Raneem: I’ve dealt with my demons
By NATHAN CLARKE in Cairo
The semi-finals of the Women’s Wadi Degla Open, the PSA W50 tournament taking place in Cairo, Egypt, will see former World No.1s Nicol David and Raneem El Welily go head-to-head on Egyptian soil for the first time since the 2014 Women’s World Championship – when David saved four match balls to win her eighth world crown and deny El Welily an historic win.
Since that win David has won just one from four encounters with El Welily and, with the duo currently sitting at No.4 and No.5 on the World Rankings, they came through their respective encounters with Nour El Tayeb and Donna Urquhart to set up what promises to be a highly competitive last four battle.
David has failed to reach a final on her last nine PSA World Tour outings but put in an impressive performance to come from behind, edging a decisive second game 12-10, to see off El Tayeb in a victory that will bolster her confidence as she seeks to rediscover her title-winning form in Egypt.
“I had to really step up and stay composed with that I needed to do today,” said David. “She has flair when she has time and is really hard to read. I needed to enforce my game, I needed that second game to push me through to the end.
“My consistency paid of today and I needed to stay in there and work as hard as I could, because you don’t want to be staying in there too long. I’m just pleased to win 3-1.”
El Welily also secured her semi-final place courtesy of a 3-1 win, recovering from dropping the second game against Urquhart to come through.
“I had a mental crack, a storm of a bad attitude that I was trying to control,” said El Welily. “Luckily I managed to get over my demons inside and get the win. Next match I’m hoping I can play as well as I played the last time against Nicol.
“It’s all about containing myself and my attitude. I’m going to try to get the best out of the rest day tomorrow and get ready for the match.”
Women’s Wadi Degla Open, Cairo, Egypt:
Quarter-finals (Top Half):
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-1: 6-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8 (60m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Donna Urquhart (AUS) 3-1: 14-12, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9 (43m)
Quarter-finals: (Bottom Half) To Be Played November 2:
[Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) v [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL)
[Q] Mariam Metwally (EGY) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of PSA