Egypt’s Raneem El Welily is into the semi finals of the Oracle NetSuite Open 2019 after knocking out the defending two-time champion Sarah-Jane Perry in straight games on the glass court at the spectacular Embarcadero Plaza.
The pair had met ten times on the PSA World Tour, with their last meeting being that final in San Francisco in 2018, where Perry won an epic 57 minute battle 3-2. This clash started in a tight fashion, with neither player giving an inch.
It would be the World No.1 that would go on to take it 11-8, after reeling off a string of points in the latter stages of the game. From the start of the second game, it looked as if it would be finished in an instant, as El Welily took the first four points with consummate ease.
However, Perry fought back to take a 7-5 lead, only for the Egyptian to go on another run of four straight points. She went on to take the victory and avenge her defeat from this exact court a year ago.
“It just shows how strong the women’s tour is. Everyone is such a strong contender to win every tournament and everyone has chances to win,” El Welily said.
“I had to be prepared today because SJ is never an easy match, but I am glad it was 2-0. I almost lost that second game but I recovered well to get off in two.
“The court is a little dead so hitting it hard is one way to get it to the back. It is not the only way but this is what I tried to do today and I am glad it worked.
“I love it [San Francisco]. It is absolutely fantastic and the atmosphere here is amazing as always. The weather has also been great since we arrived as well!”
El Welily will now face India’s Joshna Chinappa in the semi finals of the tournament, after she got the better of New Zealand’s World No.6 Joelle King in three games.
In the men’s draw, Egypt’s World No.2 Mohamed ElShorbagy is through to the last four of the tournament after defeating Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly in straight games.
Mohamed ElShorbagy (right) and Ryan Cuskelly in action in San Francisco
The pair had met five times previous on the PSA World Tour, with both players having won one of the previous two encounters, while the Egyptian had the 4-1 advantage.
Cuskelly had beaten the tournament’s No.1 seed at the Tournament of Champions in January 2018, and ElShorbagy had studied that match to get the upper hand over the left-hander. The Egyptian came out firing, winning the first five points, and although the Aussie tried to fight back, ‘The Beast’ had too much power and took the first game 11-5.
The World No.20 tried to fight back in the second game, and went out into an early lead, but it was not to be, as ElShorbagy came firing back to take the victory in just 20 minutes.
“He is a great player, he hits the ball really nice and at the Tournament of Champions when he beat me, he played such unbelievable squash to beat me,” ElShorbagy explained.
“There are times when you lose matches because dyou have not played very well, but there are also times when you lose matches because your opponent has got the right tactics. I had to study that match to work out what happened, so I am happy that I was able to beat him today.
“Me and Marwan played each other in Shanghai, we have played each other so much. We have played against each other in so many venues, but this will be the first time we play against each other in this venue and I hope it will be a good match.”
The World No.2 will now face younger brother Marwan ElShorbagy in the last four in San Francisco, after the ‘Jackal’ overcame Germany’s Raphael Kandra in a thrilling encounter, as he saved four match balls in the deciding game before taking the victory.
Marwan ElShorbagy defeated Raphael Kandra to reach the last four
Result – Men’s Quarter Finals (Top Half): Oracle NetSuite Open
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) bt  Ryan Cuskelly (AUS) 2-0: 11-5, 11-6 (20m)
 Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY) bt Raphael Kandra (GER) 2-1: 12-10, 10-12, 13-11 (45m)
Result – Women’s Quarter Finals (Top Half): Oracle NetSuite Open
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 2-0: 11-8, 11-8 (21m)
 Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 2-1: 11-9, 6-11, 11-3 (35m)
Draw – Men’s Quarter Finals (Bottom Half): Oracle NetSuite Open (To be played Saturday 28 September)
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) v Alan Clyne (SCO)
 Joel Makin (WAL) v  Tarek Momen (EGY)
Draw – Women’s Quarter Finals (Bottom Half): Oracle NetSuite Open (To be played Saturday 28 September)
 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Tesni Evans (WAL) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
Draw – Men’s Semi Finals (Bottom Half): Oracle NetSuite Open (To be played Sunday 29 September)
 Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) v  Marwan ElShorbagy (EGY)
Draw – Women’s Semi Finals (Bottom Half): Oracle NetSuite Open (To be played Sunday 29 September)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)