World number one Nicol David marked her 25th successive win in the WSF Women's World Team Championships in impressive style today in Nimes when she beat Joelle King of New Zealand in straight games to lead third seeds Malaysia into the semi-finals of the World Squash Federation event being staged in France for the first time.
Boasting a record entry of 26 nations, the 2012 championship is being staged at both the eight-court Club des Costières and La Parnasse Arena where, for the first time ever, action is taking place simultaneously on three all-glass show courts.
Last defeated in October 2004 by Australia's then world number one Rachael Grinham, David went on to win successive matches in each of the biennial events through to today - in the previous three championships taking Malaysia into the bronze medal position.
In today's quarter-finals, David was stretched for 36 minutes before overcoming King, the new world number five, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4. Team-mate Low Wee Wern, the world No7, also from Penang, then clinched victory for Malaysia after beating Kiwi Jaclyn Hawkes 11-3, 11-5, 11-13, 11-9.
"I've been playing this event for quite a while now and it's great to discover that this is my 25th win in a row," said 29-year-old David. "But my aim in this event is just to get points for my team.
"Today, Joelle kept coming back at me - so I had to stay focussed for the team. And Wee Wern did a great job after me."
Malaysia now move on to play England - remarkably, for the first time in this event since 2002!
"We're just happy to be in the semi-finals," responded David when asked about the next clash with the top seeds. "The pressure's off - everything now is a bonus."
Favourites England faced seventh seeds Ireland - and dropped the first game of the tournament when 13 times Irish champion Madeline Perry, ranked 10 in the world, went ahead against England top string Laura Massaro.
But world No3 Massaro regained the upper hand and went on to close out the match 7-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-9.
Second string Alison Waters clinched victory for England by beating Aisling Blake 11-7, 11-3, 11-3.
"It was another strong performance from the team," said coach David Campion afterwards. "Laura's got a good record against Madeline so we were confident there - and Alison closed it out for us.
"We're happy to get through unscathed."
RESULTS: WSF Women's World Team Championship, Nimes, France
 ENGLAND bt  IRELAND 3/0
Laura Massaro bt Madeline Perry 7-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-9 (47m)
Alison Waters bt Aisling Blake 11-7, 11-3, 11-3 (30m)
Jenny Duncalf bt Breanne Flynn 11-3, 11-2 (11m)
 MALAYSIA bt  NEW ZEALAND 2/0
Nicol David bt Joelle King 11-5, 11-7, 11-4 (36m)
Low Wee Wern bt Jaclyn Hawkes 11-3, 11-5, 11-13, 11-9 (41m)
9th - 16th place play-offs:
 FRANCE bt  WALES 2/1
Camille Serme bt Tesni Evans 11-7, 11-7, 14-12 (37m)
Coline Aumard lost to Deon Saffery 5-11, 7-11, 8-11 (36m)
Laura Pomportes bt Hannah Davies 11-7, 11-6, 12-10
 CANADA bt  CZECH REPUBLIC 2/0
Samantha Cornett bt Lucie Fialova 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 12-10 (42m)
Alexandra Norman bt Olga Ertlova 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7 (51m)
17th - 26th place play-offs (Pool 1):
 JAPAN bt  NAMIBIA 3/0
Misaki Kobayashi bt Isabell Schnoor 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 (16m)
Mayu Yamazaki bt Adri Lambert 11-2, 11-7, 11-7 (14m)
Risa Sugimoto bt Lucinda Rodrigues 11-8, 11-2, 11-6 (15m)
Final positions: 1 Japan, 2 Scotland, 3 Namibia
Picture shows Nicol David leading the way for Malaysia against New Zealand's Joelle King
Streaming available at www.worldsquash.org
Championship website: www.worldwomensquash-nimes2012.fr