Friday, March 1, 2024

WISPA: Raneem downs Duncalf to win Weymuller final

Raneem El Weleily won the biggest title of her career this week in New York at the Gold 45 CarolWeymuller Open, taking out four top 10 stars along the way in devastating style.The tournament was at full strength with 16 of the top 20 players in the world taking part.
El Weleily’s title chances almost ended in the first round when she had to save 2 match balls againstworld no.5 Laura Massaro before beating the British Champion 13-11 in the fifth. The first round saw all 8matches being extended to at least 4 games. New Zealand’s no.1 Joelle King also upset the seedings to beatOmneya Abdel Kawy 12-10 in the fifth. There were also tough wins for defending champion and top seedJenny Duncalf, Madeline Perry, Rachael Grinham, Kasey Brown, Camille Serme and Annie Au.
The quarter finals featured some highly entertaining matches which kept the crowds enthralled throughout. World no.2 Jenny Duncalf played the perfect match against Joelle King, not allowing the Kiwi to playher strong attacking game and won in straight games. Madeline Perry dropped the first game to Annie Aubut kept her patience and started to find her length in the second before dominating the rest of match.Kasey Brown won the Aussie battle with Rachael Grinham. Brown had never beaten Grinham before in six attempts and after the first game it looked like it would be 7 wins in a row for Grinham. Brown stepped upthe court and controlled the T with exquisite volleys and went on to take the match in 4 games. El Weleilycame through another 5 setter, this time coming from 2-0 down to beat Camille Serme in the match of thenight. The match could have gone either way but it was Weleily risk taking that paid off on the key points.
The semi finals saw both winners play near perfect squash. Weleily continued her amazing run, this timeupsetting Perry in straight games. The Egyptian edged a tough opening game 14-12. This proved to becrucial and her confidence rose and she played faultless squash to win it 11-0. Weleily stayed strong in the3rd and halted a Perry comeback to win it 11/8 and move into her biggest final. Duncalf had a great recordagainst Brown, only losing once in 8 previous meetings, but 4 of those matches had gone the distance.This time Duncalf was in imperious form and didn’t allow Brown to step up and control the match. Thedefending champion won in straight games and moved into her 4th Carol Weymuller final in a row.
The final was played in front of a packed show court. Weleily had never previously beaten Duncalf in 4 meetings but once again started the match playing quality attacking squash, at 7-7 Weleily broke awayto take the game 11-7. Duncalf looked to be back in control in the second and moved into a 10-6 lead. Theworld no.2 couldn’t convert her game balls and after some incredible rallies Weleily took the game 15-13.On the verge of winning her biggest title, she could have been forgiven for showing signs of nerves, but instead it seemed to fire her up even more and she forced the pressure on Duncalf even more, attacking anything loose. At 5-3 up Weleily broke away and took the 3rd game 11-4.
A 3rd career title for Raneem El Weleily and her first Gold level title. It was a fantastic week for her and will likely see her move into the world’s top 8 in next month’s ranking.
A great tournament, featuring high quality matches from the start. Congratulations to Linda Elriani and the rest of the organising team. We look forward to seeing the tournament back even bigger and better nextyear.
All the players now go onto Philadelphia for the US Open with the main draw starting on October 2.
Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) 11/7 15/13 11/4
Semi Finals:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [5] Kasey Brown (AUS) 11/8 11/6 11/9Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [2] Madeline Perry (IRL) 14/12 11/0 11/8
Quarter Finals:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Joelle King (NZL) 11/8 11/4 11/6[5] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) 7/11 11/8 11/5 11/6Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [7] Camille Serme (FRA) 9/11 9/11 11/8 11/9 11/9[2] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [8] Annie Au (HKG) 11/13 11/6 11/3 11/8
1st Round:
[1] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) 8/11 11/6 11/8 11/5Joelle King (NZL) bt [6] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 11/3 11/7 9/11 15/17 12/10[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt Donna Urquhart (AUS) 11/7 4/11 11/5 11/7[5] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt [Q] Joey Chan (HKG) 9/11 12/10 11/2 11/6[7] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Samantha Teran (MEX) 9/11 11/9 11/8 12/10Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [4] Laura Massaro (ENG) 6/11 11/5 11/6 7/11 13/11[8] Annie Au (HKG) bt [Q] Emma Beddoes (ENG) 6/11 11/8 11/9 13/11[2] Madeline Perry (IRL) bt [Q] Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11/6 11/13 11/6 11/7

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