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BritOpen Update: El Welily Edges Out Perry

Raneem El Welily set up an all-Egyptian quarter-final with Nouran Gohar after coming through a tough encounter against England's Sarah-Jane Perry in the second round of the 2016 Allam British Open.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline, El Welily was made to work hard for her victory, going behind in all three games. The former World No.1 showed great resilience in the first game to overturn a 7-2 deficit and, with a series of long, testing rallies populating the second and third, it was visible that El Welily had the fitness to go the distance while Perry was unfortunate not to take a game for her efforts.

Both players squandered game balls in the second, but eventually El Welily held her nerve, closing the game out 14-12 before again coming from behind to stamp her authority on the third game by propelling into a 7-4 lead to secure an important win against a tricky opponent.

“I think she [Perry] played really really well and it was a very tough 3-0,” said El Welily.

“She kept getting things I never thought she would get. I had to do a lot of work to move her around the court and get everything she was firing at me so I'm very pleased to come through in three.”

The twenty-seven year old paid tribute to her coaches following the win, praising their work that has gone on behind the scenes to improve her fitness and coordination around the court since losing out on her number one ranking in January.

“I've been working on my movement a lot – I had a problem with my belief in myself that I could actually go and get the balls so I've been working on that a lot,' she said.

“When I was number one I didn't think I felt pressure but looking back I can see that I was putting a lot of pressure on myself at that time. I wasn't enjoying it and with tin getting lower as well some changes had to be made that I just didn't do at the start.

“But my coaches have worked hard to help me improve. They changed a few things about my mental and physical training after TOC and that was quite motivating for me.”

El Welily will play close friend and fellow Wadi Degla club play Nouran Gohar for a place in the semi-finals.

“Nouran is difficult player but I'm up for a challenge. She's hard working and very strong so it will be tough.

“She's a great girl and we have a great friendship outside the court but on court it's about winning.”

[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [10] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-0: 11-9, 14-12, 11-6 (41m)

By James Hall

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