Egyptian duo Raneem El Welily and Mohamed Abouelghar are the 2018 J.P. Morgan China Squash Open champions after they defeated France’s Camille Serme and New Zealand’s Paul Coll, respectively, on finals day at the Peninsula Shanghai, which overlooks the famous Shanghai Bund.
El Welily captured a second China Open crown after the current World Champion defeated World No.5 Camille Serme by an 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 scoreline to extend her run of straight wins over the French player to five matches.
The opening two games saw both players play some high quality squash until, with the scores level, El Welily showcased her supreme shot-making skills to claim the 18th PSA Tour title of her career.
“I am very happy to be back here and to win it again for the second time,” said El Welily.
“I’m just happy to start the season with a win. The final is never easy, I don’t think I played my best squash today but mentally I was maybe better than in other matches.
“I’ve won this tournament here before and done so badly afterwards in a previous season, so I’m just happy with the win for now, I’m not thinking about anything else. The plan this season is to take it one match at a time, one point at a time and one rally at a time. Hopefully I can play this well again this season, I’ve got to play harder to improve and work on new stuff.”
Meanwhile, Abouelghar capped a superb tournament by lifting the biggest PSA Tour title of his career after a scintillating display saw him absorb Coll’s physical blows brilliantly before striking with some sumptuous winners at the front of the court.
Coll’s best period of the match came in the third game when he built up an 8-6 lead but Abouelghar stayed focused mentally to come back and win the next five points in a row, sealing the win by an 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 margin to claim a ninth PSA Tour title.
“It’s the biggest title for me so far and maybe it’s my lucky place, so I want to thank everyone involved,” said Abouelghar.
“I expected before the match that it was going to be hard work, and if I wanted to have any chance against Paul I had to be patient and not go for shots as often as I would like. I think when I was sharp when I went short and I’m happy that it paid off.
“Not many people get the chance to travel all over the world doing the thing they love so I’m just happy to be one of these people. I’ll just enjoy every minute and the results will take care of themselves.”
El Welily and Abouelghar are the first players to win a PSA World Tour Gold tournament after the tier was introduced as part of the new PSA tour structure, which came into effect on August 1.
Result – Men’s Final: 2018 J.P. Morgan China Squash Open
 Mohamed Abouelghar (EGY) bt  Paul Coll (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 (44m)
Result – Women’s Final: 2018 J.P. Morgan China Squash Open
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Camille Serme (FRA) 3-1: 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 (41m)