This month UniMedia Pro celebrates and salutes Squash Legend Nicol David of Malaysia and who has unselfishly promoted and developed female squash in many of the ghettos of the world.
Nicol David is one of the most decorated sports stars of a generation and has broken a succession of remarkable records during her career to date – capturing the hearts of thousands of adoring fans in the process.
The Penang-born superstar burst onto the scene when she won her first Women’s World Junior Squash Championship in 1999 before claiming her maiden Tour title in February 2000 when she triumphed at the Savcor Finnish Open.
She not only became the first Malaysian to win the Malaysian Open Squash Championship and British Open, she also went on to captured her first World Championship crown after defeating Rachael Grinham in the final to lift the sport’s most coveted prize.
January 2006 saw her become the first Asian women ever to reach the World No.1 spot but she lost top spot to Vanessa Atkinson three months later. David demonstrated her dominance in the latter stages of that season, romping to six Tour titles and reclaiming her World No.1 ranking in August, before defending her World Championship title in November where she defeated the younger Grinham sister, Natalie.
David lost out in the final of the British Open in 2007 but a year later she swept all before her, winning ten Tour titles and going unbeaten throughout the year, capturing the British Open title and her third World Championship crown.
Nicol David being consoled by her father Desmond after losing to Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in David’s 56-match unbeaten run came to an end in 2009 against Natalie Grainger, but the Malaysian continued her haul of titles, including capturing four more consecutive World Championship in as many years. She was shocked by Nour El Sherbini in the semi-final of her home-town World Championship in early 2014, but she bounced back to lift the British Open and another World Championship title in December of that same year – beating Raneem El Welily in Cairo.
In February 2015 the Malaysian celebrated her 106th consecutive month at the top of the World Rankings to overtake New Zealand’s Susan Devoy as the longest-reigning World No.1, cementing her place as one of squash’s greatest ever players. However, her unprecedented nine-reign came to an end in September of that year when she was usurped by El Welily as the new Women’s World No.1 and her 2015/16 season got off to an inauspicious start when she suffered a shock defeat to World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar in the opening round of the Stars on the Bund China Open later that month. David fell to number three in the world towards the end of the year but recaptured some of her best form in December’s Hong Kong Open, claiming her 10th consecutive title there without losing a single game.
In July 2016, the eight-time World Champion set yet another historic milestone, reaching her 151st successive month in the top 10 – overtaking the previous record established by Peter Nicol in October 2006.
Over the coming weeks we will look deeper into this star’s life and actually see how her success has been the reason for many young women across the world to take on the sport and not only earn a livelihood out of the sport but went on to becoming champions and ambassadors of their countries in the sport of Squash. Sadly Squash is still not pert of the Olympics.