Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-2  Raneem El
11/2, 7/11, 11/9, 6/11,
 Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-0  Nouran Gohar (Egy)
11/5, 11/5, 11/5 (29m)
Massaro & Sherbini set up repeat final
Two years after they clashed in the final in Penang, Laura
Massaro and Nour El Sherbini are set to meet in a
second Women's World final in Malaysia after contrasting
seed Massaro was the first player to reach the final as she came
through an hour-long up and down tussle with Raneem El Welily.
The Egyptian took her time to get started as Massaro raced
through the opening game 11/2, but quickly picked up her game to
Welily maintained the momentum to lea 8-3 and 9-4 in the third,
but Massaro regained the lead with a run of seven unanswered
levelled again, and in the decider Massaro made a push for the
line as she pulled clear to earn four match balls at 10-6.
Welily - who let match balls slip against Nicol David in the
2014 final - saved those, but it was the Englishwoman who took
the next two points to reach another Worlds final in Malaysia.
"Raneem and I always have battles and she’s such a good
player," said Massaro. "She played well in patches, I played
well in patches and in some ways it’s a fair result. I went a
bit tentative on my match balls and she got it back to 10-all, I
thought I was due a point."
The second semi, a repeat of the all-Egyptian British Open final
between Sherbini and Nouran Gohar, was much more straightforward
as the in-form Sherbini powered through all three games 11/5 to
finish the match in just under half an hour.
want to win this world title for myself, my country, my family,
everyone. I'll give it 100% in the final," said Sherbini.
"Laura will be a tough player though and even though she
played a five-setter I know she’ll be ready in the final.
“Every time we’ve played it’s gone to five but I’m hoping the
title will be mine this time."
2014 final finished 11/9 in the fifth to the Englishwoman,
so the chances are it will be another cracking climax,
between the current world numbers one and two ...
Photos from Alex Wan
 Raneem El Welily (Egy) 3-1  Amanda Sobhy (Usa)
12/10, 11/7 (42m)
 Laura Massaro (Eng) 3-1  Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)
11/8, 11/7 (37m)
 Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-1  Nicol David (Mas)
11/3, 11/7 (33m)
 Nouran Gohar (Egy) 3-2  Camille Serme
12/10, 7/11, 5/11, 11/8 (64m)
Egyptians in the semis
as Sherbini dethrones David ...
third seed Raneem El Welily was the first player to reach
the semi-finals in KL as she beat American Amanda Sobhy
in four games.
was on fire in the first, striking winners from all over the
court, but the tables turned in the second with Sobhy on top and
the Egyptian camp looking worried.
Welily found her touch again to take a 9/2 lead in the third,
but errors again allowed a solid Sobhy back into the game. The
Egyptian held on to retake the lead, and was ahead throughout
the fourth to reach the semis and extend her H2H lead over Sobhy
seed Laura Massaro made sure that it wouldn't be an
all-Egyptian semi-final - in the top half at least - when she
beat Omneya Abdel Kawy in four games.
Dominant in the first, Massaro found herself on the wrong end of
Kawy's delicate skills in the second, but the Egyptian's error
count proved costly in the next two games as Massaro moved
through to a meeting with Welily in for a place in the final.
knew she'd step up her game and give me a tough game today, but
I'm happy with how I played and really pleased to be in the
semis," said Massaro. "I feel really at home here in Malaysia."
Next up was a much-anticipated clash between home favourite
Nicol David, the defending champion, and Nour El Sherbini,
the young Egyptian who had beaten David in their last four
matches. They were seeded 2 and 5, the reverse of current world
rankings, and the match held true to current form.
urged on by the home crowd, moved ahead in the first but
couldn't convert game balls at 10-7 and 11-10 as Sherbini took
the lead 14-12.
David was back on top in the second to quickly level , but in
the last two games Sherbini forced the eight-time champion onto
the defensive with ferocious hitting, picking off anything loose
as she dominated to take the match and end David's reign - as
she had in the semi-final in Penang two years ago.
final match saw a third Egyptian winner as world junior champion
Nouran Gohar and Camille Serme engaged in another
tough five-setter, as they did in the recent British Open. Gohar
took the first two games but Serme tightened up to force a
In the fifth Gohar led 4-1, Serme recovered to lead 7-4, but it
was Gohar who was stronger in the end as she closed out the win
to set up a meeting with Sherbini.
"I expected a very tough match, Camille is a great fighter,"
said Gohar, "and like our match in the British Open, it could
have gone either way, I just managed to get a couple of points
at the end."
Photos from Alex Wan
David's reign ends
27-Apr, Round TWO:
Top eight through to quarters in KL
two got under way with a cracker as Amanda Sobhy
stormed into a two-game lead over long-time rival Nour El
Tayeb, only to see the Egyptian, returning to action from an
extended injury layoff, take the next two game to level.
In the decider it was the American whose nerve held as she
claimed a quarter-final place with a 12-10 win.
El Welily was next through, with a straight-games win
over Joelle King, followed by top seed Laura Massaro
with a simple enough win over Joshna Chinappa.
“I wanted to go out there and make a really fast start
and try and be positive from the beginning,” said Massaro.
Home hopes were raised when Delia Arnold took the first game
against Omneya Abdel Kawy, but the experienced
Egyptian sixth seed took the next three, all close, to
clinch a place in the quarter-finals in just under an hour.
evening session kicked off with an all-Egyptian match, world
junior champion Nouran Gohar beating qualifier Nadine
Shahin in three games.
The seeds kept on winning as Camille Serme and home
favourite Nicol David beat Englishwomen Sarah-Jane
Perry and Alison Waters in straight games.
The last match saw British Open champion Nour El Sherbini
beat Annie Au in four games to make it all eight seeds
through to the quarters, where Sherbini will meet Nicol
David in a repeat of their semi-final in Penang two years
"Nicol is playing here in Malaysia in her home town and
everyone is going to come and support her," said Sherbini.
"I’m just going to play and try
to do my best and I’m sure it’s going to be a tough one.
26-Apr, Round One (Bottom):
FLASH: Gohar through v Aumard, Shahin dumps Duncalf, Serme stops
Chan, Perry passes Blatchford, Annie outlasts Dipika ...
Sherbini half-dozens Donna ... David survives in five ...
Waters in four ...
Last sixteen decided in KL as David
second day of first round action saw an early upset as
teenage Egyptian qualifier Nadine Shahin beat former
finalist Jenny Duncalf in straight games, setting up a
second round meeting with world junior champion Nouran
Gohar, a repeat of their BJO final earlier in the year.
was almost a much bigger upset as former champion Rachael
Grinham rolled back the years to take a 2-1 lead over
home favourite Nicol David, but the eight-time and
defending champion cruised through the last two games to
allay the crowd's worries.
Elsewhere there were wins for Alison Waters, Annie Au,
Camille Serme and Sarah-Jane Perry.
Full report from Alex Wan
Shahin delivered the sole upset of the Naza PSA Women’s
World Championship after knocking out England’s Jenny
And it could have been two upsets, probably the biggest
upset in world meet history, after Malaysian squash queen
Nicol David survived a harrowing five-setter against
Australia’s Rachael Grinham.
a thrilling contest between two world champions, Nicol, the
world number five, needed to throw out everything she had
before pulling off an 11-4, 8-11, 8-11, 11-1, 11-2 win over
the 39-year-old Grinham.
The eight-time world title holder had started strongly
taking the first 11-4 in a flash. But Grinham, world
champion in 2007, had other ideas as she changed tactics and
played one amazing shot after another to take the next two
Nicol however regained her composure and took 11 straight
points in the fourth to level the tie. That took the fight
out of Grinham as Nicol eventually completed the comeback in
“I think Rachael got a string of winners in the second and
she certainly caught me off guard with a few shots,” said
Nicol. “I knew I had to figure out something in the third
but she was four to five points ahead and she started taking
“I had to step it up in and stay in the rallies. I forced my
game through and I felt that it was taking a toll on her.
“I’m glad to get through. It’s a bit of excitement for the
crowd too as it’s not often you meet another world champion
in the first round,” added Nicol who takes on England’s
Alison Waters in the second round.
While Nicol squeezed through, the day certainly belonged to
18-year-old Shahin who continued her amazing march by
beating former world number two Duncalf 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 in
“I’m really thrilled and speechless. It’s the first time
that I have made the last 16 of any World Series event,”
said the world number 50 who came through the qualifiers.
“It really means everything to me as I’ve never beaten Jenny
before. But it’s still not over yet for me.”
will take on good friend and world number seven Nouran
Gohar, who eliminated qualifier Coline Aumard 10-12, 11-6,
“Nadine is like my best friend and we play each other a lot
in training and we really know each other’s game. I’m just
hoping to enjoy our match tomorrow,” said Gohar.
A third Egyptian - pre-tournament favourite and world number
Nour El Sherbini also powered through after beating
Australia’s Donna Urquhart 11-6, 11-6, 11-6.
“It looked easy but it’s really not easy. The last time I
played Donna I only beat her in five so I knew what to
expect and how tough it was,” said Sherbini. “I’m always
happy to end it in three though and it gives me some
confidence getting past the first round.”
next meets Hong Kong’s Annie Au, who recovered from blowing
a two-set lead to beat India’s Dipika Pallikal 11-8, 11-9,
6-11, 6-11, 11-7.
“I’ve played Annie many times and I know she has good hands.
She’s so skillful and it’s not going to be easy against
her,” said Sherbini.
French fourth seed Camille Serme also went through after
beating qualifier Joey Chan of Hong Kong 11-9, 11-6, 5-11,
11-4 to set up a second round match with England’s
25-Apr, Round One (Top):
According to plan on Day three ...
Alex Wan reports
The first round of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship got
off to a quick start as the afternoon session turned into a
whitewash, and all the seeded players made it through to the
number 12 Nour El Tayeb, making her first appearance
since the US Open last year, needed just minutes to beat Hong
Kong qualifier Liu Tsz Ling 11-6, 11-7, 11-3.
The 23-year-old showed no signs of that shoulder injury that
laid her out for six months as she quickly sealed her place in
the second round.
“This was my first match in six months and I spoke with my
coaches on how to prepare myself for this match,” said El
Tayeb.“I’ve watched her play before and I knew what to expect. I
was more focused on my own game and it’s a good win as I look to
build up my confidence match by match.
“I’m also feeling a lot stronger since my injury. I had surgery
after the US Open and I don’t think I’ll be doing anymore dives
or splits for a while.”
After El Tayeb, seventh seed Amanda Sobhy got the job
done even quicker as she took 23 minutes to beat Kiwi qualifier
Megan Craig 11-4, 11-5, 11-2.
El Welily and Omneya Abdel Kawy completed the first session
of the day as they both recorded identical 3-0 wins, both in 27
“It was actually tough for me, from the mental point of view. It
was the first match after all. But even though I was all nervous
inside, I managed to look calm in front of everyone,” said world
number three El Welily.“It’s still too early to tell how I’ll do
but I’m definitely happy with the way I played today.”
evening session had India’s top player Joshna Chinappa kicked off with a rather easy 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 win. Joshna had
control of the match and was cruising along as Lust struggled
with her shots and grew increasingly frustrated with herself.
The tournament nearly lost its top seed and world number one
Laura Massaro in the first round. The Englishwoman, famed for
her incredible mental strength and ability to dig herself out of
a bad spot, however came back strong to beat Mexico’s Samantha
Teran 9-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-3.
court felt bouncier when I practiced on it a few days ago. Today
it just felt more dead and I struggled with my length as she
picked me off early,” said Massaro. “I was also feeling a little
flat emotionally and I had to change my body language a little
and lengthen the rallies a little more.
"At 5-9 down in the second, that was when the pressure lifted on
me a little and I managed to dig in and hold on.”
Massaro, the 2013 world champion, takes on Chinappa in the
crowd was slowly building up for the Malaysian double header
later in the evening. But former world number five Low Wee Wern
was unable to deliver as she crashed out in straight sets
despite a good display against New Zealand’s Joelle King.
Wee Wern, who missed months of action due to an anterior
cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, lost 9-11, 6-11, 7-11 to the
The Malaysian did however had something to cheer as world number
15 Delia Arnold delivered a classy performance to beat
Egyptian qualifier Mariam Metwally.
who has never gotten past the first round of the world meet in
six previous attempts, won 12-10, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9 to set up a
second round clash with Kawy.
“It was my first time meeting Mariam and I knew it was going to
be a tough match. But I played well enough to win in four. Now I
have a day’s rest before I prepare to take on Omneya,” said
24-Apr: Qualifying finals
Top seeds fail to make main draw in
as supermom Natalie bows out ...
Alex Wan reports
The qualifying rounds of the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
started on a strong note and ended in superb fashion as well.
Metwally, another rising star from Egypt was the first
through to the main draw after she defeated compatriot Amina Yousry in five games. The 19-year-old, ranked 39th in the
world however, did not have it easy as she fought hard for an
11-13, 11-2, 11-2, 9-11, 11-9 win over the 16-year-old Amina.
It was a superb match between two talented Egyptians which had
excellent shot-making and retrieval, and world number 51 Amina
struck first blood by taking the first 13-11.Mariam however,
came back very strongly to take the second and third sets with
identical 11-2 score lines.
Amina, the youngest player in this tournament however levelled
by taking the fourth 11-9. In the end however it was Mariam who
had a little extra in reserve as she completed the win in 68
“I was nervous in the first because she is younger than me
and I’ve never played her before,” said Mariam.“Amina also
played really, really well. She’s one of the best upcoming
players in her age group. I was more calmed in the second and
third to win 11-2 and that’s when I thought I would have it
easier. I was just too relaxed and I got sleepy. But I kept
fighting until the end and I hope to do better in the main
who is making the main draw of the world meet for the second
time, takes on Malaysian No.2 Delia Arnold on Monday.
On the next court, Mexico’s sixth seeded Samantha Teran
came through with an easy 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 win over Dutch player
Milou van der Heijden.
Kong also had a pair of players - Joey Chan and Liu
Tsz Ling - both easing into the main draw.
There would be no happy returns for supermom
after she was denied a place in the main draw by Olivia
Blatchford. The 38-year-old, runner-up at the world meet
when it was held in KL in 2004, lost out 7-11, 9-11, 7-11 to the
Natalie is a fantastic player and I really admired her. I
watched her over the years and I’ve always learned from her,”
said Blatchford. “She’s incredible as well, having two kids and
yet coming back to play. I really didn’t know how to play her.
Everyone I asked said they hadn’t played her in years. So Iwas
just trying to deprive her of those angles as she is very
creative in her game.”
Fifth seeded Coline Aumard also battled from a game down
to beat Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi 7-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-8 but
seventh seed Fiona Moverley of England was sent packing by New
Zealand’s Megan Craig. The 23-year-old Craig won 11-7,
13-11, 11-9 and she meets US’ Amanda Sobhy in the main draw.
The final qualifying match of the day was another cracker as
18-year-old Nadine Shahin of Egypt produced a top-notch
performance to beat second seed Line Hansen of Denmark. The
world No.50 was just too good on the day as she won 10-12, 11-7,
11-7, 11-4 and earn herself a date with England’s Jenny Duncalf
in the main draw.
“It’s the first time I made the main draw of the worlds. I
tried two years ago in Egypt but I didn’t get through,” said an
elated Nadine. It’s also my first time beating Line. It’s really
the first for everything and I still can’t believe it.”
23-Apr, Qualifying Round One:
Amina Yousry beats top seed Fernandes
as locals bow out ...
Alex Wan reports
The much awaited Naza PSA Women’s World Championship finally got
underway at the National Squash Centre, Bukit Jalil.
And first day of qualifying got off to a bang as 16-year-old
Egyptian Amina Yousry proved her credentials as yet
another emerging talent with an upset of qualifying top seed
The world No.51 played with power and maturity beyond her tender
years as she dispatched world No.24 Fernandes with an 11-6,
11-6, 13-11 win in 34 minutes.
On the next court, another Egyptian teenager -
Metwally was getting the job done even faster as she rushed
her way to an 11-1, 11-3, 11-1 win over Lotte Eriksen of Norway.
Metwally’s match took just 16 minutes - the fastest match of the
Malaysia had eight players in the qualifying rounds and
Rachel Arnold had the best opportunity as she took on
Holland’s Milou van der Heijden.
The SEA Games gold medallist however, will live to regret this
day as she blew five match ball opportunities in the deciding
rubber to lose 6-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 10-12.
The 20-year-old Rachel had saved a match ball in the third set
and appeared to have gained the momentum over van der Heijden.
Inexperience and nerves got the better of her eventually as the
Dutch player stole the win after 47 minutes.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight. It’ll probably
be a while before I get over this loss,” said Rachel. “I think I
got too excited in the end and I was too eager to finish it off.
Maybe I should have tried my best to hang in there and it’s
definitely a hard lesson learned for me.”
World No.46 van der Heijden however was pleased with herself for
the comeback win. “I just kept trying and I just told myself
not to give up,” said van der Heijden. It was tough because
after two sets I was struggling to get to her shots.
“Maybe it was experience on my part but I’m just very happy to
go through. Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll be trying my best
Rachel was indeed the closest to pulling off a win as the other
seven - S. Sivasangari, Vanessa Raj, Andrea Lee, Zoe Foo, Aika
Azman,Teh Min Jie and Nazihah Hanis came nowhere close.
World No.73 Sivasangari, who won three straight PSA titles in a
row, can however stand tall after giving Egypt’s world No.50
Nadine Shahin a fight before losing 8-11, 4-11, 12-10, 7-11.
“I’m just so tired after playing so many matches in the last
two weeks. I tried to give chase in the third and fourth sets
but while I was mentally strong, physically I was spent,”
18-year-old Nadine now holds a 3-0 record over Sivasangari but
she admits each match just got tougher.
“She just won three titles in a row and she came up with a
lot of confidence. We’ve always had tough encounters in the past
but this was definitely the hardest,” said Shahin.
“But I’m happy to get into the next round. It’ll be tough again
but we are hungry players and I’ll do my best,” added Shahin who
takes on second seed Line Hansen next.
The other qualifying matches were all straightforward affairs,
except for eighth seed Liu Tsz Ling’s encounter with
Australia’s Christine Nunn.
The world No.30 had to fight her way to an 11-9, 11-9, 8-11,
9-11, 11-9 win over the world No.40 in a match that lasted
exactly an hour.
“The last time I played Christine I won 3-2 and it was just
as hard this time,” said Tsz Ling. She now meets Wales’ Deon Saffery for a place in the main draw.