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Squash - 08. June 2009.

Nicol David Retains Seoul Trophy

RESULTS:         BBQ Women's Seoul Squash Open, Seoul, South Korea



[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [4] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11-6, 3-11, 11-6, 11-4 (38m)



Malaysia's world number one Nicol David successfully retained her title in the BBQ Women's Seoul Open after beating England's Jenny Duncalf, the fourth seed, in the final of the $60,000 WISPA World Tour Gold squash event being staged on an all-glass court before a packed crowd in Yongsan Plaza, by the Hyundai I-Park Mall, in the South Korean capital Seoul.


David, in her third successive final in Seoul, got off to a good start and confidently took the first game.  But Duncalf - the world No6 from Harrogate in Yorkshire who gate-crashed the climax after upsetting last year's runner-up Rachael Grinham, the No2 seed from Australia, in the semis - picked up her game in the second and sped to a 7-0 lead, before taking the game to draw level.


Now taking advice from Grinham between games, Duncalf returned to the court eager to extend her momentum - and, perhaps, put an end to the 11-0 winning Tour run David has over her.


Both players were using length and accuracy while seeking out chinks in each other's defences - while the massed ranks of spectators inside the arena, together with hundreds covering the steps, were all totally enthralled.  They were watching David edge ahead and turn winning rallies into points on the board.  


David maintained her advantage and, after 38 minutes, the challenger had been subdued and the defending champion had retained her BBQ Seoul Open title 11-6, 3-11, 11-6, 11-4.


"I wasn’t really into it in the first," admitted Duncalf, after her appearance in the biggest final of her career.  "I knew I needed to be more confident of my shots in the second - and I did start seeing it and timing it well.  She was taken a bit by surprise I think, but it is a fine line and you cannot fire the ball like that for a whole match.


"Actually I feel a bit disappointed as I am not feeling exhausted," added the 26-year-old.  "I just made a few too many errors at the end."


After reaching her 52nd Tour final - and moving ahead of her nearest rival Rachael Grinham (on 51) for the first time in her career - Nicol David was now celebrating her 37th Tour title, and her third in a row this year.


"Jenny started playing so well that I knew I had to keep working her," the new champion told reporters afterwards.  "It feels really good to have kept the title, especially as everybody is so enthusiastic in Seoul.  It is what we play for!"


Local squash fans can look forward to a potential hat-trick of David Seoul successes after the Seoul Squash Federation confirmed plans for the 4th staging of the WISPA Gold event next year.


Mr Lee Jang Ho, Secretary General of Seoul Sports Council, explained the value of the event and why Seoul Sports Council supports it:


"By hosting this major international event, the sponsors and squash fans are expecting the elevation of the image of Seoul city as a global city and that of Korea as one of the global leaders.


"The greatest merit of this Open is that the event penetrates into the daily city-lives of the citizens.  We are hoping that Seoul Women’s Squash Open will help Squash succeed in the bid for Olympics in 2016.


"We will put the utmost efforts in hosting another successful event, by increasing the level and quality of the Open and inventing the programs that would promote the image of Seoul city to the further level.  For the greater joy of the players and the spectators, we will keep up the good work."

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