Raneem El Welily
survived the first ever all-Egyptian Women's CIMB
Malaysian Open final to reclaim the coveted WSA World
Series Gold squash title for the second time in three
The third seed reached the final for the
third year in a row after beating top seed Nicol David
in the semis and dashing the Malaysian star's hopes of a
El Welily's opponent Nour El Tayeb had
achieved one of the best runs of her career to reach the
final on the all-glass showcourt in the Malaysian capital's
Nu Sentral shopping mall: Seeded 16, the 21-year-old
from Cairo upset second seed Laura Massaro, the world
champion, and No8 seed Madeline Perry in quick
succession before crushing Amanda Sobhy, the No10
from the USA, in just 26 minutes in the semis.
And underdog El Tayeb, ranked 25 in the
world, took compatriot Welily the full distance in the final
- eager to repeat her recent first ever win over the world
But after scoring only two points in the
fourth game, El Welily (pictured above in action with El
Tayeb) regained the upper hand in the decider to close
out the match 7-11, 11-3, 12-10, 2-11, 11-7 after 40
"Nour has done really well in to be in the
final," El Welily told Zheng Guan from The Star
"We both have the same coach and we know each other's games.
That was obvious as she read my game.
"I think she is a very tough opponent to face
as she is also very talented and has great racquet skills,"
added the Alexandria-born 25-year-old (pictured below
with men's champion Mohamed Elshorbagy) who now
has seven WSA World Tour titles to her credit.
"It was obviously a very tough mental game
and I'm happy to have won it. Also I'm happy to win because
it's been a while since I've made a final!"
El Tayeb was far from unhappy with her
performance: "I think I played well and I really gave it
everything I had.
"Raneem is my big sister and I'm happy for
her that she won the tournament."
Malaysian Open images courtesy of Mohd Roslan
El Welily Downs David For First All-Egyptian
Malaysian Open Final
In devastating form in today's semi-finals of
the Women's CIMB Malaysian Open, Egypt's Raneem El
Welily upset top seed and defending champion Nicol
David to deny the Queen of Malaysian squash a place in
the final of the WSA World Series Gold championship
in Kuala Lumpur for the first time in 12 appearances
in her country's leading event since 2003.
The third seed's 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11
triumph in 52 minutes on an all-glass showcourt in the
Malaysian capital's Nu Sentral shopping mall set up
the event's first ever all-Egyptian climax.
El Welily will face Nour El Tayeb, the
16th seed from Cairo who continued her trail-blazing KL run
by beating Amanda Sobhy, the No10 seed from the USA,
11-9, 11-9, 11-3.
El Welily, the Alexandria-born world No3,
went into the match 13-2 down to world No1 David in their
Tour head-to-head record. But the first of the 25-year-old
Egyptian's two wins was in the Malaysian Open final
exactly two years ago - and the second in the Cleveland
Classic climax in the USA in February 2013, when El
Welily last recorded a WSA Tour title triumph.
"It was not easy of course and I'm happy with
my performance," El Welily (pictured above with David)
told Zheng Guan from The Star. "I was more
patient today. It was more about waiting for the opportunity
to force an error and I did that.
"Of course being patient is never enough and
I took my shots at the right time too," added El Welily, now
in her ninth WSA World Tour final.
"I'm really happy to be in the final to face
Nour. She's my sister, my best friend. I'm also happy that I
got my head back in as I was in a mess and lost a little
David, an eight times winner of the title
since making her debut in 2003, explained: "It's
disappointing to lose. But fairplay to Raneem - she was very
sharp today, every boast and drop was a winner. And she was
quite flawless, too - by my count she only made two errors!"
Harvard University student Sobhy, 21, was
celebrating her first appearance in a WSA World Series
semi-final - but the day belonged again to 21-year-old El
Tayeb, who followed upsets over second seed Laura Massaro
and No8 seed Madeline Perry by despatching Sobhy in
just 26 minutes.
El Tayeb, making her first appearance on the
Tour since announcing her engagement to fellow squash
professional Ali Farag, had never progressed beyond
the event's first round before.
"I think getting engaged was me being happy
and being happy certainly brings out the best in my game,"
said El Tayeb (pictured above with Sobhy) on the eve
of the fifth Tour final of her career. "I can't believe I
"I'm really happy with my game all week. It
was tough taking on Amanda as we've played so many times
during juniors and I know how good she is."
Malaysian Open images courtesy of Mohd Roslan
Egypt's Nour El Tayeb celebrated a "dream" win - and her
second successive upset in the Women's CIMB Malaysian Open - when she
beat Ireland's No8 seed Madeline Perry in today's quarter-finals of the
WSA World Series Gold squash championship in Kuala Lumpur.
Quarter-final day was marking the event's first presentation on
an all-glass showcourt in the Malaysian capital's Nu Sentral shopping
El Tayeb, the 16th seed from Cairo who made her breakthrough in
the previous round when she toppled world champion Laura Massaro, secured
her first appearance in the event's semi-finals when 14-time Irish champion
Perry retired injured, with the score standing at 11-9, 17-15, 4-11, 9-2 in the
"It's really a dream come through to win," El Tayeb (pictured
above with Perry) told Zheng Guan from The Star. "I feel really privileged
to beat Madeline because she's been a top 10 player even before I started
playing. Plus she's probably one of the fittest players around and I'm happy to
El Tayeb, the 21-year-old world No25, will now face US number one
Amanda Sobhy. The No10 seed from New York is marking her Malaysian Open
debut - and celebrated it in fine style by beating Egyptian qualifier Habiba
Mohamed Ahmed 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 to earn her first appearance in a World
Series event semi-final.
Ahmed bowed out after a sensational run in only her second
appearance in a WSA major. Aged just 15, she arrived in Malaysia just days after
winning the World Junior (U19) title in Namibia - becoming the second youngest
player in history to achieve this feat.
"We are both strong girls and I train with my brother a lot,"
said 21-year-old Harvard University student Sobhy (pictured above with Ahmed)
afterwards. "He's bigger than Habiba so a little bump and shove is no problem
"But Habiba eventually had to tire as she barely had any rest
since the World Juniors! I'm just happy to put the pressure on her to win.
Really pleased to get into my first World Series semis."
The other semi will be the match predicted by the draw: the
battle between Malaysia's top seed Nicol David and Egypt's third seed
Raneem El Welily - a replay of the 2012 final won by the Egyptian.
Defending champion David, the nine-time champion fast approaching
her 50th match win in the event since 2003, defeated Asian rival Annie Au,
the No7 seed from Hong Kong, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5.
El Welily, the world No3 from Cairo bidding to make the final for
the third year in a row, was taken the full distance by Sarah-Jane Perry
before beating the 13th seed from England 11-4, 6-11, 12-10, 13-15, 11-6 in 50
"I'm actually more disappointed with myself as I stopped playing
in the middle," admitted the 25-year-old later. "The second game I made seven
straight tins and that is bad for me. Hopefully I'll get some rest and recover
in time for the semis."
Shocks continued to shake up the Women's CIMB Malaysian Open
today in Kuala Lumpur where a further three top seeds crashed out of the
last 16 round of the WSA World Series Gold championship.
It was Egyptian Nour El Tayeb who landed the biggest scalp
when she ousted second seed Laura Massaro, the world champion from
England, 11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 11-4 in 47 minutes.
It was the pair's third meeting on the WSA World Tour
since 2010, but the 21-year-old from Cairo's first ever victory over world No2
Massaro, winner of a pair of silver medals in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth
"I knew I'm playing the world No2 but I told myself that she's
just another player and I know I can beat her," El Tayeb told Zheng Guan
from The Star. "I just kept playing my own kind of shots and gave her no
space to play.
"Most importantly, I had to really concentrate and I'm happy to
have a chance to play in the glass court."
El Tayeb, making her first appearance on the Tour since
announcing her engagement to fellow squash professional Ali Farag, had
never progressed beyond the first round before.
"I've been coming here for a while now and I never got that far.
Besides, it's not a regular thing, beating someone like Laura and it's
definitely one of my best wins."
There was additional surprise Egyptian interest in the
quarter-finals after 15-year-old qualifier Habiba Mohamed Ahmed
despatched 11th seed Jenny Duncalf, a former world No2 from England,
11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7.
Ahmed arrived in Malaysia hotfoot from Namibia where she stunned
the squash world by winning the world junior U19 title. After qualifying in KL,
the Alexandria youngster immediately downed fourth-seeded French star Camille
"I'm delighted to win," said Habiba after defeating Duncalf.
"It's a really tough match against Jenny and I'm expecting another tough match
against Amanda. She's really good and talented."
Harvard student Amanda Sobhy, the 2010 world junior
champion, ended local heroine Delia Arnold's run, beating the Malaysian
who upset fifth seed Alison Waters in the opening round 14-12, 11-9,
There was further local disappointment when sixth seed Low Wee
Wern was stopped in her tracks. The former semi-finalist from Penang went
down 11-3, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9 in 77 minutes to England's 13th seed Sarah-Jane
"I felt like I started like a train," said the 24-year-old Perry,
from Kenilworth. "It was a great start then she came back in the third and I
didn't do so well there.
"After that it was up and down just like the scores suggest. I
guess it's a bit of a revenge since she beat me in the Texas Open this year. I
also realised that I was the last English girl and that gave me a little
Defending champion Nicol David will now singlehandedly
lead Malaysian interest into the quarter-finals on the all-glass showcourt at
the Nu Sentral shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. The world No1 from Penang,
bidding for a ninth title, beat India's Joshana Chinappa 11-4, 11-3,
"I actually thought Joshana played really well in the first
game," said top seed David. "But I found my rhythm and turned on the momentum.
She used the time well in the third game but I managed to put the pressure on
her and I'm happy to win 3/0 and head into the Nu Sentral for the
Unseeded Malaysian Delia Arnold delighted the home crowd on
the opening day of main draw action in the Women's CIMB Malaysian
Open when she stunned England's fifth seed Alison Waters
to claim a place in the last 16 of the WSA World Series Gold
championship in Kuala Lumpur for the first time in 12
attempts since 2002.
finally got the win that I wanted," said the KL-born 28-year-old who
is ranked 39 in the world - 33 places lower than her illustrious
opponent who was a silver medallist in the Commonwealth Games
earlier this month.
changed my game a little," explained the Malaysian number three
after her 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9 upset in 69 minutes. "I used
to play a fast-paced game. Now I'm slowing down my game to be more
medium pace in order to last the pace of the entire match."
Arnold will now face Amanda Sobhy, the 10th seed from the USA
who beat Mexican qualifier Samantha Teran 11-7, 11-1, 11-6.
But there was a further massive upset today when 15-year-old
Habiba Mohamed Ahmed beat Camille Serme, the No4 seed
from France, 11-6, 6-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8 in 73 minutes.
The Egyptian youngster arrived in Malaysia just days after becoming
the world junior champion in Namibia against the odds - winning the
prestigious U19 title after a series of major scalps, including that
of the 18-year-old title-holder Nour El Sherbini, ranked
eight in the world.
"I'm very happy to win," said the modest qualifier from Alexandria.
"I didn't expect to beat Camille. She beat me first in March at the
World Championships. It was 3/0 then. I'm happy to win this time."
her first appearance in the second round of a WSA World Series
event, Ahmed will line up against seasoned professional Jenny
Duncalf, the 11th seed and former world No2 from England who
beat Hong Kong qualifier Tong Tsz-Wing 11-6, 11-6, 11-6.
Top seeds Nicol David and Laura Massaro eased into the
second round after straightforward straight games wins. Favourite
David, the world No1 from Malaysia who is expected to reach her 12th
successive final and pick up the title for the ninth time, needed
just 16 minutes to get past Hong Kong qualifier Liu Tsz-Ling
11-3, 11-2, 11-3.
"It was a good match against Liu," said the 30-year-old from Penang.
"I was expecting her to put up a Hong Kong-styled match - a lot of
shots - and I got it. I am happy because it's a good win for me and
I played some good shots especially leading to a tough week ahead.
"It's always nice to get a few good shots in and get your game
going," added the 2014 Commonwealth Games women's singles gold
Massaro, the world No2 from England, defeated 41-year-old US
qualifier Latasha Khan 11-6, 11-2, 11-4. "I thought I played
well," said the world champion. "Latasha played well too, in my
opinion, despite the score.
"We are good friends and it's never easy to play friends on the
court. But I've got to be professional and get the job done."
World Junior Wonder Habiba Makes Malaysian Open Draw
Just days after shocking the squash world by winning the Women's
World Junior Championship title in Namibia aged just 15, Egypt's
Habiba Mohamed Ahmed maintained her winning run today in
Malaysia where she qualified for the main draw of the prestigious
Women's CIMB Malaysian Open, the WSA World Series Gold
championship in Kuala Lumpur.
The Alexandria starlet - who stunned three higher-ranked compatriots
to claim the world title, including the hot favourite Nour El
Sherbini, ranked eight in the world - today defeated home hope
Sivasangari Subramanian, also 15, 11-5, 13-11, 11-7.
her maiden appearance in the Malaysian Open, Ahmed is drawn to face
fourth seed Camille Serme, the world No5 from France who was
a semi-finalist last year.
Players from seven countries survived today's qualifying finals -
with Ahmed's success perfectly complemented by that of Latasha
Khan, the 41-year-old former world No18 who appropriately needed
41 minutes to get the better of 18-year-old Malaysian Vanessa Raj
11-5, 11-7, 12-14, 11-3.
But all eyes will be on Malaysian squash queen Nicol David,
the world No1 from Penang who is the only player to have competed in
every Malaysian Open since 2003. More
notably, the 30-year-old has made the event's final each time in the
past 11 years, with a remarkable eight titles to her name!
David, back on the WSA World Tour for the first time since
making history last month as the first woman to successfully defend
her Commonwealth Games gold medal, meets Hong Kong qualifier
Liu Tsz-Ling in the first round.
The women's championship gets underway at the Bukit Jalil
National Squash Centre tomorrow before moving to the NU
Sentral Mall in Kuala Lumpur for the semi-finals on Friday, and
final on Saturday.
CIMB Malaysian Open
Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, $50k
 Mohamed Elshorbagy (Egy)
11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (19m)
Abdullah Al Mezayen (Kuw)
Mohamed Elshorbagy, the 22-year-old World No.3 from Alexandria,
picked up his ninth career title after defeating Hong Kong's Max Lee
in the final of the CIMB Malaysian Open 2014 earlier today.
Having recorded impressive 3-0 wins over Kuwait's Abdullah Al
Muzayen, local hope Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan and compatriot Tarek Momen
on his way to the final, Elshorbagy maintained his perfect record in
the tournament, taking just 34-minutes to complete an 11-6, 11-7,
11-9 victory over the World No.25.
The win, his first ever title triumph at the Malaysian Open, sees
Elshorbagy begin his season in formidable fashion as he travels to
next week's Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Squash
Open 2014, the first PSA World Series event of the 2014/15 season.
Elshorbagy is seeded second for that event, with World No.1 Gregory
Gaultier favourite for the crown, but having with a win to his name
the rising young star will be hopeful of landing one of the sport's
most prestigious titles
Favourite For Malaysian Open Crown
Mohamed Elshorbagy (right), the World No.3, will be aiming to claim
his ninth PSA World Tour title when the CIMB Malaysian Open, a PSA
International 50 event, gets underway in Kuala Lumpur on August 20.
The 23-year-old powerhouse, who has leapt up the rankings over the
last year, tops the seeding for the 2014 staging of the event which
has been a staple on the PSA World Tour circuit since 2008.
Elshorbagy's stiffest competition is likely to come from second seed
and World No.7 Borja Golan of Spain while the Egyptian duo of World
No.12 Tarek Momen and World No.18 Karim Abdel Gawad will be hoping
to upset the favourites and steal glory for themselves.
"I am excited to start my season with the Malaysian Open," said
"I love going back to Malaysia, I have played there many times and
it has always been such an enjoyable experience and I am sure it
will be the same this year as the Malaysian federation and CIMB do
an amazing job and we have to be thankful to them.
"It is very important to have a good start to the season as that
builds up confidence for the rest of the year.
"I am normally a slow starter so my team thought playing Malaysia
would be the perfect start for me and I am really looking forward to
being back on court for the big battles again.
"I am taking the tournament as preparation for the season - I am not
expecting to be at my peak - so I am going to just go there and
enjoy myself and give it my best shot."