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Raneem El Welily and Mohamed ElShorbagy make it an Egyptian double at US Open

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad, the Kent Open and co-promoter of the Canary Wharf Classic. Launched the Squash 200 Partnership to build clubs of the future. Talks a bit.

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Champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily flanked by runners-up Simon Rosner and Nour El Sherbini

World champions win on World Squash Day
By SEAN REUTHE in Philadelphia 

Reigning world champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily claimed silverware on finals night at the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships after they defeated Germany’s Simon Rösner and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, respectively, at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.

Before a packed crowd on World Squash Day, the 2017 runner-up ElShorbagy captured his third U.S. Open title after the World No.1 twice recovered from a game down before putting in a superb fifth-game display to overcome World No.5 Rösner by an 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 margin in the men’s final.

The 27-year-old Egyptian, who lost to World No.2 Ali Farag in last year’s final, had beaten Rösner in all 14 of their previous encounters on the PSA Tour and he weathered some attacking squash from the German to extend that record, lifting the 34th PSA Tour title of his career – and his first of the season – in the process.

“I need to give credit to Rösner, he played amazing throughout the whole week,” said ElShorbagy.

“I’m pleased we had a fair battle. I’m pleased to win my third U.S. Open title. I lost last year and I was a bit disappointed, but I lost to the better player and had no regrets.

“This year, I wanted to come and try and do one match better and luckily I was able to do that and it came together this week.” 

Nour El Sherbini (left) and Raneem El Welily in action

Meanwhile, El Welily has become U.S. Open champion for the first time after a scintillating display from the World No.2 saw her beat fellow Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in straight games to improve on last year’s runner-up finish.

The top two women in the world had met 18 times on the PSA Tour – with both players enjoying nine wins apiece coming into tonight’s match – while they contested six finals during the 2017-18 season.

And a superb display of attacking squash from El Welily saw her dominate the encounter to win in just 33 minutes, with an 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 victory seeing her etch her name into the prestigious trophy for the first time, while she has also closed the gap between herself and El Sherbini in the battle for the World No.1 spot.

Reigning World Champion El Welily – who won the China Squash Open at the start of the season – came close last year to taking the title at Drexel University, but fell to compatriot Nour El Tayeb in a 3-2 final. However, this year she put those demons firmly to bed to etch her name on the trophy in scintillating style.

The 29-year-old Egyptian started brightly and then never faded as she played with consistent swagger and style to rattle off a series of winners and leave the World No.1 without reply to wrap up an emphatic 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 victory in 33 minutes.

The win over El Sherbini means that El Welily comes closer to retaining her World No.1 status with the lead held by the 22-year-old Egyptian at the top of the rankings being cut down dramatically.

“Last year I made it to the final and couldn’t quite make it to the end,” said El Welily after lifting the 19th PSA Tour title of her career.
“I’m very glad that I managed to make it one [step] further this time. The U.S. Open has been one of the titles that I have always loved and a title that I have wanted to win for a long time now.
“It’s definitely a special moment for me. Nour has had a great week and has played really well and I look forward to many more matches this season. I’m sure she will come back fighting and they will be good battles. Hopefully I can get back to World No.1, it’s my dream and I will continue to fight for it.”

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ElShorbagy and El Welily will both take home prize money totalling $22,800 each, while they have become the first players to qualify for the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals.
The PSA World Tour Finals features both a men’s and women’s tournament and brings together the reigning PSA World Champions and all seven PSA World Tour Platinum title winners, with any remaining places being allocated to the highest ranked players on the PSA World Tour Finals Leaderboard.

FS Investments US Open 2018, Daskalakis Athletic Center, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA.

Men’s Final:
(1) Mohamed Elshorbagy (EGY) beat (4) Simon Rösner (GER) 3-2: 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 (73m)

Women’s Final:
(2) Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt (1) Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (33m)

Report by SEAN REUTHE (PSA PR and Media Manager). Edited by ALAN THATCHER.

Pictures courtesy of PSA


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