Number six seed Omneya Abdel Kawy sealed her second round berth in the Naza PSA Women’s World Championship with a strong straight games victory over England’s Emily Whitlock in round one.
Kawy, a runner-up in 2010, was in fine fettle, with only a few tinned shots detracting from what was otherwise a superb performance. The pair were meeting for the first time since the Windy City Open two months ago where Whitlock pushed Kawy hard but there was to be no repeat as Kawy’s scintillating control on her backhand volley drops allowed her to cut out any balls that were head-height.
After cantering to a one-game lead, Kawy faced a resurgent Whitlock in the second game and had to dig in her heels to take it by the narrowest of margins. The Egyptian engineered some breathing space for herself in the third and final game and kept her opponent at arm’s length to capture an 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 victory to move into the second round of a World Championship for the third time in succession and consign Whitlock to an early exit.
“I’ve played Emily several times and all of our matches, even if I win 3-0, are tough ones,” said Kawy.
“She’s a very good player and her technique is difficult, so you have to work your mind every single shot. You need to move her around the court, you can’t give her any way to attack because otherwise she will do what she wants. Her technique is to lob and drop.
“She waits for my shot to be in the middle and then she puts in a drop shot. When it’s so high, you’re slower to recover, so I was trying to break her technique by using my attacking shots and my drops and it worked. Even if I played a drop shot or a nick, she goes for the drive of the cross court and she wants to volley, so I used my volley drops to break her down.
“When I play a drive or a cross-court, she thinks that I am playing a drop shot or a nick, so she goes to the front instead of the side. Thankfully, it worked really well. Sometimes I hit the tin but it was okay and I managed to recover.
“I’m really happy today that I won 3-0 and hopefully I’ll improve match by match and we will see how it goes.”
Result – First Round: Naza PSA Women’s World Championship
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-0: 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (27m)
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