AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Nicol sweeps aside Madeline to make final
NICOL David is just one win away from retaining the Australian Open title after sweeping past Madeline Perry of Ireland in three games in the semi-finals in Canberra yesterday.
Having not lost since last October's US Open, Nicol is strongly favoured to lift her fifth WSA Tour title of the year and the 62nd of her career when she meets Laura Massaro of England in the final today after her 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 win over Madeline.
Laura struggled to overcome India's surprise semi-finalist Dipika Pallikal, who stretched the World No 4 to five games in a see-saw battle which ended 11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9 in favour of the 2012 British national champion.
Nicol is 3-0 against Laura, whose last WSA title came at the US Open, this year having won at the World Series Finals, Cleveland Classic and British Open and 15-2 overall.
After Friday's testing quarter-final win over Alison Waters, the World No 1 was at her best against Madeline, who was unable to keep pace with Nicol whenever the six-time world champion went on a run.
After a close opening game, 2010 Australian Open winner Madeline erased a 4-1 deficit in the second only for Nicol to steak ahead by winning the next seven rallies to take a 2-0 lead.
A similar pattern developed in the third game when Madeline recovered from 2-5 down to 5-5 but yet again Nicol upped the pace to advance to her 78th WSA final.
"A match like yesterday makes you sharper and makes you more aware of what your opponent's trying to do to you. After yesterday I was a bit more prepared for what was coming today," said Nicol on www.squashsite.co.uk.
Madeline admitted to being forced into numerous errors by Nicol.
"I have to win the rally 10 times to win a point. I end up trying to hit the ball lower and lower and that's why I made so many mistakes," said Madeline, who has only beaten Nicol once in 17 meetings.
Laura, who had to come from 5-9 down against Dipika in the final game, is eagerly awaiting the clash with Nicol, saying on Twitter: "I'm in the final of the Australian Open! Can't wait!"
The men's final will be contested by two top-seeded Egyptians after Ramy Ashour rallied to beat Australia's Cameron Pilley 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 while Omar Mosaad downed England's Tom Richard1-3, 11-3, 11-3.