Nicol David is well on her way to being the greatest squash player ever

UPDATE 23 December 2012

She’s done it, defeating third seed Laura Massaro (England) 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 in 44 minutes. It was not all smooth sailing – she was pushed hard by Massaro, who even led 7-5 in the 2nd.

The magical words “seven-time world champion” has been achieved.

At least on par with:

Mark Spitz’s 7 golds at the 1972 Olympics
Roger Federer and Pete Sampras’ 7 Wimbledon titles
Rudy Hartono’s 7 consecutive All-England titles (8 in total)
Michael Schumacher’s 7 Formula One World Drivers’ Champion

The only possible target now is:
- beat Jansher Khan’s record of 8 World Opens
- win the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award
- win an Olympic gold

I propose that she be made a Tan Sri immediately, for surely this is the greatest sporting achievement by any Malaysian, even greater than Lee Chong Wei’s Olympic double silver medals.

And waiting in the wings is Malaysia’s future Queen of Squash, Low Wee Wern, 22 who lost to finalist Massarto 1-3 in the quarterfinals.

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UPDATE 6th November 2011

She’s done it – Nicol David, 28 is officially the greatest female squash player in history. She totally demolished old foe and world no.2 Jenny Duncalf of England 11-2, 11-5, 11-0 in just 28 minutes to become the world champion for an unprecedented 6th time.

Jenny played well and committed very few errors but she could not do much against Nicol at her very best, and wilted in the third set.

After the match, Jenny commented:

She was ridiculously good today… it’s a bit of an anti-climax really. She never let me get into the match, her length was incredible, she was in front of me the whole time, and when you have Nicol in front of you, you are in big trouble. I wanted to stay on there as long as possible, but she had other ideas…

As for Nicol, she said:

This is my best performance ever. I didn’t expect anything but I wanted it so badly, I didn’t want anybody to put their hands on that trophy but me. I can’t remember anything from my match, because I was so focused. Just that I saw the ball early, that I felt strong, and that I didn’t want to give Jenny anything. I stuck to have I had to do, hunt every ball down, and committed fully to each and every shot.

In Malaysia, a world title is huge, we are not a nation with great sport victories, so I just hope I can repay all what Malaysia has done for me, and which has carried me this far. The record is just a bonus for me, I don’t do things for records, just for the feeling I get when I’m out there on the court, for that challenge I get from the other players.

With 6 titles in 7 years, Nicol’s now on par with the legendary Jahangir Khan’s achievement of 6 world crowns, and 2 less than the incomparable Jansher Khan’s 8.

This means Malaysia has an individual which is not only “cemerlang, gemilang, terbilang” but has achieved the most difficult: “tersohor” or “teragung”, or “the greatest of all time” in a truly global sport.

Now her only targets seem to be to eclipse Jansher Khan’s record, hence making her the greatest squash player who ever lived, male or female.

However, she may never be Olympic champion because it’s still not included in the Olympic programme even until 2016, of which she said:

My World Open titles mean the world to me, but I would gladly trade the six of them for just one Olympic Medal…

While Lee Chong Wei is still struggling to win his 1st world crown, Nicol has already assured her sporting immortality; it remains to be seen whether Nicol’s achievement results in a huge boost for the sport in Malaysia.

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UPDATE 24th September 2010

That’s it: Nicol David is now arguably the greatest female squash player who ever lived.

On 22nd September 2010, she won her FIFTH World Open title when she demolished Egypt’s 4th seeded world no. 6 Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 in just 30 minutes.

That means she has equalled Sarah Fitz-Gerald’s number of world titles.

Nicol has been ranked the world number 1 for more than 4 years.

If she wins World Open 2011, immortality is assured.

Having said that, of course there’ll always be that Heather McKay question.

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UPDATE 18th May 2009 (2+ years later)

She is already one of the all-time greats of the sport, and quite possibly is already the greatest sportsperson, man / woman, Malaysia has ever produced. Look at these achievements:

World Open: with 3 titles, she’s 4th on the all time list. Sarah Fitz-Gerald is at the top with 5 titles, well within Nicol’s sight.

British Open: with 3 titles, she’s joint 7th on the all time list. Heather McKay is at the top with an incredible 16 titles!

Hence, one could say very well say that based on the joint number of titles won in the abovementioned 2 tournaments, the two most prestigious squash tournaments in the world, Nicol is probably the THIRD greatest female squash player of all time, who, at 3-3, is only behind Susan Devoy (4-8) and Michelle Martin (3-6).

The first Asian woman to be ranked world no.1

Became the youngest world champion in 2005, at age 22.

And all that achieved on the relatively small frame of 5′ 4″ and 50 kilograms!

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[Pic from The New Straits Times]

At 23 years of age, already she’s the greatest ever Malaysian athlete.

Who else comes close?

  • She’s world no.1 in a global sport at senior level.
  • She’s probably the first Malaysian ever to win a world title.
  • She’s the first Malaysian ever to win her chosen sport’s most important titles in the same year (World Open and British Open)
  • She’s the first Malaysian ever to successfully defend a world title at senior level

Now the only things left are to break the legendary Sarah Fitzgerald’s record of five World Opens and Susan Devoy’s eight British Opens.

Back-to-back titles in the World Open and British Open the last two years has also put Nicol among an elite group of women squash players.

As it is, only Australian legend Sarah Fitz-Gerald, winner of five World and two British Open titles, New Zealand�s finest player Susan Devoy, who has four World titles and seven British Open crowns to her name and another Australian Michelle Martin, with three World and six British Open crowns, have done better.

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