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David targets World Open rebirth

MANCHESTER: Malaysia golden girl Nicol David, having recaptured her British Open title, now has her sights set on taking back her World Open crown here this week.

Buoyed by being conferred with the honour of Datuk, an ultra-prestigious award given only to the worthiest Malaysian citizens, David is riding a wave of optimism.

She regained the British Open from Rachael Grinham at Liverpool in May, and now she is hot favourite to win back the World Open, also from the Australian, when the women's event begins here on Tuesday.

Asked whether, during her first World Open as a Datuk, her new title might deflect her mind, the 25-year-old David said: "I shall try to use it."

David also became Asian Sportswoman of the Year in December, shortly before becoming WISPA Tour's player of the year for the third successive time.

At the same time her sequence as world number has extended beyond two years and her tally of WISPA Tour titles reached 28, more than any other active female player.

No wonder David feels everything has changed since last October in Madrid when she lost the world title at the second round stage in bouncy, oven-hot conditions with defeat by Shelley Kitchen, the hard-hitting New Zealander.

"It is a different situation now," David said. "You learn so much from what happens in a year. And you put things in place. That's what experience is all about.

"You don't take all the losses out of context. You use it for what you can do in future tournaments, and this year I have got my game up," David said, referring to the attacking options she has been trying to integrate into her fleet-footed game.