RESULTS: Women’s CIMB Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11 (52m)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-9, 11-9, 11-3 (26m)
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 Lumpurfor 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 appetite earlier.”
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 won though.
“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 Hisam
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