Raneem El Welily stuns world number one Nour El Sherbini

Raneem El Welily stuns world number one Nour El Sherbini
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Published May 25th, 2016 - 18:55 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Raneem Al Welily (photo: @RaneemElWelily)
Raneem Al Welily (photo: @RaneemElWelily)

Raneem Al Welily delivered the first major shock of the PSA Dubai World Series Finals yesterday when she toppled world number one Nour Al Sherbini in straight sets but then immediately offered her Egyptian counterpart words of comfort in a heartening show of sportsmanship.

Welily, 27, seven-years Al Sherbini’s senior, dominated the exchanges at key moments in the game to win 12-10, 17-15 at the Burj Park, Downtown Dubai,

After watching the world champion save three match points in an enthralling second set, she said: “I was just happy it was two games and I didn’t have to play a third game.

“I know she’s been busy lately, so considering the bubble that she’s been in the past two three weeks, she’s actually done pretty well playing that way.”

Al Welily, who is now 3-2 in head-to-heads with Al Sherbini, refused to get carried away with her victory and said: “It’s only the first match in the pool. But I’m happy with the way things have started for me here. Definitely excited to be playing at this great venue, great event.

“But it’s not easy no match is going to be easy so you try to enjoy it as much as possible but you also try and do your best and try to win. I’m just trying to maintain my composure.”

Al Sherbini, who also lost to Al Welily the last time the two Egyptian’s met in the Windy City Open in Chicago, the United States, in March, was positive in defeat and said: “Losing the tiebreak in both games is hard, but it could have gone either way.

“We’ve played a lot of tough matches between us, but I’m happy with the way I’m playing even if I lost. I’m looking forward to the next match. Tomorrow’s another day, I’m just going to focus and to just go on court and do my best.”

Strong start

Meanwhile, former world champion Gregory Gaultier from France, made a strong start in his bid to win a third PSA World Series Final, with a crushing 11-2 11-9 victory over Germany’s Simon Rosner.

Gaultier, who believes that he is in the best form of his life and can replicate his wins of 2008 and 2009, was fast off the blocks and had the first set wrapped up even before his opponent could settle down.

“It is warm out there and you expect to struggle to breathe but I am fit and in good shape so I didn’t struggle with the conditions physically,” said Gaultier, who dazzled with his resume of shots and flowing court craft.

“But the conditions make the court bouncy and makes the rallies longer so you have to be careful not to be too aggressive or try and finish it off too quick — there’s a balance between patience and aggressiveness.

“Playing best of three is tough because it’s hard to take your opponent into a really tough physical battle so I was happy to be able to push through and take the match in two games and enjoy the afternoon now.”

The Frenchman took his overall record to 14-1 with his win against power-hitter Rosner. In another mini-upset, eight-seeded Australian Cameron Pilley claimed a first victory over Egypt’s Omar Mosaad, the fourth seed, winning 11-7, 5-11, 11-5 in 52 minutes.

Laura Massaro, the top seeded women’s player recorded a clinical 11-7, 13-11 win over fifth seeded Egyptian Nouran Gohar.


(7) Camille Serme (France) beat (6) Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egypt) 11-9 13-11

(8) Cameron Pilley (Australia) beat (4) Omar Mosaad (Egypt) 11-7 5-11 11-6

(4) Raneem El Welily (Egypt) beat (2) Nour El Sherbini (Egypt) 12-10 17-15

(2) Gregory Gaultier (France) beat (6) Simon Rosner (Germany)11-2 11-

By Leslie Wilson

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