Welily emphatically boosted her
bid to become the next women's world number one when she
despatched fellow Egyptian Omneya Abdel Kawy in
straight games in the final of the Alexandria
International in her home city of Alexandria to
claim the 10th WSA World Tour squash title of her
It was an
impressive performance by the Alexandria-born 26-year-old
who has held second place in the WSA world rankings
throughout this year and is enjoying the best form of her
life with final berths in all but one of her last seven Tour
El Welily, who
admitted to be "struggling" with her game early in the
event, regrouped in magnificent style in the WSA
International 100 event at Bibliotheca Alexandrina
to overcome both British Open champion Camille Serme
and former world champion Laura Massaro to reach her
25th Tour final on home soil.
It took just 35
minutes for the No.2 seed to beat surprise opponent Abdel
Kawy (pictured above with El Welily, right) - the seventh
seed who sensationally ended a 24-match losing run to beat
Malaysia's world number one Nicol David in the
spurred on by the packed and partisan Bibliotheca
Alexandrina crowd, El Welily defeated her Cairo-born
opponent 11-6, 11-5, 11-9.
with this win," El Welily said
later. "I'm very grateful.
have done it without my people, those around me this week,
my husband, my family, the whole family - my coaches Ahmed
Faragallah and Basem Makram who came to be with me,
but mostly my coach who couldn't be here this week, Haitham
Effat. This one goes out to you!"
latest triumph in the $100,000 Alexandria International
marks the third biggest WSA Tour title of her career. But
her two biggest were also this year - the $118,000
Tournament of Champions in January and the $150,000
Windy City Open in March.
Abdel Kawy Upset Sets Up All-Egyptian
It will be
Cairo v the host city Alexandria in the surprise
all-Egyptian final of the Women's Alexandria
International after No.7 seed Omneya Abdel Kawy
and second seed Raneem El Welily prevailed in
dramatic five-game semi-finals of the WSA International
100 squash event before a packed crowd surrounding the
all-glass court at Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
Abdel Kawy, the
29-year-old world No.9 from Cairo, went into her match with
top seed Nicol David having lost 24 times in a row to
the world number from Malaysia since March 2002.
underdog took the opening two games - but, spurred on by a
significant Malaysian contingent in the crowd, David struck
back to draw level, taking the fourth for the loss of just a
The pair traded
point for point in the decider with Abdel Kawy (pictured
below after clinching victory) reaching match-ball first at
10-9 - but losing it on a stroke. The former world No.4
clinched the second to record her shock 11-7, 11-7, 8-11,
1-11, 12-10 victory after 65 minutes.
The triumph set
up the 32nd WSA World Tour final of Abdel Kawy's
career - and her first this year - but denied eight-time
world champion David a place in her 100th Tour final.
"I can't tell
you how happy I am," Abdel Kawy
said later. "I only beat her once a
long time ago and since then she always beat me.
flattered with the way I played today. I thought that I
really played very well. After that fourth, I told myself,
now is the time, you give it all what you have."
In the second
semi, Alexandria-born El Welily lined up against England's
Laura Massaro, the player she succeeded as world No.2
in January this year.
(pictured above, foreground, with Massaro) twice led and
fourth seed Massaro twice levelled. But from 3-5 down in the
decider, the now Cairo-based El Welily rattled off eight
points in a row to ensure an all-Egyptian climax.
"It was a long
match, a very tough match, mentally and physically,"
said 26-year-old El Welily after her 70-minute 11-8, 8-11,
11-5, 8-11, 11-5 victory. "I didn't
think I was as fast as yesterday and I think we were both
feeling the effects of yesterday's matches.
"It was all
about the end of the match and I was glad I was able to
concentrate and push through then. Obviously I'm delighted
to be in an all-Egyptian final, especially with Omneya!"
added El Welily, now in her 25th Tour final.
Abdel Kawy was
equally delighted with the outcome:
"I'm so happy Raneem won. She is my best
friend, she won most of our matches but tomorrow I'm going
to make her life very difficult, she is going to have a bad
experience, and the best player will win!"
It is exactly
nine years since the two Egyptians (both pictured above)
first met on the WSA Tour. Their distinctive head-to-head
record is currently poised on seven wins apiece - Abdel Kawy
winning the first seven in a row until May 2011, since when
El Welily has prevailed unbeaten.
Massaro & David Deny Egyptian Full House In
England's Laura Massaro and
Malaysia's world number one Nicol David denied the hosts of the
Women's Alexandria International an all-Egyptian semi-final line-up after
hard-fought victories over local players in the quarter-finals of the WSA
International 100 squash event at Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the
Egyptian city of Alexandria.
World No.4 Massaro avenged a defeat
in their last meeting in the US Open in October when she twice came from
behind to beat Alexandrian Nour El Sherbini, ranked just three places
below, 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8 in 63 minutes.
"Nour is so talented, I'm happy I
managed to get one more win out of her today," Massaro
(pictured above, right, with El Sherbini) said afterwards.
"I'm sorry I spoiled the party for the crowd, everybody wanted
her to win - I had to work extra hard in each rally to compensate for everybody
cheering for Nour!"
Top seed David is now just one win
away from a 100th WSA World Tour final appearance following a tough
battle with Cairo-based Nour El Tayeb, the fifth seed. A stunning rally
brought the match to a close when David leapt to put away the winner with the
Egyptian stranded on the floor after a dive.
"I think it was a very exciting
match for the crowd, with Nour diving all over the court and just picking up
everything," said David (pictured above, right, with
El Tayeb) after her 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 triumph in 41 minutes.
"It was a very tough match, it was very hot on there, and I'm
truly happy to get through in three!"
David will now face her third
successive local opponent when she takes on career-long rival Omneya Abdel
Kawy for a place in the final. The world No.9 from Cairo pulled off the
day's only upset when she survived a five-game battle with England's Alison
Waters, the world No.6.
Kawy recovered from a 2/1 lead by
Londoner Waters to take the last two games for the loss of just six points, much
to the delight of the home crowd.
"That was very tough,"
said Abdel Kawy after her 8-11, 11-9, 2-11, 11-3, 11-3 victory.
"In the first two games, strangely enough I was very tired, and
she was playing very, really well, and my head was just not there.
"My coach told me 'come on, you
can win this, you know you are not tired, just give it a big push'."
In the final match of the day, second
seed Raneem El Welily kept hopes of an all-Egyptian final alive as she
came from 1/2 down to beat in-form French star Camille Serme.
Sixth seed Serme, who won the
British Open title in May against expectations and went into the Alexandria
quarter-final boasting a 15-match winning streak since March, built up a 2/1
But from 0-3 down in the fourth, the
Alexandria-born world No.2 dominated proceedings, dropping just three more
points to record a popular 8-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-5, 11-1 win in 55 minutes.
"She was playing unbelievably
well, obviously," said the relieved Egyptian.
"The plan I had prepared today was a dangerous one I really
didn't like, but I couldn't afford to change it at all. I'm just so relieved to
Egyptians Dominate Quarter-Final Line-Up In Alexandria
There will be Egyptian interest in all four quarter-finals of the
Women's Alexandria International after Alexandrians Nour El Sherbini
and Raneem El Welily thrilled the home crowd with second round victories
in the WSA International 100 squash event at Bibliotheca Alexandrina
in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
Eighth seed El Sherbini, a three-time
world junior champion, delighted the partisan crowd - and the governor of
Alexandria - with a powerful performance against England's Jenny Duncalf.
The 19-year-old was in impressive
form, despatching 32-year-old former world No.2 Duncalf 11-3, 11-6, 11-5 in 25
"I'm so happy to be in the
quarters here in Egypt, in front of my family, my friends,"
El Sherbini (pictured above, left, with Duncalf) said later.
"Thanks to my coach and my sponsors and to all the sponsors that
made this event possible!"
World No.2 El Welily, born and raised
in Alexandria but now based in Cairo, lined up against the Indian number one
The second seed was made to work to
overcome Pallikal, ranked 17 places lower. El Welily took the opening game and
squandered a lead in the second to allow the world No.19 from Chennai to draw
The local heroine had to fight back
to take the third in a tie-break - but soon took control of the fourth to win
11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3 after 41 minutes.
"I am struggling with my game,
with my momentum," admitted El Welily (pictured above,
right, with Pallikal). "Dipika played very well,
but then again, nobody plays badly anymore. What made the difference in the
fourth? The support!"
El Sherbini will face a second
successive English opponent in the event after former world champion Laura
Massaro overcame USA's ninth seed Amanda Sobhy in four games.
It was Sobhy's first Tour event since
graduating from Harvard University last month - and the 21-year-old from New
York stemmed Massaro's two-game lead by taking the third before the England
number one regained the upper hand to close out the match 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7
in 45 minutes.
"It was a good match, I thought
that all the games were quite competitive," said the
world No.4 from Preston. "Amanda has been playing very
well, she has just graduated from college, I'm not sure how much training she's
done, so I'm happy to manage to get one more win before she goes full time!"
El Welily will face France's
Camille Serme for a place in the semi-finals. In the last match of the
evening, the recently-crowned British Open champion pulled away from
seven-all in the opening game to beat Guyana's Nicolette Fernandes 11-7,
"It was tough,"
said Serme. "It was hot and we don't
normally play this late so I'm pleased to get through to the quarters, and
because I'm playing Raneem the crowd and the atmosphere will be great."
Round (top half of draw)
Egyptians Earn Two Quarter-Final Slots In
Egyptians claimed two of the four
quarter-final slots on offer after today's second round of the Women's
Alexandria International when Nour El Tayeb and Omneya Abdel Kawy
secured four-game wins over qualifiers on an all-glass court in the WSA
International 100 squash event at Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the
Egyptian city of Alexandria.
Fifth seed El Tayeb took 62 minutes
to overcome compatriot Kanzy Emad El Defrawy 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7.
"We're good friends and practice a
lot together, so it was a little strange to play her in a match like this,"
world No.5 El Tayeb (pictured above with Defrawy) said later. "It was a tough
match, I'm just delighted to be in the quarters!"
Seventh seed Abdel Kawy, the former
world No4 who had to come from behind to beat Australian Donna Urquhart
in a dramatic five-game first round match, also had to overcome a deficit in her
second round clash with Mariam Metwally.
But the 29-year-old ultimately got
the better of Metwally, beating the 18-year-old 11-13, 13-11, 11-7, 11-9 in 45
"I was so up and down, the whole
match, I felt like I was the one that won or lost," said the relieved world No.9
(pictured above with Metwally). "Thank God I managed to take the second game, it
was really crucial."
El Tayeb will now face favourite
Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia who is seeded to win her
first title in Egypt since claiming a record eighth world crown in December in
David survived two tie-break games as
she overpowered Nouran Gohar, the 17-year-old 11th seed from Cairo,
13-11, 11-3, 12-10.
England's No.3 seed Alison Waters
awaits Abdel Kawy. The world No.6 from London defeated 16-year-old Egyptian
Habiba Mohamed 11-8, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8.
Locals Defrawy & Metwally Break Through In Alexandria
Local qualifiers Kanzy Emad El Defrawy and
Mariam Metwally secured unexpected places in the last 16 round
of the Women's Alexandria International after masterminding
straight games upsets over seeded opponents on the opening day of
main draw action in the WSA International 100 squash event in
the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
The new $100,000 Alexandria International has
attracted a star-studded field, led by Malaysia's world number one
Nicol David and including nine Egyptians from the world top
30 and eight from the host city itself.
El Defrawy bagged the biggest scalp, taking down
England's No.10 seed Sarah-Jane Perry 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 in 41
"I'm happy with the way I played today and so excited
to be playing on the glass court tomorrow,"
said the 21-year-old world No.37 from Cairo - ranked 25 places lower
than her opponent.
"I'm especially so grateful that I won 3/0, which was
really far-fetched, thinking how great a player she is - truly one
of the best players in the world."
Alexandria-born-and-bred Metwally saw off compatriot
and fellow 18-year-old Salma Hany Ibrahim, the 14th seed,
12-10, 11-3, 11-4.
"I'm so happy to get to the second round, especially
her in front of my friends and family, my mum and my dad,"
said the world No.39, now the lowest-ranked player in the draw.
"Tomorrow, I hope I can play well - then I'm back to
school for my exams on Sunday!"
Both Defrawy and Metwally progress to face fellow
countrywomen for places in the quarter-finals. El Defrawy takes on
Nour El Tayeb, the fifth seed from Cairo, while Metwally
meets seventh seed Omneya Abdel Kawy, the 29-year-old former
world No.4 who survived the day's longest and most dramatic match -
finally emerging victorious in an 11-6, 7-11, 11-13, 11-3, 16-14
scoreline over the event's sole Australian Donna Urquhart.
Nicol David, back in Tour
action after leading a highly successful WSF Ambassador Programme
visit to Serbia, Romania and Croatia, cruised to an 11-6, 11-6, 11-4
win over England's Victoria Lust and will now line up against
rising Egyptian star Nouran Gohar, the 17-year-old No.11 seed
who despatched 16-year-old Egyptian qualifier Zeina Farid Mickawy
in just 23 minutes.
The Egyptian attack is being led by world No.2
Raneem El Welily. But the Alexandria-born and now Cairo-based
26-year-old was given a mighty scare by Emily Whitlock when
the new world No.20 from England took the opening game and forced
the second to a tie-break.
The experienced El Welily weathered the storm however
to clinch the second game before closing out the match 6-11, 13-11,
11-7, 11-4 after 42 minutes to claim her anticipated place in the
Ninth seed Amanda Sobhy was enjoying her first
appearance on the WSA World Tour since graduating from
Harvard University last month. The 21-year-old from New York
overcame Egyptian qualifier Nadine Shahin 11-2, 11-5, 11-13,
11-5 and will now face England's former world No.2 Jenny Duncalf
for a place in the last eight.
Nicol David Heads WSA Alexandria International Line-Up
Malaysia's world number one Nicol David
heads a star-studded line-up at next month's Alexandria International, a
new WSA International 100 squash event which will be staged on an
all-glass court at the Library of Alexandria in the Egyptian city of
All but one of the WSA world top ten will compete
in the $100,000 event which will take place from 5-10 June and will also feature
all eight of the Egyptian players in the world top 30.
David begins her bid to reach the 100th WSA
World Tour final of her career against England's Victoria Lust -
while second seed Raneem El Welily, the world No.2 from Alexandria, also
faces English first round opposition in Emily Whitlock.
the world No.6 who last week became the first ever French winner of the women's
British Open trophy, returns to the court for the first time since her
historic success when she lines up against Welsh number one Tesni Evans.
"It's great to see a new major women's event in
Egypt come on the calendar, in particular after the staging of a highly
successful Women's World Championship in Cairo last year,"
said WSA CEO Tommy Berden.
"The Egyptian players are flourishing on the Tour
at the moment, so it is a fantastic opportunity for them to showcase their
talent in front of a home crowd."
Tournament promoter Amr Mansi added: "I
am very delighted to be able to host this event it has always been a goal for me
to host two of the biggest international events for men and women.
"It all started at El Gouna when the governor of
Alexandria decided to host a major event in Alexandria - all the credit to him
for his support and hard work. Looking forward to welcome all the top players in
my hometown Alexandria."