Harrogate’s Jenny Duncalf saw her quest for a Cayman Islands World Open final appearance ended by world number one Nicol David on Thursday.
Duncalf, keen to set the record straight after a humbling 0-11 loss in the third game of last year’s final, made a steady start to last night’s semi-final, feeling her way into the contest and registering some good points.
The Malaysian was made to work throughout the opening exchanges, but maintained a small lead as the game progressed and took three points in a row to claim the first game. David’s ability to return to court and further increase the pace, saw the Englishwoman begin to struggle and the top seed extended a strong lead in the second before closing it out. A similar pattern occurred in the third game, with the scurrying retrieval and powerful hitting simply too good for the former world No.2, as David progressed to her seventh World Open final in straight games.
“Jenny was playing some great shots at the start, I just couldn’t tell where the ball was going next and I wasn’t able to play my own game,” said David.
“I really had to up my game to stay in it, and thankfully I got it all together as the match wore on.”
Duncalf battled to the semi-final after beating compatriot Alison Waters. Little separated the pair in the deciding game, reflected in the 9-all score-line. Two rallies went in favour of Duncalf, ensuring the lower seed made her first WSA semi-final of the year.– her first since last year’s World Open.
“It was a bit scrappy at the start, but in the second I was starting to feel much better,” Duncalf explains to SquashSite post-match. “And even though I lost it I felt the momentum had turned towards me. i