Top Seeds To Share Sharm El Sheikh Final

In their sixth meeting this year, England’s Laura Massaro will face Egyptian Raneem El Weleily in the final of theWomen’s Sharm El Sheikh Open after surviving straight games semi-finals in the $29,500 WISPA World Tour squash event at the Laguna Vista Hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh.

Massaro, the top seed from Preston, overcame rapidly-rising Egyptian star Nour El Tayeb, the 17-year-old fourth seed who leapt into the WISPA world top 20 earlier this month for the first time.

The 27-year-old world No9 started strongly, keeping El Tayeb under pressure behind her. Despite a couple of unforced errors, Massaro was in control for much of the game before taking a one-love lead.

The Egyptian teenager worked hard in the second, first to retrieve and then to look for the volley winner. It paid dividends as she opened up a 9-5 lead – but Massaro responded with four quick points to level. Two poor volley errors from the youngster gave Massaro the second game.

Having established a 4-1 lead in the third, the favourite maintained a stranglehold on the match to the end, finally closing it out 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 after 34 minutes.

“I thought I played really well today – I’m really pleased with this performance, especially against somebody as dangerous as she is,” Massaro told afterwards. “And I needed to play as well as that to beat her.

“But for a 17-year-old, to move like that and play that type of shots, it’s really impressive,” concluded the England international, now in her 14th Tour final.

El Weleily set up a final featuring the top two seeds with a composed victory over sixth-seeded compatriot Heba El Torky. Using her silky skills to good effect, the 21-year-old second seed had the industrious El Torky covering all four corners of the court on the way to taking the first game.

However, undaunted El Torky stepped up the pace in the second to open up several leads. But the 19-year-old from Alexandria failed to capitalise on three game balls – going down 14-12 as El Weleily found a couple of volley drop winners to edge home.

El Weleily quickly built up a 5-0 lead before her opponent regained her focus – but further errors helped the No2 seed to push through to claim her 11-4, 14-12, 11-4 victory in 26 minutes.

The world No11 from Alexandria said she was very happy to reach the final: “Heba and myself we’ve been playing each other for a long time – last year, she beat me in Hurghada, and at the Nationals, and I won in Heliopolis, we always have epic battles!

“She plays a very random squash, you never know the shot she is going to play until she actually plays it, you have to keep on your toes constantly, especially on that court where the ball dies at the front,” added El Weleily, on the eve of her sixth Tour final.

[1] Laura Massaro (ENG) bt [4] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-5, 11-9, 11-6 (34m)
[2] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt [6] Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-4, 14-12, 11-4 (26m)