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Raneem El Welily will take on Nicol David - the woman she usurped to become World No.1 in September 2015 - for a place in the final

WOMEN'S WADI DEGLA OPEN - Semis: AS IT HAPPENS

Follow us here for reports and reaction as the semi-final action at the Women's Wadi Degla Open in Cairo gets under way.

Malaysia's eight-time World Champion Nicol David clashes with Egyptian shot-making sensation Raneem El Welily for the 25th time in their careers, with David currently 18-6 up on their head-to-head record.

Elsewhere, home favourite Nouran Gohar will take on Welsh qualifier Tesni Evans for a place in the inaugural Wadi Degla Open final.

You can watch the action LIVE on SQUASHTV and Eurosport Player.

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Here's the Order of Play
(All times are local GMT+2)
17:30 [1] Nicol David (MAS) v [3] Raneem El Welily (EGY)
follow on [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL) v [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY)

El Welily Defeats David to Seal Final Berth

Egyptian World No.4 Raneem El Welily claimed a fourth consecutive victory against former World No.1 Nicol David to banish the demons of her World Championship final defeat to the Malaysian in the same venue two years ago.

The duo were returning to the scene of their 2014 World Championship final clash – where David overturned four match balls to capture an incredible eighth World Championship title – but it was El Welily who came back from the brink this time, fighting back from 7-3 down in the fifth to book her place in the final.

“She was making everything, she was firing everything in,” said El Welily.

“It left me no choice for any loose shots. I just telling myself to do my best and to keep pushing. Even in the last few points I don’t think my head was there anymore but she made the errors and I’m really grateful for those.

“I wasn’t [thinking about her World Championship final defeat] until [MC] Robert [Edwards] mentioned it before the match. Then in the fourth it kind of came back. I was down in the entire fifth game and I think the fifth game from last time gave me the push to not quit and to keep pushing harder.”

David took a one-game lead after an error strewn performance from El Welily, who hit seven errors throughout the game, five of which were on the backhand, gifted the advantage to the Malaysian, but El Welily recovered from three game balls down in the second game to level the scores.


That resulted in a huge momentum shift in the third game as El Welily – who was backed to the hilt by vocal home support – began to control the rallies and move David away from the ’T’, racing away to take it 11-7.

David responded in the fourth to set up a decider, where the 33-year-old surged into a 7-3 lead, only to see El Welily launch an all-out attack to take the next eight points in a row and seal her place in the showpiece finale.

Result:
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [1] Nicol David (MAS) 3-2: 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7 (70m)

Gohar Comes Through Against Evans to Reach Final

World No.3 Nouran Gohar had to dig in to defeat Welsh qualifier Tesni Evans in four, setting up a superb-looking final clash with compatriot and fellow Wadi Degla club representative Raneem El Welily.

Gohar was on fire in the early stages as her powerful-hitting saw her romp to a two-game lead after blitzing her opponent, who had spent more than double the time on court after battling through qualifying to reach the semi-final.


Evans fought back though and came out fighting in the third as the 24-year-old opened up the court and found her width with a number of well-placed cross court efforts to unsettle Gohar’s rhythm and she triumphed 11-9 to send the fixture into a fourth.

But Gohar ramped up the pace again and prevailed in the fourth for the loss of four points to wrap up an 11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-4 victory.

“I realised in the third that my pace wasn’t as high as it was in the first two games,” said Gohar.

“I was trying to make as much volleys as I could in the fourth and I was trying to get my concentration back, win every point and make it faster.”

“Raneem is like my big sister, we train a lot together here at the same club and I’m glad we both got to the final. It’s such an honour for us to play in this club in front of this crowd tomorrow.

“It would mean a lot to win it in front of my family, my friends. It would mean everything.”

Result:
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [Q] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-1: 11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-4 (51m)

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