Hong Kong's Annie Au recorded the biggest win of her career to defeat eight-time World Champion Nicol David for the first time ever and secure an unexpected berth in the quarter-finals of the 2017 U.S. Open Presented by Macquarie Investment Management.
In 17 PSA World Tour matches spanning almost a decade the Hong Kong player had only ever taken three games from David in total - the last of which came in 2012 - but under the lights inside Philadelphia's Drexel University the World No.9 put on a short-game masterclass against 33-year-old David to claim an unexpected place in the last eight where she will take on England's former World No.1 Laura Massaro.
Utilising her patented lob-drop style Au managed to disturb David and take the Malaysian out of her comfort zone early on. While David, who looked far from her best on court, managed to mount a resurgence in the third and fourth to keep the match alive it was Au who looked the more relaxed and confident player in the decisive fifth as she maintained her composure to complete a 11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 8-11, 11-7 upset.
"I feel really, really happy right now," said Au.
"To beat Nicol - in my first ever win on the glass court at this event - is a massive result and makes all the hard work over the summer feel worth it.
“At 2-0 love I started to think about the win and I began to rush and make some mistakes which gave her confidence. She can come back from any scoreline so I had to get back to my game plan and play patient squash in the fifth.
"I had to come out in the fifth and imagine it was the start of the match again. I forgot about the score and just tried to play each point.
"I had already booked my travel for tomorrow so I will have to change my flights! But I have a day off tomorrow to enjoy this win and prepare for the next match now."
Au will face Massaro after the Englishwoman beat compatriot Emily Whitlock 3-0, with Egyptians Nour El Sherbini and Nour El Tayeb also due to meet after coming through their second round encounters with Victoria Lust and Salma Hana Ibrahim, respectively.
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse