Strong Start for David as SRAM Invitational Gets Under Way
Eight-time World Champion Nicol David got her 2016 SRAM Invitational tournament off to a perfect start after a dominant victory against former World No.2 Jenny Duncalf on home soil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The tournament, which takes place in the Nicol David Arena inside Malaysia’s National Squash Centre, sees two pools of three players battle for a place in the knockout playoff rounds, with Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa being paired alongside David and Duncalf in Pool A.
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World No.4 David took just 24 minutes to complete the win with an 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 scoreline to put herself in the driving seat as she looks to capture the title on home soil.
“I was more focused on what I needed to do and it came together,” said David to News 365.
“I just took each point as it came and put the pressure on when I needed to. That was my main objective today.
“I’ve been training hard to be prepared for the new season, I just want to do well. I’m really excited to play Joshna, who I haven’t played for a while. I’m looking forward to it.”
The day’s other fixture saw another Malaysian in action, with Delia Arnold taking on World No.8 Omneya Abdel Kawy in a Pool B fixture that served as a stark contrast to David and Duncalf’s encounter.
Arnold, backed on by her home supporters, twice took a one-game lead, only to be pegged back by Kawy both times. Tension reached a fever pitch in the deciding fifth game as World No.18 Arnold went 10-9 and then 11-10 up.
But an unforced error off Kawy’s serve ended up handing match ball to the Egyptian and she converted to bring an end to a nail-biting match with a 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11 triumph.
“I feel I’m on the right track but I need to work a bit more before the season starts,” Arnold said.
“It’s good to know where my weaknesses are.”
Results: SRAM Invitational 2016 Day One
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (24m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt  Delia Arnold (MAS) 3-2: 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11 (52m)
Draw: SRAM Invitational 2016 Day Two
 Nicol David (MAS) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v  Joelle King (NZL)