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Nicol David Reclaims Cleveland Classic Trophy

Cleveland Classic 2014
30 Jan - 04 Feb
Cleveland, Usa, $50k
Round One
01 Feb
02 Feb
03 Feb
04 Feb
[1] Nicol David (Mas)
11-2, 11-8, 11-3 (40m)
[Q] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)
Nicol David
11/5, 11/6, 11/6
Camille Serme
Nicol David
11-7, 12-10, 11-4
 Nour El Tayeb
Nicol David
13-11, 11-5, 11-6 (35m)
Annie Au
[5] Camille Serme (Fra)
11-6, 11-8, 11-6 (54m)
[Q] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
[6] Joelle King (Nzl)
11-6, 11-6, 11-5 (30m)
[Q] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
Nour El Tayeb
8/11, 11/9, 11/4, 12/10
Raneem El Weleily
[3] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 11-7 (40m)
Kasey Brown (Aus)
Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
12-10, 11-4, 11-9 (35m)
[4] Alison Waters (Eng)
Alison Waters
?/11, ?/11, 15/13, 11/9, 11/5
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Alison Waters
6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-2, 13-11
Annie Au
Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
11-4, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 (49m)
[8] Low Wee Wern (Mas)
[Q] Annie Au (Hkg)
11-5, 11-9, 11-3 (30m)
[7] Jenny Duncalf (Eng)
Annie Au
11/5, 12/10, 14/12
Laura Massaro
Madeline Perry (Irl)
15-17, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5
[2] Laura Massaro (Eng)

RESULTS: Women's Tub O'Towels Cleveland Classic, Pepper Pike, Ohio, USA

Qualifying finals:
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-5, 11-5, 11-5
Sarah Kippax (ENG) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 (65m)
Annie Au (HKG) bt Latasha Khan (USA) 11-4, 12-10, 11-3
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Emma Beddoes (ENG) 12-10, 15-13, 11-3

Nicol David Reclaims Cleveland Classic Trophy

Malaysia's world number one Nicol David continued to demonstrate her domination of women's squash by clinching the Tub O'Towels Cleveland Classic trophy in the USA without dropping a game throughout the tournament.

The 30-year-old from Penang beat Hong Kong's Annie Au - celebrating her fourth successive appearance in the final of the Women's Squash Association Gold 50 event at Cleveland Racquet Club in Cleveland, Ohio, by reclaiming the title.

But Au can hold her head high after becoming the first qualifier to reach the event's climax - achieving her stunning run after dismissing three English world-top-ten-ranked players in quick succession to set up the first all-Asian final.

Indeed, the 24-year-old left-hander built up a 10-7 lead in the first game before David responded by saving the three game-balls before converting her own first to take the opener.

The Malaysian led throughout the second to extend her lead - and moved ahead from five-all in the third to close out the match 13-11, 11-5, 11-6 after 35 minutes to take the title for the second time.

"It's a great feeling - you can't describe it to people - to work that hard in training and have it pay off on the court," said the jubilant David after her triumph.

It was the pair's 12th Tour meeting - but the 16th, including Asian Games and Asian Championship clashes - with Au still looking for a breakthrough win.

"Nicol is a top player - no matter how I played the ball she just went and got it," summed up reigning Asian champion Au, the world No13, later.

The triumph marks David's seventh WSA Tour title in a row - and the 73rd of her career.

Au Ousts Waters In Latest Cleveland Collapse

Hong Kong qualifier Annie Au will take part in the final of the Women's Tub O'Towels Cleveland Classic after sensationally producing her third upset in as many days when she overcame fourth seed Alison Waters in the semi-finals of the Women's Squash Association Gold 50 event marking its fourth year at Cleveland Racquet Club in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Left-hander Au, ranked 13 in the world, started her giant-killing Cleveland campaign in the opening round when she defeated England's No7 seed Jenny Duncalf. The 24-year-old continued her demolition of English opponents by dismissing world No2 Laura Massaro - before lining up Londoner Waters to be her third British victim!

Au twice came from behind to take the match into a fifth-game decider, then squandered two match-balls to Waters from 10-8 before finally clinching her fourth to take the match 6-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-2, 13-11.

"In the second I tried to slow down the pace," explained Au (pictured above, left, with Waters) later. "Gives me time to set up my shots," added the Asian champion, now in the 18th Tour final of her career.

World No4 Waters added: "We both had times when we were controlling the match. We both played our best in the last game."

Au's opponent will be fellow Asian Nicol David, the world No1 from Malaysia. The top seed reached the Classic final for the fourth year in a row after ending Egyptian qualifier Nour El Tayeb's run, beating the 20-year-old world No27 from Cairo 11-7, 12-10, 11-4.

After losing the first game, underdog El Tayeb upped the pace in the second and led 7-2 and 10-7 before David reeled her in to take the game after a tie-break.

"When down 10-7 'keep in that mindset'," said David (pictured above, left, with El Tayeb) later. "Make every point count."

El Tayeb added: "If I had won that second game, it's hard to say what would have happened."

The win takes David into the 92nd WSA Tour final of her illustrious career - and her eighth in a row.

Giant-Killers Au & El Tayeb Continue Cleveland Carve-Ups

Qualifiers Annie Au and Nour El Tayeb continued their giant-killing exploits in the Women's Tub O'Towels Cleveland Classic by downing the second and third seeds, respectively, in the quarter-finals of the Women's Squash Association Gold 50 event marking its fourth year at Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio, USA.

"I can't believe how well I played," was 20-year-old El Tayeb's reaction after recording her career-first win over fellow Egyptian compatriot Raneem El Welily, the world No3. The lowest-ranked player to survive the two rounds of qualifying, former world junior champion El Tayeb made a sensational start to her Cleveland Classic debut by trouncing sixth seed Joelle King.

But arguably her best scalp of all-time came in the next round when she dismissed practice partner El Welily, the third seed, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10.

"I was feeling confident so I was going for winners and they were working for me today," continued the world No27 from Cairo (pictured above, left, with El Welily). "I practice with Raneem all the time and the shots I used I have copied from her! I am very happy here in Cleveland!"

El Welily said: "It was tough as Nour played very well today and she knows my game well. I was finding it hard to keep my focus today - and the way Nour played didn't help."

Au, the Hong Kong number one, made her first round breakthrough by taking out England's No7 seed Jenny Duncalf.

And it was another English opponent that fell to the left-hander's winning ways when Au despatched second seed Laura Massaro, the world No2 from Preston, 11-5, 12-10, 14-12. In fact, the win was world No13 Au's third Tour triumph in a row over the reigning British Open champion.

"I was hitting good length today and was using the lob well," explained 24-year-old Au (pictured above, left, with Massaro). "Laura's deep game wasn't as good as it usually is and I was able to take the ball early and was confident finishing off the point."

Massaro, who celebrated her 10th successive month as world No2 last month, said: "Annie played a great match tonight and she always does well here as the court really suits her game. The ball moves off the front wall quite slowly and I was having trouble getting the ball into the back corners.

"Annie doesn't hit the ball hard, lifts the ball very well and was hitting into the back corners more consistently than me. The slow pace of the game and her variation of shots made it very difficult for me to find my rhythm."

Au faces her third English opponent in a row when she takes on Alison Waters for a place in the final. But the No4 seed from London had to stage one of the biggest fightbacks of her life against Egypt's unseeded Omneya Abdel Kawy to earn her anticipated place in the semi-finals.

The determined world No4 came from two games down, then saved match balls in the third game before eventually prevailing 8-11, 5-11, 15-13, 11-9, 11-5.

"I'm very happy that I was able to come back from being 2/0 down," said a relieved Waters. "I didn't get off to a great start and made lots of errors in the first game. In the second game I played better and cut down the errors but Omneya was attacking the front very well.

"Going into the third I knew I had to get stuck in and commit to grinding it out - and once I won the third game I knew I was in for a chance. It was a hard match and Omneya is always very difficult to play against."

Abdel Kawy added: "Alison did well to come back. I had match points in the third and fourth game and went for some winners but hit the tin, sometimes they work and you win the match. Alison came out strong in the fifth and I couldn't find my way back into the game."

Malaysia's world number one Nicol David is now one match away from her fourth successive appearance in the final after beating France's Camille Serme 11-5, 11-6, 11-6.

"I have played Camille before and she is a tough competitor," said the favourite from Penang. "The rallies were long, she made me work hard but I was able to set up the opening and I was able to put the ball away."

Fifth seed Serme said: "I was pleased with the way I played today - it's the best I have played against her! Nicol got everything back and there wasn't much I could do about it."

Qualifiers El Tayeb & Au Claim Cleveland Upsets

Qualifiers Nour El Tayeb and Annie Au produced sensational upsets in the opening round of the Women's Tub O'Towels Cleveland Classic to claim unexpected places in the quarter-finals of the Women's Squash Association Gold 50 event celebrating its fourth year at Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio, USA.

Egyptian El Tayeb, the former world junior champion making her debut in Cleveland, brushed aside sixth-seeded New Zealander Joelle King (both pictured above) 11-6, 11-6, 11-5.

"El Tayeb played a fantastic match, being aggressive and retrieving really well," reported tournament director Joe Russell, the club's Director of Squash. "She was not making any errors and was anticipating much of King's shots. King did not have a great match. She did not seem comfortable on the court making errors on easy shots."

Au, the reigning Asian champion from Hong Kong, took on No7 seed Jenny Duncalf, the former world No2 from England who held an unbeaten 2/0 Tour head-to-head record over the 24-year-old.

The Hong Kong number one despatched Duncalf in straight games, winning 11-5, 11-9, 11-3 to achieve her career breakthrough.

"Au (pictured above) was very good today at slowing the pace down and lobbing the ball into the back corners," explained Russell. "It was clearly giving Duncalf trouble. Duncalf was down 9-5 in the second game and it looked like she was about to gain control of the match. However, Au had enough of a cushion to take the game 11-9. The third game was all Au as she cruised to the 3/0 victory."

Top seed Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia expected to reach the final for the fourth year in a row, was in sparkling form as she defeated Nour El Sherbini - the second Egyptian qualifier in the draw - 11-2, 11-8, 11-3.

"She was very methodical, moving the ball on court, not making any errors," said Russell. "Nicol's only scare was in game two, when she went down 7-2, before storming back to take the game 11-8."

There was further unexpected Egyptian success when unseeded Omneya Abdel Kawy ousted Malaysia's No8 seed Low Wee Wern 11-4, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8.

The last match of the night went the full distance when England's No2 seed Laura Massaro twice had to come from behind to see off Irish rival Madeline Perry 15-17, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5.

"I am just happy to get through that match as it was a tough first round for me to have," said Massaro, the world No2 from Preston. "Madeline is a very tough competitor!"

Perry, the 14 times Irish champion and a Cleveland Classic semi-finalist for the past three years, said: "It is a shame because I played well all though the match but I came off the pace a little in the last two games. Laura played a great match."

El Sherbini Sets Up World Clash In Cleveland

Egypt's world junior champion Nour El Sherbini will face Malaysia's senior world champion Nicol David in the opening round of the Women's Tub O'Towels Cleveland Classic after prevailing in the qualifiers of the Women's Squash Association Gold 50 event at Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio, USA.

El Sherbini, the 18-year-old world No16 from Alexandria beat England's Emma Beddoes 12-10, 15-13, 11-3. The Egyptian teenager (pictured above with Beddoes) saved two game balls in the first game before being extended in the second, the longest game of the day, by the world No25 from Leeds.

El Sherbini will now face event favourite Nicol David, the world number one from Malaysia, in the pair's first meeting since contesting the 2012 British Open final in London.

Hong Kong's Annie Au beat former US champion Latasha Khan to deny home interest in the main draw of the event celebrating its fourth successive year at Cleveland Racquet Club. Veteran Khan, the 41-year-old world No32 from Seattle, forced a tie-break in the second game, but left-hander Au (pictured below with Khan) ultimately proved too strong, winning 11-4, 12-10, 11-3.

National champion Nour El Tayeb doubled the Egyptian success in the qualifiers after upsetting Australia's former world champion and world No1 Rachael Grinham 11-5, 11-5, 11-5.

England's Sarah Kippax also pulled off a notable upset when she beat Denmark's Line Hansen, ranked five places higher. The Dane led 6-1 in the fourth game, but Kippax came back to close out the match 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9 in 65 minutes.

Kippax will face third seed Raneem El Welily, the defending champion from Egypt.