NI­COL PLANS AHEAD

Vet­eran wants to set up academy after re­tire­ment

New Straits Times - - Sport - DEVIN­DER SINGH devin­der@nst.com.my

NI­COL David is al­ready turn­ing her thoughts to life after her play­ing days are over as her semi-fi­nal de­feat at the Bri­tish Open in Hull on Satur­day brought her ca­reer into sharp fo­cus.

It was only two weeks ago that the eight­time world cham­pion ended a 15-month PSA Tour ti­tle drought in Colom­bia be­fore she told SquashTV about her in­ten­tion of con­tribut­ing to the sport which has given her so much.

Ni­col, 33, spoke of plans to set up an academy after hang­ing up her rac­quet, which she in­sists is still at least a few years away.

“When the time comes which is still a while away I will prob­a­bly look at go­ing back to Malaysia and set up a squash academy and foun­da­tion,” said the Am­s­ter­dam-based Ni­col.

“I just want to give back what the coun­try has given me to reach my full po­ten­tial in my ca­reer and giv­ing all their sup­port.”

On Satur­day, Ni­col was de­nied a chance to re­turn to the Bri­tish Open fi­nal since win­ning the ti­tle for a fifth time in 2014 after an 11-8, 7-11, 13-11, 11-7 de­feat to eighth-seed Sarah-Jane Perry of Eng­land.

Ranked sev­enth in the world, Ni­col lost for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive time to Sarah-Jane, who still trails 2-4 in their ri­valry.

“I think it was just a mat­ter of SJ be­ing on form," said for­mer World No 1 Ni­col, who will next ap­pear at the Women’s World Cham­pi­onship in El Gouna, Egypt in April. “She was very re­laxed and was mix­ing it up very well. I wasn't find­ing my foot­ing and it wasn’t un­til the sec­ond game that I got go­ing.

“I wasn’t as sharp as I needed to be and she is too strong not to be at your best. I’m dis­ap­pointed, but fair play to Sarah-Jane, she played well and the bet­ter player won.”

Ni­col was the favourite to beat SarahJane, who al­luded to this when she said, half-jok­ingly: “I will ded­i­cate this win to the peo­ple be­hind me who didn't know who I was, and said that Ni­col was go­ing to win.”

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