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Pallikal Falls At Semi Hurdle And David Makes It Final 78
Reigning champion Nicol David moved a step closer to retaining her title at the Hi-Tec Australian Open as she eased past Madeline Perry to make the 2012 final.
The world No.1 was forced to her longest match in over a year by quarter-finalist Alison Waters yesterday, but beat her Irish opponent in straight games to progress to the 78th WSA World Tour title of her career.
Afterwards, David explained that Waters’ quarter-final had sharpened her ahead of todays tie. She said: “The match yesterday gave me a real motivation to stay focused and stay solid.”
“A match like yesterday makes you sharper and makes you more aware of what your opponent’s trying to do to you. So today I was a bit more prepared for what was coming.”
She will face No.3 seed Laura Massaro who faced gruelling opposition in her semi-final match against Dipika Pallikal.
Pallikal, who yesterday made history by becoming the first Indian player to make a WSA Gold event semi-final, showed no signs of being affected by her milestone and fully matched her opponent in a five-game thriller.
Despite starting the tie well, Massaro struggled with the Indian’s array of attacking shots from the front of the court. A tie-break third could have gone either way, and Pallikal again stormed back to level the match in a dominant fourth game. The experienced Massaro came from behind in the deciding game, and six consecutive points were enough to see the Englishwoman progress to her third WSA Gold final against David.
 Nicol David (MAS) v  Laura Massaro (ENG)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-7, 11-4, 11-5
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt  Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-7, 7-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-9