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Squash - 18. October 2013.

Nicol David & Laura Massaro To Meet In US Open Final

Women's Delaware Investments US Open, Philadelphia, USA

Semi-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 14-12, 11-4, 11-6 (38m)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [6] Low Wee Wern (MAS) 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 (86m)


Top seeds Nicol David and Laura Massaro will contest the Women's Delaware Investments U.S. Open Championship final at Drexel University in Philadelphia after coming through contrasting semi-finals of the Women's Squash Association World Series Platinum event, which - for the first time ever - is providing equal prize money to the men's event.

Second seed Massaro, the world No2 from England, reached her second US Open final in three years - but needed five games and almost one and a half hours to get past surprise opponent Low Wee Wern, the No6 seed from Malaysia who ousted last year's Egyptian runner-up Raneem El Weleily in the previous round.

Massaro (pictured above, right, with Low) recovered from 1-4 to take the first game 11-6. The Malaysian underdog was ahead for most of the second game before drawing level.

Again the next two games were shared, 29-year-old Massaro reclaiming the lead after the third and her 23-year-old seven-ranked opponent coming back from 1-4 down to take the fourth.

The Englishwoman took the lead in the decider, 3-1 then 6-4, but a determined Low brought it back to seven-all.

Massaro again took the lead at 8-7 before appealing a let which was over-ruled into a stroke for 9-7. A winning boast and a crosscourt dropshot gave Massaro the 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7 victory after 86 minutes.

"I started well, it's just a pity I couldn't carry on like that for the whole match," said Lancashire lass Massaro. "But she played well, she's like a human sponge, she just keeps soaking everything up and you end up just having to go for something.

"It's great to be back in the final in a big event like this. It was a long break over the summer so it feels good to be back playing these events again."

It took less than half the time for favourite Nicol David to earn her place in the final for the second year in a row.

The world number one faced Joelle King, the No5 seed from New Zealand. Playing with her usual authority, David (pictured above, left, with King) led 8-2 in the opening game. But the Kiwi world No5 mounted an impressive comeback, drawing level at eight-all before moving ahead to game ball at 10-9.

The world number one held firm though, taking the game 14-12 - and soon after wrapping up the match 14-12, 11-4, 11-6 in 38 minutes to move one step closer to becoming the first player for more than 20 years to successfully defend the US Open title.

"I started well but Joelle came back strong at the end of the first," said David. "I told myself I couldn't let her get that one, so I dug in, then managed to push through in the next two games.

"It's good to be back in the final. I'll just rest up, focus on what I need to do and go out and give it all."

David is celebrating the 88th WSA Tour final of her career, while Massaro is marking her 25th.
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