Who is Nicol David?
Nicol Ann David is a Malaysian professional squash player who became the first Asian to be ranked world number one in women’s squash. Born in Malaysia, she was interested in mathematics and wanted to become an engineer until her unique talent as a squash player was discovered. At the age of eight, after being selected for a national squash championship, she surprised everybody by winning a silver medal. Since then, she has been a consistent performer and one of the most successful players that the sporting world has seen in the last century. In 1999, she became the youngest player to win a World Junior Championship, a crown which she defended in 2001, becoming the first woman to capture the title twice. She also joined the Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) and became the youngest woman to win a championship. Over the years, she has gone on to set numerous records and win the most prestigious championships repeatedly. She was officially ranked the number one female player in the world in 2006, becoming the first Asian woman to achieve this feat. She captured 10 titles during an undefeated 2008 season and is regarded as the most dominant player that the world has ever seen in squash history
Childhood & Early Life
Nicol David was born on August 26, 1983, in Penang, Malaysia, to Desmond David, a Malaysian Indian engineer and former state athlete, and his wife, Ann Marie David, a retired Malaysian Chinese school teacher. She has two sisters, Lianne and Cheryl.
She had a keen interest in mathematics from an early age and wanted to become an engineer. She received her primary education from the Convent Green Lane Primary School.
She went on to earn seven A's for her Penilaian Menengah Rendah and another seven A's in her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, completing her secondary education from the Convent Green Lane Secondary School, Penang.
At the age of eight, while being trained at the Bukit Dumbar Squash Centre, she was short-listed to represent her home-state of Penang in the 1992 Milo-Dunlop Sport National Junior Interstate Championship. She went on to win the silver medal in the Under-16 category, earning her first national title.
In 1994, she won first international titles when she won the Scottish Junior Open U-12 and the Hong Kong U-13 tournament.
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In 1999, she won the Women's World Junior Squash Championships held in Antwerp, Belgium, and became the youngest female world junior champion at the age of 15.
In 1999, she also registered wins at major junior tournaments including the British Junior Open (Under-17 Champion), the German Junior Open (Under-19 Champion), and the Asian Junior Champion for both individual and team events.
In 2000, she joined Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) and earned her first WISPA title. The following year, she successfully defended her World Junior Squash Championships title and also won the individual event in the Asian Junior Squash Championships.
In October 2005, Nicol David became the first Malaysian to win a British Open title and the first Asian to be crowned in the women’s category. Same year, she also won the World Open in Hong Kong and achieved the world number one ranking for the first time in January 2006.
In 2006, she successfully defended her World Open title defeating Natalie Grinham in the final which is recalled as ‘one of the great finals of the Women’s World Open’. In December 2006, she was voted the best female player of the year consecutively for the second time.
In 2008, Nicol David won ten tour titles and retained her world number one position in the December Women's World Squash Rankings.
In 2009, she won her second Seoul City Open and also retained her World Games women's singles title. In September, she moved into her 41st month as world’s number one in the Women's World Rankings.
In 2010, she earned her sixth title in the Kuala Lumpur Open tournament; she had previously won it in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2008. She also won the women's singles final of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, held in Delhi.
Between 2011 and 2014, she has won numerous championships including Hong Kong Open, US Open, British Open, and the World Open.
Awards & Achievements
In January 2006, Nicol David became the first Malaysian and the first Asian woman to be ranked World number one in squash. In 2008, she accomplished an incredible feat by not losing a single match in the complete calendar year.
She has won the World Open Championship consecutively five times from 2008 –2012 and the Asian Squash for a record eight times between 1998 and 2011.
She received the Order of Merit (Darjah Bakti) or D.B., becoming the first recipient of the award since its establishment in June 1975.
She was honored with the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri Award (DSPN), which carries the title ‘Datuk’. She was recognized as the youngest person ever to be conferred Datukship in Penang.
From 2005 to 2010, Nicol David received the title of WISPA Player of the Year, six times in a row