Raneem’s Red Sea renaissance rocks Laura
By SEAN REUTHE
The 2014 runner-up Raneem El Welily ended a four-match losing streak against 2013 winner Laura Massaro in the last eight of the Orascom Development PSA Women’s World Championship to set up a semi-final clash with World No.3 Camille Serme, whose battle with Joshna Chinappa had to be relocated to another venue due to rainfall.
On the glass court staged in El Gouna’s New Marina – on the banks of the Red Sea – the enigmatic World No.5 El Welily came back from a game down to defeat last year’s finalist Massaro, less than a month after she lost out to the World No.2 at the same stage of the British Open.
El Welily played some impressive squash matched with a focus that has sometimes been missing in her game to record an 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-6 victory, avenging last year’s World Championship semi-final defeat to the Englishwoman in Kuala Lumpur.
“I had absolutely nothing to lose today, I was keen on playing and keeping the rallies going,” said El Welily.
“This has made a huge difference for me mentally today. She’s obviously a very strong player mentally and it’s hard to break her. To beat her today is absolutely fantastic.
“I wasn’t doing the wrong things in the first game, I was doing the right things but I was a bit passive. I tried to find my rhythm and tried to get in front of her as much as possible and I think that worked. I’m happy to be in the semi-finals and I’m sure that the next match is going to be really hard.”
France’s Serme will compete in only her second ever World Championship semi-final after she prevailed in a titanic five-game encounter with Indian No.1 Joshna Chinappa.
Their match was a casualty of the weather, thus taking place on the traditional courts, where Chinappa had played her first and second round matches, while Serme had only practiced on the glass court.
And Chinappa’s experience on the traditional courts showed as she took Serme all the way to five games, eventually losing 11-3 in the fifth to send 28-year-old Serme into the last four.
“To be honest, I think it [her experience on the traditional courts] was an advantage because she has played two matches on there,” said Serme.
“She knew how to play on it and I felt a bit nervous coming back here because I haven’t practised on these courts for a few days. I think it was an advantage for her, they were tough conditions, we had to change courts last minute and the crowd was so loud.
“I know it’s the same for both players, but it was a tough match.”
Orascom Development PSA Women’s World Championship, El Gouna, Egypt.
Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half):
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG) 3-1: 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-6 (46m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt  Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-2: 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3 (70m)
Semi-Finals (To Be Played April 13th):
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
Pictures courtesy of PSA