TOP SEED Datuk Nicol David survived a five-game test against determined Frenchwoman Camille Serme before booking her place in the World Women’s Championships semifinals on Friday.
The Malaysian seven-time world champion had won all 12 of her previous meetings with Serme, but she had to raise her game before triumphing 9-11, 11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 11-4 in her home island of Penang.
Serme produced some sizzling attacking play to take the first game 11-9, before Nicol hit back with an aggressive approach and reeled off the second and third games 11-5.
But Serme stormed back with renewed energy in the fourth game, forcing Nicol into numerous unforced errors as she levelled the match at two games each.
However, any chance of an upset quickly went out of the window as Nicol dominated the deciding fifth game with some sublime winners to seal the 11-4 win.
“My matches against Camille were always a close affair, it really always could go either way,” said 30-year-old Nicol, the long-time world No. 1.
“She just came firing in all cylinders, especially in the first and fourth, but I stuck to my game plan and am pleased to come away with the 3-2 win.”
Nicol also shrugged off any concerns about fatigue ahead of her semifinal on Saturday against Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini.
“These sort of matches actually gets me going, so I will get adequate rest and be fresh for tomorrow,” David said.
Sherbini, who beat English fourth seed Alison Waters in the second round, continued her giant-killing act by dismissing fifth seed Joelle King of New Zealand, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-6.
Second-seeded Englishwoman Laura Massaro, Nicol’s closest rival, also booked a semifinal spot when she fought back from the brink of defeat to oust Malaysian sixth seed Low Wee Wern 12-14, 11-6, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7.
Massaro will next play Egyptian third seed Raneem El Weleily, who beat Ireland’s Madeline Perry 10-12, 14-12, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7.