Raneem wins a thriller
Finals day at Black Ball Sporting Club saw the world’s top two players going head to head for the title.
World Number One Raneem El Welily had to save match balls against Nouran Gohar in yesterday’s semi-final, but came through to set up a meeting with World Number Two Nour El Sherbini, the recently crowned triple World Champion who eased past Joelle King in the semis.
The pair are no strangers – this was their 21st PSA meeting with the score standing at 10-10, and each of the last 10 meetings had been in a major final – with Sherbini winning six of those.
Today’s final went the full distance with Sherbini pulling away as the end of a close first game to take the lead, but the next four games were dominated by one player or the other – Welily took the second in the blink of an eye, Sherbini stormed back to regain the lead but then could only score a single point in the fourth. From 3-all in the decider Welily forged ahead to claim the title.
“I’m very happy to be standing here,” said Raneem. “It feels good to have won this match, playing Nour is never easy and today was I think a little bit different than any other time we have played. I think we both showed very good patterns throughout the match and we had some very good patches where we both played very good. I think this hasn’t happened in a while, so I am very happy to have been part of this good match.”
Full report and quotes below …