IN MOOD FOR SIXTH CROWN
Resurgent Nicol eyes British Open success again
FRESH from ending a 15-month title drought, Nicol returns to Hull for a crack at winning the British Open for a sixth time starting tomorrow. The former World No 1’s last success at one of the sport’s most prestigious tournaments came in 2014, the same year she won the World Open for a record eighth time.
Nicol, however, can expect the going to be tougher in Hull than in the Ciudad de Floridablanca tournament after most of the world’s top players gave Colombia a miss.
In claiming her first PSA Tour title since December 2015, Nicol faced just one top10 player in England’s Alison Waters in the tournament.
“It was great to play at a new venue in Colombia and to reach the final and win was really special,” Nicol told SquashTV. in an interview following the Floridablanca tournament.
In Hull, Nicol can expect to face World No 2 and 2015 British Open champion Camille Serme in the quarter-finals.
However, Nicol can draw from a wealth of experience which has seen her win 81 PSA Tour titles in her career and she looks to push on from Colombia.
“My first world title when I was 22 was just a dream come true as was being the World No 1 the next month,” said Nicol, Malaysia’s sole representative in the British Open women’s draw.
“Since then, a lot has happened but I think over my whole career, to do what I have done and get eight world titles and hold the World No 1 spot for nine years, is hard to imagine sometimes.
“But it has been a great career and hopefully, there is more to come and I am looking forward to the season ahead.”
Nicol opens her British Open campaign against American Olivia Blatchford in a repeat of the Floridablanca final before facing either Hong Kong’s Joey Chan or England’s Jenny Duncalf in the last-16.
The country’s top two men’s players Nafiizwan Adnan and Ivan Yuen were bidding to make the main draw when they faced England’s Bradley Masters and France’s Gregoire Marche in the first qualifying round late yesterday.