Low Wee Wern
7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 13-11 Laura Massaro
[Q] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
11-3, 11-8, 11-3  Laura Massaro (Eng)
RESULTS: Women's Cleveland Classic, Cleveland,
Nicol David Is Cleveland Classic Queen
Malaysia's world number one Nicol David celebrated her fifth
successive appearance in the final of the Women's Cleveland Classic
by despatching world No.2 Raneem El Welily in straight games to
win the WSA International 50 squash event at Cleveland Racquet
Club in Cleveland, USA, for the third time.
an impressive return to form by the 31-year-old from Penang who suffered
a shock quarter-final exit in last month's JP Morgan Tournament of
Champions in New York. It was an opening of which Egyptian El Welily
took full advantage - going on to claim the WSA International 100
event trophy for the first time.
David reached the Cleveland climax after a 3/0 semi-final win over
unseeded Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy, El Welily was taken the full
distance in the other semi before clinching her place in the final with
a 12-10 win in the decider against former champion Laura Massaro,
the No.2 seed from England.
final, defending champion David comfortably took the opening game - but
El Welily (pictured above, left, in action with David) came back
strongly in the second, opening up 5-2 and 8-4 leads.
error-free play by the top seed saw David claw back to nine-all before
taking the next two points to extend her lead to 2/0.
three-all in the third, El Welily only managed a further point as the
majestic Malaysian powered through to her 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 victory.
David's first WSA World Tour title triumph of the year - but the
79th of her career!
had a big long tourney win at the ToC and then a tough five-setter
said the three-time Cleveland Classic champion of her opponent.
"I hoped maybe to get the lead and take it to the
Two To Contest Cleveland Climax
world's top two squash players will contest the final of the Women's
Cleveland Classic after Malaysia's world number one Nicol David
and Egypt's Raneem El Welily, the world No.2, prevailed in
contrasting semi-finals of the WSA International 50 event
celebrating its fifth year at Cleveland Racquet Club in
their 21st WSA World Tour clash this millennium, David despatched
unseeded Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy 11-8, 11-2, 11-7 in 27
minutes in the 31-year-old from Penang's third successive straight games
win in the championship.
Ranked nine in the world - her highest ranking for more than three years
- Abdel Kawy is enjoying one of the best runs of her career. But the
29-year-old from Cairo had no answer to David's dominant play.
"Have to trust it will come together if you stick to it,"
said the Malaysian super star who this month celebrated her 106th month
at the top of the world rankings, becoming the longest-reigning world
number one of all-time.
Photograph courtesy of Mike Weil
"These guys are so tough,"
added David (pictured above in Cleveland Classic action).
"They're always out to get you!"
seedings suggested an upset in the other semi - but the latest rankings
predicted the outcome! El Welily, the third seed ranked two in the
world, took on England's Laura Massaro, the No.2 seed and the
former world No.2 in a match which truly went the full distance.
was a match of constantly-changing leads - El Welily having three
game-balls in the first game which Massaro won; the Egyptian cruising to
a second game win; and the Englishwoman fighting back from 5-8 down in
the third to take it after a lengthy tie-break and move 2/1 ahead.
after El Welily drew level following the fourth game, it was Massaro who
reached match-ball first in the decider at 10-7 - but the Egyptian who
dug deep to save those three match-balls before finally prevailing
11-13, 11-7, 13-15, 11-9, 12-10 to earn her place in the final.
"I don't feel confident hitting the ball early, but I had to do that
admitted 26-year-old El Welily later. "Kawy
told me I had to!"
Massaro told her Twitter followers later: "Wow disappointed is an
understatement! I lost 12-10 in the 5th to Raneem having had 3 match
balls. Great match by both of us! #progress"
triumph takes El Welily into her third successive WSA Tour final, and
immediately follows her surprise title success in last month's JP Morgan
Tournament of Champions in New York.
milestone marks the 23rd Tour final of the Egyptian's career - but the
earlier semi-final success takes David into her 98th final, where she
will be looking for her 79th title!
No2 El Welily Survives French Test In Cleveland
Egypt's world No.2 Raneem El Welily claimed her anticipated place
in the semi-finals of the Women's Cleveland Classic - but the
2013 champion was taken the full distance before overcoming France's
sixth seed Camille Serme in the quarter-finals of the WSA
International 50 squash event celebrating its fifth year at
Cleveland Racquet Club in Cleveland, USA.
who dropped to seven in the February world rankings, twice led the
26-year-old from Cairo who strengthened her grip on second place in the
latest WSA list. But El Welily dug deep in the decider to close out the
match 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-6.
controlled the match throughout most of it,"
admitted the third-seeded Egyptian afterwards.
"I'm just happy I could keep my head strong and push back."
Welily now faces her world ranking predecessor Laura Massaro, the
31-year-old from England who stood in second place throughout 2014. The
No.2 seed fought off a tough challenge from Low Wee Wern, beating
the seventh seed from Malaysia 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 13-11.
always feels like a tactical game when playing her,"
said the former world champion from Preston later.
"A lot of long rallies and with Wern you can't afford to
open up the court too early because she will pounce on it and punish
will also be Egyptian interest in the other semi-final when unseeded
Omneya Abdel Kawy takes on career-long rival Nicol David, the
Malaysian superstar who this month became the longest-reigning world
number one of all-time!
Kawy survived the battle of the non-seeds when she defeated giant-killer
Annie Au, the world No.11 from Hong Kong who ousted fourth seed
Nour El Sherbini in the opening round.
Kawy, who earned her quarter-final slot after despatching England's
fifth seed Alison Waters, maintained her dominant form to see off
Au 11-8, 11-8, 11-5.
lob and drop is amazing,"
said the 29-year-old from Cairo of left-hander Au.
"Last time I played her she smashed me. When I play with
Annie I have a plan but didn't do it. This time I did it."
had to be on her top form to defeat Nour El Tayeb, the new world
No.6 from Egypt, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8 and earn her 21st WSA World Tour
meeting with Abdel Kawy over the past 15 years.
"Having different game plans for different players is key,"
said the 29-year-old from Penang after her quarter-final victory.
"Basically, a set base game plan and adapting it
accordingly for different players."
Abdel Kawy & Au Progress In Cleveland
Kong's Annie Au and Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy caused
major upsets in the Women's Cleveland Classic after ousting
fourth seed Nour El Sherbini and fifth seed Alison Waters,
respectively, in the opening round of the WSA International 50
squash event celebrating its fifth year at Cleveland Racquet Club
in Cleveland, USA.
first win over the world No.4 from Egypt in four meetings over the past
three years, Au recovered from 2/1 down to overcome El Sherbini, pulling
away from six-all in the decider to close out the match 11-6, 5-11,
7-11, 11-9, 11-6.
Hong Kong left-hander (pictured above with El Sherbini, foreground),
ranked 10 in the world, will now face fellow non-seed Abdel Kawy, the
world No.9 who also earned her first victory over a higher-ranked
opponent since 2012 when she beat Waters, the world No.5 from England.
Waters, who reached last week's Tournament of Champions final in
New York against the odds, drew level after the Cairo-based Egyptian
took the opening game - but it was Abdel Kawy who survived a close
fourth game to clinch the match 11-9, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9 to earn herself a
place in the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.
Defending champion Nicol David made up for the disappointment of
a surprise Tournament of Champions quarter-final exit with a commanding
11-2, 11-5, 11-7 victory over English qualifier Emily Whitlock.
world number one from Malaysia progresses to meet Nour El Tayeb
for a place in the semi-finals. The eighth seed from Egypt also overcame
an English qualifier, beating Victoria Lust 11-9, 11-6, 11-7.
became England's only representative in the last eight after seeing off
compatriot Sarah Kippax, also a qualifier, 11-3, 11-8, 11-3. The
No.2 seed, champion in 2011, now faces seventh seed Low Wee Wern,
the world No.7 from Malaysia who beat Egyptian qualifier Yathreb Adel
11-8, 11-6, 11-6.
is also a former champion eager to make a further appearance in the
event's final. The third seed from Egypt - now ranked two in the world
and tournament winner in 2013 - defeated Irish veteran Madeline Perry
11-3, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4 and will be hoping to make amends for her shock
quarter-final exit in 2014 when she takes on Camille Serme in the
top-ranked French player, seeded six, defeated England's former world
No.2 Jenny Duncalf 11-6, 11-6, 11-5.