The final of the 2019 CIB Black Ball Squash Open take place today with World No.1 Raneem El Welily and World Champion Nour El Sherbini battling it out for the PSA World Tour Gold title in Cairo, Egypt.
The final will be shown live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only), Facebook (Indian subcontinent only) and ONSport (Egypt) from 19:00 local time (UTC+2).
Can’t watch the action? You can also follow the live scores from the Black Ball Open.
This will be the 21st meeting between the two Egyptians on the PSA World Tour, with both claiming ten wins apiece.
The last ten meetings alone have all been in finals, with El Sherbini having a slight advantage with six wins in those meetings, including the last one earlier this season at the Tournament of Champions.
El Welily is the current World No.1, she dethroned El Sherbini in December 2018 to take back the top spot. While, El Sherbini picked up her third PSA World Championship title two weeks ago.
Cairo-based El Welily was pushed all the way to five-games against compatriot Nouran Gohar yesterday to book her place in the final. Meanwhile, El Sherbini enjoyed a strong performance over New Zealand's World No.5 Joelle King to advance to her third successive final.
El Welily Claims the Title
Egypt’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily came from 2-1 down against compatriot and reigning World Champion Nour El Sherbini to win the CIB Black Ball Squash Open title in Cairo, Egypt.
Both players had endured a difficult route to the final, with El Welily prevailing in a five-game battle with compatriot Nouran Gohar yesterday, while El Sherbini faced her own five-game challenge in the quarter-finals against France’s Camille Serme, before overcoming New Zealand’s No.3 seed Joelle King yesterday.
There was nothing between the two Egyptians going into today’s encounter with both players claiming ten wins apiece in their storied history on the PSA World Tour. The last ten meetings alone had come in finals and today was no different as they battled it out on home turf for the PSA World Tour Gold title.
A tight first game went in the way of El Sherbini – who was featuring in her third successive final – before El Welily roared back, upping the pace of play in the second to level the scores for the loss of just two points.
The momentum once again swung in the favour of 23-year-old El Sherbini in the third as each player experienced their own patches of dominance, before the experienced El Welily – who has claimed two titles so far this season – came back once more.
WHAT A RALLY— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 15, 2019
RaneemElWelily</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/noursherbini?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">noursherbini pushing each other to their limits in Cairo! #squash pic.twitter.com/nr9YnrySSu
In the fifth, Cairo-based El Welily was able to extend her lead to eventually close out the match by a 9-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-1, 11-5 scoreline in 53 minutes to win her 20th PSA title.
PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 15, 2019
“I’m very happy to be standing here,” said 30-year-old El Welily following her victory.
“It feels good to have won this match. Playing Nour is never easy and today was I think a little bit different than any other time we have played.
“I think we both showed very good patterns throughout the match and we had some very good patches where we both played very good. I think this hasn’t happened in a while, so I am very happy to have been part of this good match.
“She’s World Champ, she is only 23-years-old in case you forgot that and is World Champion at that age. We are very good friends off court and we fight until the end and respect each other. I think this is why we fought so hard tonight.
“In the fourth, I was tense, so I decided to go back to basics. Every time we get on court, it’s a different situation. I have got to believe that it’s going to be a different match, a different result, and that the last match doesn’t mean anything.
“The Tour is very compact and intense, so I lost to her last week and I won today. So, it’s not because I beat her today that I don’t have to keep working hard.
“All eyes on him [husband Tarek Momen, who is playing in the Canary Wharf final] now, I’ll be watching the match. I hope he plays well, he has been playing great all season and I really hope he wins tonight. He played really well last night and I hope he can push one more match and we will see how it goes.”
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-1, 11-5 (53m)