Three-time Windy City Open champion Raneem El Welily recovered from a slow start to overcome England’s Julianne Courtice by an 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 scoreline at the University Club of Chicago.
After beating Canada’s Danielle Letourneau in the previous round, Courtice vowed to take the game to El Welily, and she certainly did that in the early stages, playing some well-constructed rallies to go 6-2 ahead.
World No.1 El Welily soon found her range though, taking eight of the next 10 points to go a game to the good.
Courtice kept on plugging away and was able to take points off the Egyptian, but El Welily always had an air of control as the Egyptian earned her spot in the last 16 against compatriot Salma Hany.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, but I’m definitely happy with the match today,” said El Welily.
“It was a very good match, she played very well. I let go for two points in the beginning of the match and she was suddenly up 6-2. That shows she is very fearless and a very confident player.
“I’ve seen her results, I know what she is capable off, but being on court with her is definitely something different. I’m very pleased to be through with a 3-0 win and I wish her all the best.
“I have Haitham Effat, my coach at home, who does that [studying the opposition] for me. I’m not a very good analyst, I have to be honest. I could watch and enjoy the match, but I wouldn’t be able to tell what to do or what not to do, so I’m very lucky to have my coach to do that for me.
“I’m very happy to be back here, there are so many familiar faces and so many friends here as well who come to support every year.”
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Julianne Courtice (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 (26m)