Nour El Sherbini collected her 2nd WISPA title this week at the Silver 20 Alexandria Open, beating compatriot and top seed Nour El Tayeb in the final.
The pair had previously met in July’s Women’s Junior World’s Final in Boston, where Tayeb won the final in 4 games; this time however it was Sherbini who emerged victorious in 4 games.
The 15 year old had not played a WISPA event all year due to a serious knee operation and it was remarkable in itself that she managed to return at the World Junior’s in July and make the final!
Sherbini started strongly in the first round beating Salma Hany in straight games. There were also straight game wins for Tayeb over Emily Whitlock, 2nd seed Aisling Blake over Nouran Ahmed Gohar and 3rd seed Line Hansen over German no.1 Sina Wall. The last seed to make it through to the quarter finals was Kanzy El Dafrawy. The 6th seed survived a marathon match, beating compatriot Farah Abdel Meguid 11/9 in the 5th.
The remaining 3 matches all featured upsets. Lauren Briggs eased passed 7th seed Lucie Fialova. Nouran El Torky won a tight opener against 8th seed Gaby Huber before coming through in straight games. Nouran’s elder sister, Heba wasn’t so fortunate. The 4th seed was stunned in 4 games by 15 year old Yathreb Adel.
Sherbini continued to perform strongly in the quarter finals. The first 2 games were close with Blake but the 2nd seed couldn’t live with the pace of Sherbini in the third and her resistance faded. Top seed Tayeb had to come through a battle to reach the semi finals. She found herself 2-1 down against Briggs, a former top 20 player, but managed to come through in the 5th after some incredibly long and hard fought rallies. The last two quarter finals were won in straight games but both could have gone either way. Hansen had to win 3 tie breaks to beat Nouran El Torky while El Dafrawy had to save game balls in both the 1st and 3rd games against Adel.
Tayeb had the easier time of it in her semi final. After her tough previous round match Tayeb had too much variety for Hansen and won comfortably in straight games. It was Sherbini and Dafrawy’s first meeting on the WISPA tour and there was nothing between them in the first 3 games, but it was Sherbini who found herself 2-1 up. As she did against Blake, Sherbini increased the pace in the 4th and she broke away to move into the final.
The final between the World’s two top juniors was set and their previous records against each other meant that the match could go either way. This time thought it was Sherbini who had the upper hand. Despite Tayeb taking the 3rd game, Sherbini was in control for the most part of the match and managed to gain revenge for her World Junior final defeat by Tayeb.
It is a welcome return to the tour for Sherbini, who will no doubt move up the rankings in the next few months.
Final: Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11/5 11/8 7/11 11/7
Semi Finals: Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt  Line Hansen (DEN) 11/8 11/5 11/6  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Kanzy El Dafrawy (EGY) 11/8 7/11 11/9 11/3
Quarter Finals: Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Lauren Briggs (ENG) 12/10 7/11 7/11 11/5 11/5  Line Hansen (DEN) bt Nouran El Torky (EGY) 13/11 13/11 12/10  Kanzy El Dafrawy (EGY) bt [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) 12/10 11/7 15/13  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Aisling Blake (IRL) 11/8 11/8 11/3
1ST Round: Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 11/5 11/8 11/8
Lauren Briggs (ENG) bt  Lucie Fialova (CZE) 11/5 11/5 11/5 Line Hansen (DEN) bt Sina Wall (GER) 11/8 11/8 11/7
Nouran El Torky (EGY) bt  Gaby Huber (SWI) 16/14 11/6 11/6 Kanzy El Dafrawy (EGY) bt [Q] Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY) 9/11 11/7 11/2 9/11 11/9 [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt  Heba El Torky (EGY) 11/4 7/11 11/6 11/7  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [Q] Salma Hany (EGY) 11/2 11/6 11/8  Aisling Blake (IRL) bt [Q] Nouran Ahmed Gohar (EGY) 11/9 11/6 11/9