Saturday, April 13, 2024

Rowan Elaraby beats Sivasangari Subramaniam in Weymuller final to achieve her biggest tournament triumph

Immaculate control helps world No.8 to bring it home in Brooklyn
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad Editor

Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby achieved her biggest tournament victory by beating Malaysia’s playing Sivasangsari Subramaniam in the final of the $50k Carol Weymuller Open.

The world No.8 from Alexandria won 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 to claim her seventh PSA title in a high-quality match lasting 46 minutes against a hugely talented opponent who was the first College player to reach a Weymuller final at Heights Casino in Brooklyn.

The last time these two played, at the Manchester Open i9n August last year, world No.22 Subramaniam won in straight games but it was Elaraby who began in confident mood to win the first 11-7.

Both players are very much on-form, play with quite similar styles and enjoy a precise, attacking game. Elaraby found her rhythm and game plan first. She was taking the ball early, finding her length and for the most part stopping Siva from playing her attacking game to its best and forced some errors from her.

In the second game it was Siva’s time to control the play. She found her length, was more patient and pushed up the court well. Subramaniam’s length was more consistent so her chances to be creative and attacking in the front were more frequent and she was rewarded with an 11-6 win.

The third was crucial and it was the most closely contested. The score seesawed until it reached 8-8. Subramaniam allowed too many crosscourt shots to go past her and that gave Elaraby valuable time to recover and get the T.

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The Malaysian made a few mistakes with some out of court crosscourts of her own and just got too fancy when the basic fundamentals would have served her better, allowing Elaraby to win the game 11-9.

In the fourth game Subramaniam managed to build a 5-3 lead, but Elaraby found her rhythm and her length progressively improved. She played with maturity and focus to progress to match ball at 10-6 and she clinched the title on a stroke.

After the 46-minute final a delighted Elaraby was asked how she felt about achieving the biggest tournament win of her career. She replied: “Overwhelmed! I’m really happy. I have been training really hard to come this far. This is my biggest title so far. I wouldn’t have done this without the help of my coach, Kika.

“I think I stuck to the plan today, concentrating on my length as Siva has great hands and is really tricky. So I had to make sure I didn’t give her the opportunity to attack. I think I lost concentration in the second game but I tried to remind myself to hit it hard and deep and it worked in the end.

“It’s amazing to be here and it feels like home. The crowd is amazing, I think they made a huge difference in the tournament. Actually I want to thank you (Linda Elriani). It’s a great tournament and I can’t wait to come back next year!”

Tournament director Elriani said: “The crowd appreciated this wonderful match between two incredible young women. Watching both players display world class, hard fought squash with such tremendous sportsmanship and respect for each other was really heartwarming and inspiring.

“We were all very privileged to witness this match this afternoon and the squash all week, and it definitely makes us already feel excited to have them all back for the next Carol Weymuller Open.

“The interesting thing about having a tournament in a club like the Heights Casino is that you get to know the players as they are around the club all week.

“Rowan and Siva are both sweet, humble and grateful people off the court. It has been so fun to see Siva playing for the first time and to have Rowan back now as a top ranked player. I am definitely a huge Rowan and Siva fan now!”

PSA Bronze $51,250 Women’s Carol Weymuller Open 2022, Heights Casino, Brooklyn, New York, USA.

[1] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) bt [6] Sivasangari Subramaniam (MAS) 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6 (46m) 

Pictures courtesy of JEAN ERVASTI


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