El Weleily Triumphs In Thrilling Cleveland Battle
Raneem El Weleily closed out a thrilling five-game victory over Nicol David to claim the 2013 Gold50 Cleveland Classic.
The second seed had seen a relatively untroubled progression to the final having dropped just one game, to Sarah Kippax in round one, before moving past Annie Au and Alison Waters in straight games.
Her opponent had similar fortunes throughout the event, moving past Jenny Duncalf and Low Wee Wern in three, before dispatching Madeline Perry to four games in last night’s semi-final.
El Weleily twice came from a game down against the world No.1, whose precision and dominance on court was not enough for her to add to her record breaking haul of 66 WSA titles on this occasion.
David got off to a flying start in the opening game of the contest, with El Weleily typically taking some time to warm up her array of attacking shots. 11-3 is not the start most players would like to final, but El Weleily was not to be put off by the start, and stormed back into the match to hold a 10-2 lead over her opponent. David began to chip away at the deficit, but the Egyptian showed more confidence in her front court game to see off a dominant second game win.
The Malaysian put herself back in front in a much closer third game tie, decided only in the final stages with David using her experience to force the errors from her opponent at 8-9 down to retake the lead with the third game.
The Egyptian fought back again though and levelled the scores to force the deciding game with another confident win. At 4-all, a flurry of winners from the 24-year-old gave her a strong lead, before a further two points gave her game ball, with David unable to respond.
The decider was a close cat-and-mouse affair, with David’s usual precision and accuracy unaccounted for due the pressure of El Weleily’s attacking flair. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9-all marked the score of an incredibly close game, but it was another error from the Malaysian that offered up match-ball to El Weleily. A scrambled final rally ended as David clipped another drop into the tin to give her opponent the well-deserved title. This was the Egyptian’s second defeat of the seven-time World Champion, the first coming in last year’s Malaysian Open final, and is the sixth WSA title of her career.
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 3-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9