Nicol David has won the Cleveland Classic 2014 in Ohio at the Cleveland Racquet Club on Feb 4 for the second time, when she beat Annie Au in straight games to take her current winning streak to 35 matches from her last 8 tournaments.
The undisputed World No.1 player and seven-time world champion was 10-7 down in the first game before clawing her way back to take the game 13-11. Seeded No.1, the 30-year-old Malaysian saved 4-game-points in the process. She then took the next two games 11-5, 11-6 to take the title and US$50,000 winner’s check.
This success stretches her consecutive tournament wins to eight since her loss to Laura Massaro (2) of England in the British Open in May 2013.
David beat Nour El Tayeb, Camille Serme and Nour El Sherbini to reach the Final.
Her opponent in the Cleveland Classic Final Annie Au, Hong Kong’s No. 1 women squash player, beat three top English players on the way to the Final.
Entering the tournament as a Qualifier, Au ranked No.13 in the world beat, Jenny Duncalf (No.9) in three straight games 11-5, 11-9, 11-3; England No.1, Laura Massaro (2) in three straight games 11-5, 12-10, 14-12; and then Alison Waters (4) in four games 6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2, 12-10.
For the 24-year-old Au, this is a great start to the 2014 season.
For David, she doesn’t appear to have taken a backward step since winning her first international tournament in the Savcor Finnish Open 2000. The Cleveland Classic 2014 was David’s 73rd international title.