Reigning champions aiming to defend titles in Rotterdam
With all four semi-finals of the World Open Squash 2001 at the New Luxor Theatre in Rotterdam finishing in straight-game victories, defending champions and world number ones Nick Matthew and Nicol David remain on course to retain their title in this, the richest-ever squash event, with a combined prize fund of over $400,000.
Their opponents in today’s finals will be France’s Gregory Gaultier, twice a World Open runner-up, and England’s Jenny Duncalf, the world number two who will be appearing in her first World Open final.
World Open Finals:
14.00  Nicol David (Mas) v  Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
16.00  Nick Matthew (Eng) v  Gregory Gaultier (Fra)
Live scores and text commentary will be on TODAY shortly before 14.00
Fancy a Flutter? Final Stats …
For Nicol David the World Open final is no strange place. Competing in her 10th event, the Malaysian Datuk is in her 6th final, and looking to win the title for a record 6th time. 41 matches, just 3 defeats, the World Open is David’s natural domain.
For opponent Jenny Duncalf, it’s a first outing in the final. “If you could choose one match to play in, the World Open final would be it,” she said after winning the semi-final; yesterday, her 2nd in 11 World Open outings, and she’ll be playing her 25th match in the pinnacle event today.
Against David, Duncalf has played just once in the World Open, in Amsterdam two years ago, but overall they have met 28 times and the Englishwoman has just 2 victories to her name, both at the end of 2009 but David has avenged those 8 times since, 3 times this year in Grand Cayman, Malaysia and Australia, all of them finals.
Nick Matthew and Gregory Gaultier are also no strangers to the World Open or to each other. As Gaultier said last night, “it’s nice to see my generation of players at the top of the game still.” The English defending champion is competing in his 11th World Open, the Frenchman his 10th, and neither are unaccustomed to reaching the final stages, Matthew reaching the quarters or better in the last 5 events, Gaultier failing to reach that stage just once in the last 7.
For the record that’s 36 World Open matches each, 27 wins each. Gaultier has made two finals, losing out agonisingly in 2006 and convincingly in 2007, Matthew won his one final last year in Saudi.
Against each other they’ve played in 2 World Opens, 2009 and 2007 with Gaultier winning both times. They have shared victory in their 22 matches at 11 each, but in senior competition if you take away Matthew’s 4 wins in team events Gaultier has a 10-6 advantage. On the other hand Gaultier’s last win was in the 2009 World Open and all 4 meetings since then have gone Matthew’s way.
Does all this help predict a winner? Probably not, but a fantastic pair of finals is a fair bet …
Facts and Figures gleaned from www.SquashInfo.com