David Survives Match-Balls To Claim Record
Eighth World Title
a dramatic climax to the Wadi Degla Women's World Squash
Championship, Malaysia's world number one Nicol David
saved four match-balls in the final of the 30th staging of
the premier Women's Squash Association tournament to
overcome home favourite Raneem El Welily in a
five-game 66-minute display of exhilarating squash at the
Wadi Degla club in Cairo - and extend her record
to eight titles!
David, the 31-year-old from Penang who won
her first world title in Hong Kong in 2005, came into the
2014 event looking for revenge after crashing out of the
2013 championship semi-finals.
Her 2013 victor, Egypt's three-time world
junior champion Nour El Sherbini, failed to make it
past the opening round this time - and the English
title-holder Laura Massaro dropped out at the
But world No.3 El Welily is in the form of
her life - and was enjoying all the benefits of home
advantage, playing at the Wadi Degla club where she has been
based for many years.
to the delight of the crowd, El Welily took the opening game
- but David (pictured right in action with El Welily)
came back to draw level before again the local heroine
grabbed the third to take a 2/1 lead.
At 6-2 down in the fourth, the Malaysian
favourite claimed four points in a row to even matters -
but, carried by the crowd, El Welily again reclaimed the
advantage to win four points in succession to reach
match-ball at 10-6.
Just one point away from a maiden world
title, El Welily was unable to convert - hitting the tin
three times as David clawed back the deficit to draw level
again before eventually taking the game after a tie-break to
force a decider.
was now in the ascendancy and stormed through to take the
title 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 14-12, 11-5 after 66 minutes and
become world champion for a record eighth time.
"I told myself I wanted
to win the last point," the jubilant Malaysian said later.
"I just kept repeating that: 'it's not over until it's
"Raneem was just playing too well, I just had
to find something in me. I just wouldn't let go, and just
"It was such a pleasure to play in Egypt in
front of such an amazing crowd. All this wouldn't have
happened without the involvement of Wadi Degla in receiving
the Championships, over such a short period of time, and
without the hard work of Karim (Darwish) and Engy (Kheirallah)
and all the team."
David's long-time coach Liz Irving was
equally delighted: "What an amazing performance from @NicolDavid
to win her 8th World title," the former world No2 from
Australia told her Twitter followers. "Gutsiest performance
I've seen in long time!"
The historic title triumph not only extends
David's record world title haul to eight, but also marks the
78th Tour title of the Malaysian superstar's career.
seed Nicol David (right) and No.3 seed Raneem El
Welily will contest the final of the Wadi Degla
Women's World Squash Championship in Cairo -
Malaysian David celebrating her eighth appearance in the
climax of the premier Women's Squash Association
championship since 2005 and one step away from a record
eighth title, and local star El Welily marking her debut
world final on her home courts at the Wadi Degla club
in the Egyptian capital.
Crowd favourite El Welily faced Alison
Waters, the fifth seed who dethroned reigning champion
Laura Massaro, her England team-mate, in a major
World No.3 El Welil dominated the first game
and overcame a Waters lead in the second to build up a
Londoner regained the upper hand in the third, moving from
5-0 to 10-3 up before El Welily reduced the deficit to 10-9,
when Waters volleyed a loose return into the nick to clinch
El Welily (left) resumed control from the
outset of the fourth and, before long, Wadi Degla had its
"I'm very happy, and the people around me
make this happy feel ten times stronger," said the delighted
El Welily after her 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5 victory in 48
"But now, time to stop feeling happy,
regroup, and get ready for tomorrow," added the 25-year-old
on the eve of her 21st WSA World Tour final.
World number one Nicol David, who was
a shock semi-final casualty in the 2013 championship, has
been determined to make amends this year. But the firm
favourite was fully tested by career-long rival Omneya
Abdel Kawy - the No.10 seed from Cairo who was bidding
to make it an all-Egyptian final.
Incredibly, it was the pair's sixth World
Championship meeting - and the 20th of all-time, with former
world No.4 Abdel Kawy only once the winner.
Malaysian took the opening game - but the Egyptian underdog
soon had the measure of her illustrious opponent and took
the next two games, much to the delight of the partisan
But David egained control from early in the
fourth and never looked like relinquishing it as she took
the final two games to deny Abdel Kawy a second appearance
in the final since 2010.
"Each worlds is a special one," said David
after her 11-9, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 win in 64 minutes.
"But this one, in Egypt, for the Egyptians, is pretty
special and they really want to do well in front of their
"It was a great match, a tough one. Omneya
was carried by the crowd today, it was a great atmosphere, I
enjoyed every minute of it!"
The victory takes the 31-year-old from Penang
into the 97th WSA Tour final of her career. Success in the
final would not only extend David's record world title haul
to eight, but would also mark the 78th Tour title of her
shortest reign in world championship history came to an end in Cairo when
fifth seed Alison Waters (left) upset England team-mate Laura Massaro,
the No.2 seed, in the quarter-finals of the Wadi Degla Women's World Squash
It was only nine months ago - in the 2013 championship staged in
Penang, Malaysia, in March this year - that Massaro became the first
Englishwoman to win the world title for 15 years. The world No.2 also became the
first English player to hold both the women's British Open and World
Championship titles simultaneously.
Just a week after combining to lead England to victory in the
Women's World Team Championship in Canada, Massaro and Waters were back in more
usual head-to-head action for a place in the semi-finals of the premier
Women's Squash Association championship at the Wadi Degla club in the
Their pre-match career head-to-head tally showed Londoner Waters
ahead 7-5 - but Lancashire lass Massaro had the upper hand in their two most
recent meetings, both wins in straight games.
Massaro ultimately prevailed in a lengthy opening tie-break game
- but it was underdog Waters, ranked three places lower, who gained the upper
hand thereafter before closing out the match 12-14, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9 in 52
"Playing in Canada gave me a lot of
confidence," Waters explained later. "I learnt a lot about myself there, after I
lost against Joey (Chan). I came back very strong - I realised that I was
actually mentally very strong.
"In the fourth it could have gone either way at nine-all," added
the 30-year-old. "I came here to prove myself and I'm pretty proud of what I
her first world semi since 2010, British national champion Waters will face
local star Raneem El Welily (left), the No.3 seed based at the host
El Welily also survived a four-game battle, beating Egyptian
compatriot Nour El Tayeb, the eighth seed, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-5 to
make the last four for the third time in a row.
"I'm over the moon," said the world No.3 afterwards. "I tried to
stay patient and strong. It was a great match with Nour, a great friend and a
all-Egyptian final is on the cards after Omneya Abdel Kawy (right), the
No.10 seed from Cairo, beat seventh-seeded Malaysian Low Wee Wern 12-10,
11-3, 11-4 to reach the semis for the first time since 2010.
Kawy, the 29-year-old former world No.4, will now face
career-long rival Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who is
bidding to extend her record to eight world titles.
"Oh my God! I'm back in the semis of the worlds - in Egypt!"
exclaimed Abdel Kawy after her quarter-final upset. "I got to the final in Sharm,
against Nicol, so that's the rematch - that's my revenge!"
(left) beat top-ranked French opponent Camille Serme, the sixth seed,
11-9, 11-7, 13-11.
"Getting a 3/0 result against Camille is a great result - I'm
very happy with that," said the event favourite.
defending champion Laura Massaro moved one step closer to a third
successive appearance in the final of the Wadi Degla Women's World Squash
Championship when she defeated Hong Kong's top-ranked player Annie Au
in the second round of the Women's Squash Association's premier
championship at the Wadi Degla club in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
world No.2 was pushed all the way in the first two games by Au, the ninth seed,
before closing out the match 12-10, 12-10, 11-2 in 40 minutes.
two tie-breaks showed how tight it was," conceded the 31-year-old from Preston
afterwards. "It's the fifth time I've played her this year - I guess I'm getting
to grips with what I've got to do!"
seed will now line up against fifth-seeded Londoner Alison Waters
(right), the England team-mate with whom she won the world team title last week
earned her place in the last eight after an 11-7, 11-6, 11-3 victory over
compatriot Sarah-Jane Perry, the 15th seed who was also a member of the
triumphant England team.
be very difficult to play a team-mate tomorrow," added Massaro (pictured left
in action with Au). "We just spent a week together - it's going to feel
weird to play her that quickly.
four match-balls in Penang. I'll try not to do that again!"
quarter-final clash decided on the second day of second round action will be an
all-Egyptian affair after Wadi Degla-based Raneem El Welily, the third
seed, and eighth seed Nour El Tayeb (below right), also from Cairo, both
claimed the day's first win - and her maiden appearance in the event's last
eight at her sixth attempt - after beating
Australian veteran Rachael Grinham 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-3.
the 37-year-old 11th seed who won the title in 2007, is competing in her 19th
world championship after making her debut 20 years ago in 1994. The former world
number one from Toowoomba in Queensland led her country in last week's world
team championship in Canada - but also found time to reach Cairo via her home
country where she won the Australian national championship!
"It is so
hard for me to play Rachael," said 21-year-old El Tayeb. "She is so unbelievably
talented and skilful, but also she is my role model - I love watching her play."
El Welily (left), the world No.3 who is leading the home nation's charge in
the event, recovered from a game down to beat India's top-ranked player
Dipika Pallikal, the 14th seed, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6.
Kawy Conquers Giant-Killer Gohar
Egypt's former runner-up Omneya Abdel Kawy halted the advance of
'giant-killer' Nouran Gohar in the Wadi Degla Women's World Squash
Championship in Cairo when she beat her 17-year-old compatriot in the
second round of the Women's Squash Association championship at the
Wadi Degla club in the Egyptian capital.
It was just 24 hours earlier that championship debutante Gohar despatched 2013
runner-up Nour El Sherbini, the event's fourth seed, to create the
opening round's biggest upset.
10th seed Abdel Kawy (pictured, right, with Gohar), losing finalist in
the event's last staging in Egypt in 2010, made sure of her place in the last
eight by beating the teenager 13-11, 11-6, 13-11 - saving three game-balls in
the third - in 38 minutes.
In her seventh appearance in the quarter-finals since 2005, the world No.10 from
Cairo will face No.7 seed Low Wee Wern.
The world No.7 from Malaysia survived her second five-game marathon in two days
when she outlasted unseeded Indian Joshana Chinappa 6-11, 11-3, 11-13,
11-7, 11-8 in 64 minutes to reach the last eight for the fifth time in a row.
quarter-final clash will mark only the third meeting of Wee Wern (pictured,
left, with Chinappa) and Abdel Kawy's careers - with their head-to-head
poised on one-all.
has one of the best hands of the circuit - it's only going to get harder from
here," said the 24-year-old Malaysian.
Favourite Nicol David secured her anticipated place in the last eight -
but only after being pushed for two games by English qualifier Emily Whitlock.
The 20-year-old world No.29 led for virtually all of the first game, only to see
David snatch it 12-10, and was 9-8 ahead in the second, which the world number
one took 11-9. David dominated the third, closing out the match 11-1.
to win a record eighth title, David will face French rival Camille Serme
(right) in a repeat of their 2013 world championship quarter-final clash.
Serme, the No.6 seed from Creteil, battled for 50 minutes to overcome Emma
Beddoes, the 16th seed from England, 11-5, 11-13, 11-4, 11-4.
Both players commented on the match via Twitter: "Happy with my win 3-1 over a
strong Emma Beddoes," said Serme. "Happy to make the quarter final of
this world open."
Beddoes was also upbeat: "My world champs are over as I lost 3/1 to Camille
tonight. But what an amazing 2014 it's been, now for Christmas!"
defending champion Laura Massaro (right) claimed her
anticipated place in the second round of the Wadi Degla Women's
World Squash Championship in Cairo, Egypt's 2013
championship runner-up Nour El Sherbini failed to survive
today's opening round of the 2014 Women's Squash Association
championship at the Wadi Degla club in the Egyptian capital
after a shock four-game defeat by unseeded compatriot Nouran
With three world junior titles to her name, and final appearances in
both the World Championship and British Open as a teenager, El
Sherbini is one of the sport's most acclaimed players. But the
19-year-old world No.4 from Alexandria was outplayed by Cairo
prodigy Gohar, the 17-year-old world No.19 making her debut in the
(left) became one of three unseeded players to make the last 16
round when she beat the No.4 seed 11-6, 12-10, 4-11, 13-11 in 58
"It's the first time I've ever played Nour - not even in practice -
so I was not expecting anything," said Gohar later. "When I
was 10-8 down in the second, I thought, 'what about if I just play
my squash and see what happens'.
"The next thing I know, I get four points in a row and I'm 2/0 up!
"I'm really lost for words!"
was one of four Egyptian winners on day one - led by Raneem El
Welily (right), the third seed who beat fellow countrywoman
Habiba Mohamed 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7.
became the only qualifier to break into the last 16 when she upset
English compatriot Jenny Duncalf, the No.13 seed and 2011
runner-up, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5.
The 20-year-old from Colwyn Bay in Wales - making her maiden
appearance in the event's main draw - will now face top seed
Nicol David for a place in the quarter-finals.
David, the world number one from Malaysia bidding to win a record
eighth world title, eased past Egyptian qualifier Yathreb Adel
11-9, 11-6, 11-3.
India will be represented by two players in the last 16 for the
first time ever after unseeded Joshana Chinappa upset
Madeline Perry, the 12th seed from Ireland, 14-12, 11-7, 4-11,
her first appearance in the second round, Chinappa, the world No.22
from Chennai, will face Malaysian Low Wee Wern, the No.7 seed
who survived a five-game battle with Guyana's Nicolette Fernandes.
India's 14th seed Dipika Pallikal, winner of the
Commonwealth Games Women's Doubles gold medal with Chinappa
earlier this year, recovered from two games down to overcome
experienced Mexican qualifier Samantha Teran 9-11, 10-12,
11-6, 11-4, 11-7 in 75 minutes to reach the second round for the
fourth year in a row.
Egyptian sisters Heba El Torky and Nouran El Torky
will line up in the main draw of the Wadi Degla Women's World
Squash Championship together for the first time after surviving
the qualifying competition of the 2014 Women's Squash Association
championship at the Wadi Degla club in Cairo.
The Alexandria pair both defeated Egyptian opponents - 23-year-old
Heba, the world No.27, beating Nadine Shahin 6-11, 11-7,
11-9, 11-7 and younger sister Nouran, the 22-year-old world No.51,
taking out Hania El Hammamy 11-4, 12-10, 11-9.
Heba (pictured above, right, with Nouran), who made the last
16 round in the 2013 event, now faces England's fifth seed Alison
Waters in the first round - while Nouran, the lowest-ranked
player to qualify, makes her debut in the main draw when she lines
up against France's Camille Serme, the sixth seed.
Egyptians dominated the qualifying finals, with Cairo's Mariam
Metwally and Alexandrian Yathreb Adel also successful.
18-year-old Metwally, ranked 50 in the world, beat compatriot
Salma Hany Ibrahim 11-9, 11-6, 11-3, while Adel, also 18 but
ranked 11 places higher, upset South Africa's world No.33 Siyoli
Waters 11-6, 11-2, 6-11, 11-7.
Mexico's Samantha Teran and Malaysian Delia Arnold
both survived dramatic 71-minute marathons to earn places in the
main draw. Former world No.11 Teran earned her ninth appearance in
the main draw since 2005 after recovering from 2/0 down to beat the
Japanese number one Misaki Kobayashi 4-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7,
Arnold came back from a game down to see off France's Coline
Aumard 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 13-11.
Britons Emily Whitlock and Tesni Evans completed the
main draw line-up after qualifying successes. Whitlock, the
20-year-old world No.29 from England, secured her main draw debut
after beating Welsh opponent Deon Saffery 11-6, 12-10, 9-11,
Meanwhile Evans, the Welsh number one, earned her third appearance
in the main draw when she defeated Ireland's Aisling Blake
11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-2.
Double World Champion Massaro Excited To Defend Title
Just days after adding a world team title to the individual world
crown she won for the first time in March, England's Laura
Massaro is 'excited' to be heading to Egypt this week to defend
her title in the Wadi Degla Women's World Squash Championship
Backed by Wadi Degla Holding and boasting a USD $150,000
prize-fund, the premier Women's Squash Association (WSA)
event will take place at the Wadi Degla club in Cairo from
15-20 December, following three days' of qualifying. The 30th
edition of the tournament will be staged in Egypt for only the
second time since the inaugural event in 1979.
Massaro clinched the 2013 title in March this year after beating
unseeded Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in the final in Penang,
Malaysia. El Sherbini, then aged 18 and ranked 27 in the world,
shocked world number one Nicol David in the previous round -
denying the home favourite a record eighth title.
Only last week Massaro became a rare holder of two world titles when
she led England to success in the SHOP.CA WSF World Team
Championship in Canada.
"I'm really looking forward to the event in Cairo," said the world
No.2 on the eve of her departure to Egypt. "Not everyone gets to go
into a World Championship to defend their title so I am looking
forward to having that experience.
have some good memories of playing in Egypt and I am excited to head
"We had a great week in Niagara last week and it meant so much to
finally get a gold medal in the teams event," added the 31-year-old
from Preston. "I hope I can capitalise on my form there and play
well this week in Cairo."
Massaro, the second seed, will face a qualifier in the opening round
before a predicted clash with top seed Nicol David in the
Boasting 48 courts, Wadi Degla is the biggest chain of squash clubs
in Egypt - and one of the biggest groups of sporting clubs in the
world, with a combined membership worldwide in excess of 500,000.