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Hurghada International 2007
07-13 May, Egypt
, $21k

13-May, Finals:            

[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt [2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)     9/4, 9/6, 9/4 (44m)

A musical prelude ...
WISPA reports from the Red Sea

Last night the town of Hurghada teemed with literally tens of thousands of people thronging the central square and surrounding areas to listen to a pop concert staged there. Headed by Tamer Hosany; young, apparently fanciable and certainly famous in these parts, it was fiesta time.

Now after the night off the carnival moved to the Promenade for the denouement of the Hurghada International. A smaller attendance than the concert, but full and festive, and hoping for a home victory by Omneya Abdel Kawy over Rachael Grinham.

Of course they had contested the last three finals so nothing new here. Indeed Grinham had played the 2003 one too, going down to Carol Owens.

An intro game to be played first. Karim Darwish had been present to support fiancé Engy Kheirallah, but now he was joined by Ramy Ashour to play a best of three before the final. Ashour, the hottest property on the men's tour, a warm-up act! It will certainly have made the two finalists feel even more important - as if live national TV was not already doing so.

"It was a real relief. I was just happy to have played well and to have been really focused. If anything it was better than yesterday.

"Sometimes it has been a bit disappointing to come off court recently knowing I could have played a bit better but didn't.

"I wasn't confident coming into the event but I played well against Engy and carried it forward tonight. The mental thing is very important when you are playing a top player."

"She was too fast and getting everything today and not making mistakes. I couldn't find my game and even when I played okay she was getting everything.

"When you want something really badly it can turn the other way like for me today.

"I was so tired at the end, even with the crowd trying to help me I couldn't do anything."

Not the first time ...

With the two semi final pairings and their outcomes mirroring last year these two make a compelling case for playing the final on the first day and working backwards to reach the possible surprises and upsets at the end!

But the outcome here tonight was anything but certain. Grinham had won their first two final meetings; Abdel Kawy raced into a 2/0 lead last year before being pegged back and getting home in the deciding game of a pulsating final. Everybody, not least the hosting Sindbad Hotel staff, had a view on who would win. Media, officials and referees tended very marginally towards Grinham, but the hotel group despite only the haziest idea about squash were not surprisingly very solid behind the Egyptian.

The difference this year has been the increased expectation on the 21 year old from Cairo. She was going into the final as holder and would welcome the catharsis of a victory. And perhaps Grinham was already through her recent dip when self-doubt was a little more to the fore. She had certainly been relaxed enough, comfortable with the heat, the lively conditions and the crowd behind her foe.

As rackets were spun a loud shout of ‘Rachael, you are the best’ in a distinctly non-Egyptian accent brought smiles from both players and a raucous response from the hundreds who outnumbered him.
The Main Match ...

The early exchanges saw Grinham patient and Abdel Kawy looking for opportunities to volley. The quiet, punctuated by babies crying (which may have been a local fad in ringtones instead) told a story. Grinham was building an early lead. The home volume rose as Abdel Kawy slotted away a few nifty volleys to move into a 4/3 lead.

By the normally adventurous standards of both players, the rallying was more restrained, though not to the point of negativity. This suited the Australian as she had her eye in and was pressuring her opponent into missing by small margins. Just down, very slightly out, Grinham was slowly winning the game in one hand.

The top seed decided not to follow the adage of not changing a winning formula as she started the second driving lower and allowing the Egyptian, black clad as ever, to get in front more. She developed a 4/0 lead before Grinham threw the float switch and moved into lobbing mode; time and time again. The dynamics were speedily changed as she moved from 0/4 down to 8/4 up, again in one hand. While there was a recovery of sorts it was not a comeback and another drifting ball could only be scraped back by Abdel Kawy to allow Grinham to go two games up with the easiest of short kills.

We were now at the reverse of the first two games from the final twelve months ago. But this time there would be no comeback.

Chanting of her name welcomed the Egyptian number one back onto the court, and the cheers seemed to buoy her as winners were slotted home and another early lead achieved. Four love again. The same Australian climb as more errors found their way into the Egyptian’s repertoire. Back to four all again. Now the stands resonated with encouraging chanting for their girl. Grinham’s single voluble supporter was silent but as in the previous games the momentum had shifted decisively.

Grinham reached match ball, and took the title on the second with a drop played with her opponent pinned behind.
A flamboyant ending ...

Formal tribute was made to Mr Ibrahim Hegazy, Chief Editor of Al Ahram Sports Weekly and driving force behind the enduring event before Tamer Hosany was smuggled into view to ecstatic cheering.

He serenaded the players and crowd before leading his fans along the Promenade singing all the way like a pied piper.

A flamboyant end to an enervating week.

11-May, Semi-Finals:            

[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt [3] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)             9/2, 9/7, 3/9, 9/2 (67m)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt [4] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)    9/7, 9/2, 9/3 (28m)

It's Rachael & Omneya again ...
WISPA reports from the Red Sea

A 35c day made the conditions a little more equable as evening became night (though quite when one actually turns into the other is a mystery!).

As for the semi finals of the Hurghada International being played on a glass court straddling a promenade which winds down between hotels and beach, the top four seeds had made it through, and with three of the quartet being Egyptian the atmosphere was febrile with anticipation. Especially so because many pundits expected Raneem El Weleily to really challenge second seed Omneya Abdel Kawy.

Five finals for Rachael

But first the interloper. Rachael Grinham, top seed, finalist for the last four years and twice winner in that time. The spectators are never quite sure how to deal with her. They like her deceptive style and the fact that she has made Cairo her home for six years; but she is also a threat to Egyptian success so reaction is respectful and polite rather than enthusiastic.

Opponent Engy Kheirallah would get all the support, and would need the bolstering as she had not been at her best in the preceding two nights. There is a fine line between being on song and not quite in the zone. She would need to cross it to match her Shorouk City based opponent.

However, although Kheirallah had lost to Grinham in all their five WISPA Tour matches, the last two had gone to a decider.

She also had the boost of a recent final win in the Egyptian Nationals over Abdel Kawy and a domestic league victory over Grinham.

And Grinham herself has suffered a little in the confidence department as she was overtaken by Nicol David and sister Natalie in the WISPA rankings since sitting atop for sixteen months during 2004 / 5

Both players signalled much the same intent with an initially cautious approach. Showing restraint, generally being patient. Jockeying led to occasional openings – which were more regularly taken by Grinham, and with them the first game.

The ministrations of the Kheirallah camp headed by National Coach Amir Wagih seemed to instil great purpose in their player. The second was altogether more competitive with improved length from the Egyptian, A 5/3 lead was established before the diminutive Aussie pegged her back with a couple of backhand holds. Rallies became straighter, defending more staunch. The avocado topped Egyptian missed a drop to give away a game ball, converted with a feathered boast.

Wagih and Karim Darwish were animatedly conversing on the Kheirallah bench, newly arrived Maha Zein cajoling Grinham.

While it appeared that continued focus would see Grinham through, some mid game errors in the third said otherwise. Fragile confidence or just a blip? Either way Kheirallah seized the chance and pressed home the advantage as she covered Grinham’s increasingly and injudiciously employed short game with more élan.

The game was won, the stands erupted; chanting the Egyptian’s name in song. The forment was more soccer than squash.

But that was the only high point for the third seed as Grinham recovered to better balance attack and defence and keep a greater level of rally control. This enabled her to close out the match and reach her fifth Hurghada final in as many years.

She was clearly relieved to get home in four games, commenting ‘I always have tough games with Engy these days. But today I felt comfortable on the court, it wasn't too hot and I was concentrating well.’
Omneya stamps her authority

Now the stage was clear for the young queen and younger pretender to battle for the other final berth.

Both seem to have trod the same road. Omneya Abdel Kawy a squash prodigy who won a World Junior title. Raneem El Weleily the current holder; and indeed favoured to retain it in August.

Yesterday twenty one year old Abdel Kawy talked about the pressure stemming from having won the Hurghada title last year, but is still in the mix. El Weleily had showed increasing maturity of performance during the week, impressing with her steadiness.

Could the queen be dethroned?

Every seat was taken, every health and safety rule violated as people stood in the aisles and clung to any vantage point they could find.

Who knows what the national live television audience figures were, but the country as a whole was watching too.

Abdel Kawy had suppressed the El Weleily challenge when they had been drawn together in the Qatar Classic in April, and after a nervous start from both players she found herself winning with ease. El Weleily bustled but unlike her quarter final strung together clutches of loose shots. Some went down, others offered openings for Abdel Kawy. There was a recovery from 7/3 down for the 18 year old Alexandrian but after she squandered a chance to go ahead at seven all the momentum dissipated and never returned.…
Although it is a matter for another forum, it appears that there is no word to describe a person from Cairo as there is for Alexandria and most cities in the world.

Ask a local and they will say that you call somebody from Cairo an Egyptian as that is what they are! So we are left to report that the Cairo player was through. The match straightforward, and somewhat disappointing after the anticipation of a real battle, Abdel Kawy was not complaining.

Having been concerned about the pressure of expectation it was somewhat appropriate though weird too, that the Gloria Gaynor hit of a few decades back, I Will Survive, was playing sung in Arabic as Abdel Kawy left the arena. She had.

Both winners have ample recovery and preparation time as Saturday sees a street music festival in Hurghada and so a squash rest day. The last three Hurghada finals between the pair have been pulsating affairs and it is likely that Sunday success awaits the strongest mind as well as body in the glass box on the Hurghada Promenade.

10-May, Quarter-Finals: 

[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt Lauren Siddall (Eng)             9/2, 9/3, 9/3 (32m)
[3] Engy Kheirallah (Egy) bt [6] Sarah Kippax (Eng)           5/9, 9/5, 9/5, 9/7 (64m)
[4] Raneem El Weleily (Egy) bt Elise Ng (Hkg)                    9/0, 9/1, 9/2 (21m)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy) bt [7] Christina Mak (Hkg)   9/0, 9/2, 9/1 (22m)

Top Four in Hurghada Semis
WISPA reports from the Red Sea

As thousands of holidaymakers wandered inside after a day in the sun, the moon and the squash players came out to play.

This is the tenth anniversary for WISPA in Hurghada, and quarter finals night at the championship tends to be the latest finish with four matches, all of which could be close. According to the seedings the pairs from Hong Kong and England would be the fall guys tonight - and given the ranking disparities with the top four maybe it would not be such an extended evening on this occasion ...

Draw & Results

"She was too quick and sliding into the ball. I did not expect that.

"It’s good to play with the higher ranked players even though I couldn’t do much tonight."

"I tried to work on the weak part of my game, my concentration. Today I only hit two tins, less than last night. I was steady."

"It was hot and humid in the court tonight and I didn’t quite play as well as I could.

"All the crowd were cheering for me and that is a good feeling. But because I won last year there is a lot of pressure on me to get do it again. It wasn’t like that in other years.

"Raneem and I have tough matches. She is so talented and fast and plays shots like me. On a hot court there will be lots and lots of running!"

"Any thoughts about regaining the title are still a long way away. For now it is about dealing with the heat.

"It breaks your concentration as you stop and think how hot it is!."

"I could have played a bit better but she played really well. Her game has improved a lot.

"I needed to be 100% focused but got nervous in patches and lost concentration. It was hot and not easy and I am really happy to have got away with it."

"I started well, quite fast and forced some errors. Then I tried to move her around, but with the heat it was bouncy and not easy to control the ball.
"But it is the best I have played on glass. And the crowd were great. They really got involved even though they were not for me!"

Raneem in three

In the first match fourth seed Raneem El Weleily gave away eight years to opponent Elise Ng (herself only 26), but did not fritter away points as she reined in her characteristically adventurous approach, taking the three games required to reach the last four. Looking languid at times she used her explosive pace to stay in so many rallies and a deft shot to win them in a nearly error free performance.

Like her countrywoman Omneya Abdel Kawy before her, Raneem looks well placed to become another two time World junior champion when the event takes place in Ng’s country of Hong Kong in August.
Om-Ne-Ya ...

Talking of Abdel Kawy and of Hong Kong, the same nationalities were paired in the next match. Clearly the expansive crowd thought they needed to do more than just watch, applaud, chatter and give their ring tones an airing. The chant of Om-Neya, Om-Neya was never too far away as their darling made progress. Rehearsals were under way for the final where last year they carried her to victory over Rachael Grinham.

Abdel Kawy is deceptively fast, her racket skills sublime and the 21 year old is poised to edge higher than her current career high ranking of seven. If all WISPA Tour events took place in Egypt her supporters would chant her into the top five.

Once she settled Christina Mak scuttled around the court trying to stretch Abdel Kawy, and although extra court time rather than points resulted, reaching the quarters had meant a good week for her, but still ... Egypt 2, Asia 0.
Grinham too wily for Siddall

Next to play was Rachael Grinham. She too was giving away eight years, and at least that in inches to Lauren Siddall. The 22 year old from the squash hotbed of Pontefract is slowly rising up the rankings having completed a sports science degree last year. She has won a WISPA Tour title this year, the Norwegian Open, but that still leaves her twenty one adrift of Grinham.

And as she hadn’t played the former world number one before, game though she was, it was a little like a rabbit caught in the headlights as the delay, feints, elevation and control made life worrisome. Too often the Grinham hold caused her to bound off in the wrong direction.

Like the two Hong Kong girls before, once she became used to the increased humidity which accompanied the heat for the first time this week she began to trade rallies better and exchange hands too. But it was too little too late.
Engy ... Engy ... Engy

The final match saw Sarah Kippax hoping for a 24th birthday treat but instead getting a going home gift. She was sent packing by Engy Kheirallah to set up a semi final for herself with Grinham.

But this was hard work for the Alexandrian. Last night she had appeared subdued in performance, tonight was more of the same - lacklustre and edgy would have described it succinctly. The third seed, encouraged by the crowd and seconded by fiancée Karim Darwish was unable to comfortably despatch the English player.

The first game saw the athletic Kippax on the attack and making it difficult for Kheirallah to get in front of her. The crowd were hushed as their girl exited the court one game down. But her team got her lifting the ball more in the second and Kippax found herself playing the same game. This was not a wise riposte and the game drifted away.

The third was characterised by the Egyptian looking a little jaded, not getting a good length and giving Kippax enough confidence to hang in. The English girl was playing well, boasting to move her opponent around and generally matching Kheirallah. However, she could not quite equal her at the business end of the game and to the palpable relief of the spectators Kheirallah was in front.

Things were more fraught in the fourth as Kippax maintained a strong push towards levelling while Kheirallah was not at ease. But again, she raised herself for the big points and toppled over the finishing line and into a semi against top seed Grinham.
So, the big guns are left, but which ones will fire in the Hurghada International semis? The packed stands and live national TV will wait and see ...

09-May, First Round Part Two

[1] Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt [Q] Salma Shabana (Egy)     9/7, 9/1, 9/3 (27m)
Lauren Siddall (Eng) bt [8] Joshna Chinappa (Ind)              9/7, 9/2, 9/4 (29m)
[3] Engy Kheirallah (Egy) bt [Q] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)          9/1, 9/2, 9/4 (24m)
Elise Ng (Hkg) bt [5] Tricia Chuah (Mas)                            5/9, 1/9, 9/5, 10/8, 9/1 (56m)

Cities compete in Hurghada
WISPA reports from the Red Sea

While Cairo and Alexandria drew three all in the most cities of players competing in the Hurghada International, the next group on featuredtwo from Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Chennai. The first two might have been reasonably expected, but two players from India, never mind from one city, is a new phenomenon.

Joshna Chinappa, seeded eight here, has been moving forward since reaching the final of the World Junior Championship nearly two years ago, but the new kid on the sub-continental block is Dipika Pallikal.

While her potential is undoubted, having made the main draw she was drawn against third seed Engy Kheirallah, and so had limited opportunity to show it. The salient point is that she is aged just fifteen, so like Nour El Tayeb yesterday, she is gaining experience just competing at the Red Sea resort.

Could we be looking at two front-runners for the World Juniors in 2009?

Draw & Results

"I was thinking about more length. I just wanted to try to play my game because Tricia had started really well."

"I was very nervous at the beginning playing on the glass court, but the fun of everybody cheering for Engy let me enjoy it and I went for it."

"She came out pretty quickly but at 7/2 down I hit a couple of lucky shots that gave me confidence. Actually, I like glass courts in general as they give me time and the chance to see the ball."

Ng comeback takes out Tricia

But first on court was an all- Asian affair. Hong Kong v Malaysia. Elise Ng v Tricia Chuah. One thing in common, both are currently Netherlands based while they pursue excellence with the help of their national federations.

The Malaysian fifth seed started clinically and simply continued hitting the ball at just the right pace to discomfit Ng, who was prone to over hit in the balmy evening air. Slowly though, Ng was adjusting ... and slowly the match got closer. The winner of the Hellendoorn Open last month was beginning to relax and  improved as she did so.

Fewer errors and greater variety to accompany the better length allowed the slight girl from Hong Kong to win the third, and although Chuah went 6/3 up in the fourth her steadiness was not quite enough to take her to a match ball. Ng took the game at the second time of asking and was now rampant.

Moving well, producing wrong footing winners, she soared away to an 8/1 deciding game lead and ended with a backhand long drop flourish to join compatriot Christina Mak in the quarters.
Engy despatches Dipika

Full stands had watched this match with quiet interest. But that all changed when the name of an Egyptian player was heard from the lips of the announcer. Engy Kheirallah was bidding for a quarter final place with the aforementioned Pallikal in what was expected to be a gentle opener.

It was. With the evening court time good for the Alexandrian, as was the experience for the young Chenite.

Kheirallah put in a subdued performance but was comprehensively in control even when Pallikal settled her nerves and started to flow more.

The Indian has one more month based in Cairo under the tutelage of Egyptian Mohamed Hafiz, having spent six months so far, with breaks to return home for school exams.
Siddall sacks Chinappa

The third match of the evening saw the other half of the Chennai challenge take to the court. Eighth seed Joshna Chinappa took on England’s Lauren Siddall, ranked only 15 slots below her at 56.

The portents were for a close match and while the first game was, after Siddall clawed back Chinappa’s 7/2 lead, the fizz slowly leaked out of the Indian’s game. Siddall, patriotically clad in the red and white of England, reached her first WISPA Silver quarter final.
Rachael sends Salma packing

The English girl now plays world number three Rachael Grinham. The Australian found Salma Shabana on song in the first game, but once the sting was drawn the match was effectively over. She and her family will get back in the car for the return run to Cairo, hoping not to break down as they did on the way down across the desert.
The home country is down to three – well, three and a half if you count Grinham, who has lived near Cairo for several years. And since they make up the top four seeds it looks like the duos from Hong Kong and England will have their work cut out in the Hurghada International quarter finals.

08-May, First Round Part One:
Omneya commences
her Hurghada defence

WISPA reports from the Red Sea

A little on the warm side, but then that's Hurghada for you. A daytime where the temperature was a mild 38c! As the sunshine finished its shift half of the main draw of the Hurghada International would get underway at the Egyptian Red Sea resort, but not before the cameras of national TV focussed on an opening ceremony featuring a large troupe of dancers dressed in Galabeya, the traditional Egyptian clothing and headcovers.

It was only when the announcer enquired where the players were that the WISPA group revealed themselves as part of the group!

Draw & Results

Siddall and Stoker

Omneya takes advice

Answer: Stoker

Kippax & Arnold

Mak quietens the crowd

The large crowd came to life from the off as Alexandria's Amnah El Trabolsy went 7/0 up in the first against Hong Kong's Christina Mak; but it was soon quietened as seventh seed Mak settled in, climbed and overtook her opponent.

While El Trabolsy is way better than her 88 WISPA ranking while in the last throes of her industrial engineering degree, Mak is well worth her 34 and seemed to have enough in hand to win in three having taken the second.

But the bronze medallist in the Asian Games last December allowed the Egyptian the chance to use her splendid racketwork as she faltered towards the end of the third.

The wobble turned into a crisis when the fourth was lost too as she failed to pin El Trabolsy in the back; but while Mak was still not getting as good a length and width as she would have liked in the decider she created enough openings to reach match ball at 8/2. A carefree last stand brought El Trabolsy back to 6/8 but was beaten when two steady rallies saw Mak home.
Kawy comfortable

Mak had needed 55 minutes to subdue her opponent, whereas holder Omneya Abdel Kawy completed the first stage of her title defence in about a third of the time in a battle of two 21 year olds.

Opponent Georgina Stoker spent a good deal of time rallying well without getting a point to her name. It was well into the second before it was notched – and it was likely that there would be few more gained. Game though she was, the English girl was despatched cheaply.
End of the line for El Tayeb

The same fate seemed likely for Nour El Tayeb, surprise package of the qualification, and at only just fourteen years of age the youngest member of the draw. Her opponent was Raneem El Weleily, the current World Junior Champion who will defend her title in Hong Kong in a couple of months.

Having reached Hurghada El Tayeb was excited rather than fazed by her first match on a glass court. And while El Weleily comfortably won, the potential of her opponent was clear to see. It was akin to watching Abdel Kawy and El Weleily themselves a few years ago; knowing that there was something special beginning to blossom.

Overblown talk? Not if the comments of El Weleily herself count for anything. “I was in Nour’s place four years ago and I wasn't as good as she is today. You need time to get used to the glass and the place but she really took to it well,” she said.

Before leaving back to Cairo to face some school exams El Tayeb maturely reported “It was an enjoyable match, and although she was too good for me I managed to fight and had some good points. It was a good experience for me,” she added.
Kippax in control

In the last match of the evening sixth seed Sarah Kippax booked her place in Thursday's quarter finals by holding steady when Delia Arnold threatened to take the second game. Arnold looked lively and comfortable, but England's Kippax has continued to edge towards the top thirty on the back of a solid game and just had a little too much control for the Malaysian.
The remainder of the first round will take to the glass on the Promenade and sees what is certainly the first time two Indians have featured in the main draw of a WISPA Silver, the other half of the Hong Kong and Malaysian double acts, a Brit and a couple of home players together with a foreigner who calls Egypt home ...

Hurghada International 2007
07 - 13 May, Egypt, $21k
Round One
08/09 May
10 May
11 May
3 May
[1] Rachel Grinham (Aus)
9/7, 9/1, 9/3 (27m)
[Q] Salma Shabana (Egy)
Rachel Grinham
9/2, 9/3, 9/3 (32m)
Lauren Siddall
Rachel Grinham

Engy Kheirallah
[8] Joshna Chinappa (Ind)
9/7, 9/2, 9/4 (29m)
Lauren Siddall (Eng)
[3] Engy Kheirallah (Egy)
9/1, 9/2, 9/4 (24m)
[Q] Dipika Pallikal (Ind)
Engy Kheirallah
5/9, 9/5, 9/5, 9/7 (64m)
Sarah Kippax
[6] Sarah Kippax (Eng)
9/4, 9/7, 9/5 (39m)
Delia Arnold (Mas)
Elise Ng (Hkg)
5/9, 1/9, 9/5, 10/8, 9/1 (56m)
[5] Tricia Chuah (Mas)
Elise Ng
9/0, 9/1, 9/2 (21m)
Raneem El
Raneem El

Omneya Abdel Kawy

[Q] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)
9/2, 9/4, 9/3, (27m)
[4] Raneem El Weleily (Egy)
[Q] Amnah El Trabolsy (Egy)
9/7, 9/4, 6/9, 3/9, 9/6 (55m)
[7] Christina Mak (Hkg)
Christina Mak
9/0, 9/2, 9/1 (22m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy
Georgina Stoker (Eng)
9/0, 9/1, 9/2 (19m)
[2] Omneya Abdel Kawy (Egy)

Qualifying Finals:
Salma Shabana (Egy) bt Farah Abdel Meguid (Egy)      10/8, 9/4, 9/0 (23m)
Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Farida El Dahab (Egy)              9/4, 9/6, 9/6 ((27m)
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Sara El Noamany (Egy)           3/9, 9/0, 9/2, 9/1 (29m)
Amnah El Trabolsey (Egy) bt Salma Nassar (Egy)        9/0, 9/1, 9/6 (23m)

Round One:
Salma Shabana (Egy)                                               bye
Farah Abdel Meguid (Egy) bt Nihal Bayoumy (Egy)      9/6, 9/0, 9/5 (31m)
Farida El Dahab (Egy) bt Eman El Amir (Egy)              w/o
Dipika Pallikal (Ind) bt Zena Sameh Makarem (Egy)    9/0, 9/2, 9/3 (20m)
Sara El Noamany (Egy) bt Nour Bahgat (Egy)             w/o
Nour El Tayeb (Egy) bt Lauren Selby (Eng)                 9/5, 10/9, 9/1 (41m)
Salma Nassar (Egy) bt Farida Sherif Amin (Egy)         9/0, 9/6, 9/2 (33m)
Amnah El Trabolsey (Egy) bt Merehan Amr (Egy)        w/o

07-May, Qualifying:
Egypt dominates Cairo qualifying

WISPA reports from Egypt

Fourteen year old Nour El Tayeb caused the upset of the Hurghada International qualification, beating third seed Lauren Selby in straight games.

One of the latest products to emerge from the Egyptian junior production line then look advantage of the ankle injury sustained by sixth seed Nour Baghat to claim her place in the main draw by beating her walkover beneficiary Sara El Noamany.

Another injury victim was fourth seed Eman El Amir who arrived at the Cairo Stadium on crutches having fallen over two days ago and now requires knee surgery. Her absence eased the way for fifth seed Dipika Pallikal, the Indian being well versed with Cairo as she splits her time studying and training in the city along with her Indian home.

One of the other two places was comfortably snaffled by top seed Salma Shabana, a quarter finalist last year even though she restricts her playing as a mother of two. The other went to Amnah El Trabolsey, another top flight Egyptian player whose schedule has been curtailed - in her case by the final stages of an industrial engineering degree.

These players now leave the sprawl of Cairo for the sparkling waters of the Red Sea resort of Hurghada to join the rest of the main draw of the Hurghada International to again be played on an all glass court set on the promenade there.

Magdi Saad coaches
Nour El Tayeb

2006 Event

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