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Four-Time Champion Undone In 5


English fifth seed Laura Massaro caused an upset as she knocked out Malaysian top seed Nicol David (pictured). (Photo: SSC File)
 
Shockwaves hit VivoCity as Malaysian top seed and four-time Nicol David was sent crashing out of the CIMB Singapore Women's Squash Masters by English fifth seed Laura Massaro.

The upset looked unlikely as the Penangite took the first two games but Massaro gave a glimpse of what was to come as she matched David stroke for stroke.

The world number seven took advantage of David's uncharacteristic errors in the next two games to force a decider.

And despite the world champion jumping to a 3-0 lead, then 4-2, Massaro refused to yield and she plugged back point after point, edging David into unforced errors.

11-5 to Massaro in the fifth game stunned the packed venue, and ended a thrilling 85-minute contest.

The 27-year-old Englishwoman was delighted to get her second win over the Malaysian, following up on February's victory at Cleveland Classic which ended David's 14-month unbeaten streak.

"I thought I was unlucky to lose the first two games, I felt I was in there and suddenly they were gone. But I'm really happy to come back and I thought Nicol looked a bit nervous at the end when she hit a few tins," remarked Massaro after the duel.

David was gracious in defeat, a rare one in Asia at that: “Laura played a very smart game tonight and didn't make too many mistakes. I went for my shots too early and gave her too much to work with and she took her chances well.”

Massaro will now meet Irish third seed Madeline Perry after the Irishwoman saw off French contender Camille Serme in straight games.

The previous night's thrilling upset of second seed Rachael Grinham got the better of the eighth seed as she committed numerous unforced errors in the second and third games to hand the match to her opponent in 40 minutes.

Perry was pleased to make the final in Singapore for the first time and in some style: "This is my best match for a very long time. I am happy to see my tough training in the summer has paid off."
A new champion will be crowned in Singapore later this evening as David's streak in the Lion City is stopped at four titles and a total of 18 straight matches.