Skip to content

Joelle King (left) and Raneem El Welily contest the final. Picture: Andrea Dawson Photography

King shocks El Welily to lift Cleveland Classic title

World No.9 Joelle King produced an upset in the final of the 2018 Cleveland Classic, defeating top seed Raneem El Welily 3-0 at the Cleveland Racquet Club.

The third-seeded New Zealander took just 35 minutes to see off the Egyptian World Champion 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 to claim the title.

King, the 29-year-old from Cambridge, had dropped just one game en route to the final – against World No.12 Tesni Evans in the quarter-finals – a run that also included wins over Canadian qualifier Hollie Naughton and US No.2 Amanda Sobhy, who reached the last four at only her second tournament back after recovering from a ruptured achilles.

El Welily, meanwhile, shook off an ankle injury sustained at last month’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions to line up at the tournament and she racked up wins over Tinne Gilis, Victoria Lust and fourth seed Alison Waters to reach the title decider.

King was superb throughout the 35-minute encounter as she kept the ball tight and limited El Welily’s ability to attack and she kept the World No.2 at bay to complete the win in straight games and lift the 11th PSA World Tour title of her career.

Result – Final: 2018 Cleveland Classic
[3] Joelle King (NZL) bt [1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (35m)

Join SQUASHTV and get closer to the PSA World Tour