be out there in the final, she does, so the best thing I can do is honour her by giving my best on court,” said Olivia, 24. “I need to really show up for Amanda.”
A win over Olivia would be just the boost Nicol needs for the British Open on March 21-26 and the World Championship next month.
Nicol David defeated England’s Alison Waters 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-2 on Friday.