Datuk Nicol David Dominated Finals Again!
Datuk Nicol David regained the world title in her most exciting final, and with her most memorable performance yet, saving four match points in a row to overcome the third-seeded Egyptian Raneem el Weleily yesterday.
David also extended her record of world titles to eight with her 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 14-12, 11-5 win.
But she but had to recover from a game and 2-6 down, from 6-10 down in the fourth game, and from el Weleily’s constantly dynamic attacks, fuelled by the energy from a noisy partisan home crowd.
During her second game crisis, David worked her way patiently into the match.
During the fourth game, when it seemed she must surely be beaten in a world final for the first time, she altered the emphasis of her game superbly.
If she saw a slight gap, she would risk pitching the ball in short with drops, volley drops, and trickle boasts off the sidewall not normally frequent ingredients in her game but ones which she had the courage to try now.
Later, though David performed the formalities with customary grace, the tears of joy and disbelief kept welling up like never before, and bringing catches to her words.
“I don’t know what to feel actually,” she said quietly afterwards.
“You work so hard and when the final plays out like this you don’t know what to do with yourself but I am so very happy.
“There were moments when I thought it could be over, but I didn’t want it to end that way. I dug very deep, because I wanted it badly.
“Raneem is so strong, and I knew that if I didn’t do something about it she would take it. I wanted to make it happen, so, yes there was a change of emphasis in the way I played.
“It was quite difficult to do that, when Raneem is going for broke. It gives you a little less time to play. But I had to take time away from her too, and I found a way to do that.”
“There will be lots of positives to take from my performance,” she said. “I just won’t be taking them today, that’s all.
“I had to do something about what happened and I didn’t. I can perhaps be champion in the future. But I will need to learn a lot,” the 25-year-old added.
David’s win meant she is the first player ever to lose the world title and regain it within one calendar year. She lost the title before her home crowd in Penang in March.