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World number one Nicol David has adapted well to the 11-point scoring system and will start as the overwhelming favourite to win a third World Open title in the championships starting today in Manchester.

The Penangite won her first title in 2005 in Hong Kong and retained it the following year in Belfast. But last year, she suffered a shock second-round defeat by Shelley Kitchen of New Zealand in Madrid.

National chief coach Jamie Hickox said that he saw no reason for Nicol not regaining the title.

“Nicol has been in excellent form this year and she has been unbeaten in 38 matches.

“She has also adapted very well to the new scoring system (which was introduced in the Malaysian Open in July),’’ said the 44-year-old Canadian.

Nicol, who is based in Amsterdam, has won seven Wispa (Women’s International Squash Players Association) titles this year €” the Apawamis, Kuala Lumpur Open, British Open, Seoul Open, Malaysia Open, Singapore Masters and Dutch Open.

But Hickox felt that Nicol will be under pressure to live up to her top billing.

“There are five or six players who have been training very hard to get the better of Nicol. And Nicol should stay focussed and take one match at a time,’’ he said.

The top seeded Nicol has in her half of the draw world number four Natalie Grainger of America.
She will start against team-mate Sharon Wee and is expected to meet Rebecca Chiu of Hong Kong in the second round.

In the same quarter is eight seed Laura Lengthorn-Massaro of England, whom Nicol needed five sets to beat in the quarter-finals of the Dutch Open.

Defending champion Rachael Grinham of Australia is the seeded second while her younger sister, Natalie, who now represents Holland is the third seed.