Nicol: Won’t Get Beat Again

World Open Quarter-Final:
[1] Nicol David (Mas) bt [6] Kasey Brown (Aus)  11/7, 12/10, 11/4 (41m)

Don’t know if Nicol David is a Who fan (well, on balance I guess she’s probably not), but today she played a great variation of that classic “won’t get fooled again”. Nicol lost to Kasey Brown last month in Philadelphia, and the memory of that defeat made her play much better in Qatar, and it still looked a very raw memory tonight.

From the outset she was fast, and determined, very very determined. Kasey made it hard, the whole match was played at a much faster pace than the preceding all-English one which was, to be honest, quite tame in comparison to the often ferocious nature of the hitting and retrieving these two displayed.

Nicol took a 6/1 lead in the first, Kasey fought well to come back to lead 7/6 but Nicol wouldn’t be beaten, and took it 11/7.

The second was probably the toughest single game of women’s squash I’ve seen. Hit, run, hit harder, run faster, and faster, and harder, and now really run, really hit. Nicol was tearing lumps out of Kasey, but Kasey wouldn’t relent either, she pulled back again in this game, got to 9-all and tinned a simple volley at the end of a mammoth rally. Kasey smiled, but she wasn’t smiling inside.

Nicol was in the service box bouncing the ball, waiting for Kasey to be ready, letting her know that she, the world champion, was ready. Two more rallies, two more tough, tough rallies and Nicol extracted two more errors to take it 12/10.

Lest Kasey think she might have time to settle at the start of the third, Nicol was on the rampage from the start of the third, sprinting, stretching, front right to back left corner, again, then again, faster this time.

She wasn’t going to lose, was the message, not again. Kasey never gave anything less than her best, she never stopped trying, testing, probing, but tonight it was never going to be enough, not against tonight’s Nicol.

She made eight unforced errors in one game alone in Philly. Tonight she made probably half that number all match. Won’t get beat again … you bet.

Steve Cubbins

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