Maniam: Nicol David can rule the game for years to come

Malaysia’s squash queen Nicol David is capable of setting more world standards and joining big sports personalities like golfer Tiger Woods and former German tennis superstar Steffi Graf, said her former coach Major (rtd) S. Maniam. Nicol, 24, now a fully mature player, is not only relying on physical fitness but has all-round ability in squash and there is hardly any rival to match her performance at present, he said. “She has immense talent and I think she will break records in women’s squash. She will win more titles and matches and become a legend, just like Pakistan’s Jahanghir Khan, who ruled men’s squash in the 70s and 80s.

“At present I do not see anyone coming close to threatening her throne as she has managed to widen the gap with the rest,” said Maniam. At present, Nicol is officially the world number one in women’s squash and the current British Open and World Open champion. She also won the World Junior title twice in 1999 and 2000. Maniam, who is based in Chennai, has been the Asian Squash Federation’s Director of Coaching for the last 12 years and is also a consultant coach for the Squash Rackets Federation of India.

Maniam, who had known and seen Nicol grow since the age of nine, said she had all the qualities to become a world-class player right from the beginning. “Apart from sheer determination and discipline, the Penang-born champion has a true passion for squash, which helps her learn and improve in every tournament she participates in. “She is passionate about squash and the beauty of Nicol is that she balances her life with a good amount of training and fun. “She does not give up easily. If her opponent hits 50 shots, she will hit 51,” Maniam said, adding that he missed working with Nicol, who had all the qualities of a true professional sportswoman.

Commenting on Malaysian squash, Maniam said the country had a good coaching system in place that is able to produce a pool of talented players, but warned against resting on their laurels. “Don’t blame the system when you don’t produce another Nicol. I think it is grossly inaccurate to blame the system. Malaysia has a productive system and they should continue with it,” he said.

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About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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