— Squash legend Nicol David moved closer to filling the only significant gap in her tremendous list of titles when she reached the quarterfinals of the British Open in less than half an hour Thursday.
David, the world No. 1 for the last six years, overcame her best friend Samantha Teran, the first Mexican ever to reach a World Open semifinal, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 with a remarkably full range of strokes considering the potential distractions.
It was the Malaysian’s first appearance on the all-glass court at the O2 Arena, the conditions were unusually cold which made the ball less responsive, and David did not enjoy taking on someone she knows so well.
David’s next obstacle is Joelle King, the rising young New Zealander who saved two match points to win 3-11, 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 15-13 against the eighth-seeded former champion Rachael Grinham, a 35-year-old Australian who won the fourth of her British Open titles when it was last held, three years ago.
Earlier, the men’s world champion Nick Matthew joined his career-long rival James Willstrop, the world No. 1, in the quarterfinals when he survived a tough test from England teammate Tom Richards by 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6.
Matthew only got away from his tenacious opponent in the last few points of a match which was notable for a 10-minute delay for repairs to one of Richards’ shoes and a heated debate with the referee as to how it became damaged.
The referee eventually ruled that it had been caused by Matthew accidentally treading on it, and awarded a let — a decision the world champion described as “ridiculous.” — AFP