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Women's World No1 Nicol David suffered her first defeat in nearly a year at the Kallang squash centre- and it took a man to do it.

David entertained over 600 fans as she pushed the Republic's top male player Udai Singh to the rubber before losing 9/11, 11/8, 11/9, 8/11, 5/11 in the 7-Eleven Battle of the Sexes event.

"It's harder to get the ball past men. They have more speed and strength. You have to be very tight with your shot," said the 1.62m-tall, 55kg Malaysian , who won the CIMB Singapore Masters on Saturday.

"Still, I enjoyed the match. Playing with men raises my game to another level."

The vocal crowd were hoping for an upset- and David, 24, nearly pulled it off, as she sent her fast-tiring opponent scampering with stunning strokes and tactics.

But Udai, at 1.78m tall and 71kg, had his physical advantage to thank for the $1,500 winner's cheque.

The 36 year-old sales director, looking chuffed at the end of the hour-long match, said:"I was fully stretched by Nicol. She makes no mistakes. She takes the ball very early and is very consistent."