Egyptians Flourish In World Open Qualifiers

Egyptian interest in The Soho Square Women’s World Open Squash Championship was boosted when four local players clinched qualifying places in the main draw of the premier WISPA World Tour squash event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Soho Square at Sharm El Sheikh.

DSC_9914.JPGFarah Abdel Meguid kicked off the assault by beating America’s recently-crowned world junior champion Amanda Sobhy11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9.

“I’m speechless, I just beat the world junior champion in the world open!” the 18-year-old from Cairo told the official website later.

“I played her in a local league match before the world juniors and won, so I knew I could do it and I had a feeling before the match I would win, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy, it’s a big tournament.

“Now I just hope all the other Egyptians can win.”

DSC_0091.JPGHer wish came nearer to a reality when Nour El Tayeb got the better of England’s Lauren Selby, winning 11-9, 11-8, 11-6.

“I played much better than yesterday, not the best I can but still much better,” said the 17-year-old from Cairo. “I’m so pleased to be in the main draw for the second time in a row.”

DSC_0162.JPGNour El Sherbini, the 14-year-old from Alexandria who last week became the youngest winner of a WISPA World Tourtitle, took her place in the main draw after defeating India’s Dipika Pallikal 11-9, 11-5, 11-2.

DSC_0377.JPGKanzy Emad El-Defrawy completed the Egyptian quartet with another Indian defeat, beating Joshna Chinappa 11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9.

“When I saw the other three win before me I said yes, let’s go on and make it four,” exclaimed the Cairo 16-year-old. “I played well but when I was two games up I froze, I panicked and I thought I was going to lose. But I said to myself no, let’s make this happen!

“I’m really happy with what I’ve done and I’m so happy to qualify after just missing out last year. I hope I don’t get one of the top players.”

There was a late revision to the main draw when Australia’s former world champion Rachael Grinham announced her decision to withdraw from the event due to injury.

The Soho Square World Open, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Qualifying finals:
Annelize Naude (NED) bt Line Hansen (DEN) 11-9, 11-3, 11-8 (32m)
Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY) bt Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9 (35m)
Tenille Swartz (RSA) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-7, 12-10, 14-12 (40m)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Lauren Selby (ENG) 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 (26m)
Manuela Manetta (ITA) bt Sharon Wee (MAS) 11-9, 6-11, 13-15, 11-9, 11-7 (64m)
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt Dipika Pallikal (IND) 11-9, 11-5, 11-2 (31m)
Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Joshna Chinappa (IND) 11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 11-9 (39m)
Tania Bailey (ENG) bt Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 11-6, 11-4, 7-11, 11-2 (52m)

Updated 1st round draw:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [Q] Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY)
[11] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) v [Q] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
[7] Natalie Grinham (NED) v Low Wee Wern (MAS)
[13] Samantha Teran (MEX) v Isabelle Stoehr (FRA)
[3] Alison Waters (ENG) v [Q] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY)
[16] Annie Au (HKG) v [Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[6] Natalie Grainger (USA) v Sarah Kippax (ENG)
[14] Vanessa Atkinson (NED) v [Q] Tenille Swartz (RSA)
[10] Kasey Brown (AUS) v [Q] Manuela Manetta (ITA)
[5] Madeline Perry (IRL) v Delia Arnold (MAS)
[15] Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL) v Donna Urquhart (AUS)
[4] Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) v [Q] Tania Bailey (ENG)
[9] Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Annelize Naude (NED)
[8] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Aisling Blake (IRL)
[12] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) v Joelle King (NZL)
[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bye