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Raneem El Welily (right) takes on Alexandra Fuller (left) on day two of the Black Ball Open

Black Ball Open RD2: El Welily Overcomes Fuller Test

World No.1 Raneem El Welily was tested by South Africa’s Alexandra Fuller before coming through to win 3-1 in their second round fixture at the CIB Black Ball Women’s Squash Open currently taking place in Cairo.

Fuller, ranked at No.38 in the world, played some positive squash and wasn’t afraid to attack the defending champion, fighting back from a game down to level in the second after having El Welily on strings at times.

The stunned silence from the crowd was soon replaced by warm applause though as El Welily changed up her tactics from that point onwards. The pace had been playing into Fuller’s hands previously, but the Egyptian slowed it right down and utilised height on the front wall to keep the ball away from Fuller’s attacks.

Fuller wasn’t able to respond as El Welily stormed to victory in games three and four to book her third round spot courtesy of an 11-8, 7-11, 11-2, 11-4 victory in 36 minutes.

“Alexandra played really good squash today and she put me under a lot of pressure in different corners of the court,” said El Welily.

“She moved the ball really well and all credit to her for doing that. All in all I couldn’t find my spots on the court in the first two games, I was trying really hard to stay in the rally or even create a rally.

“It was a little bit of a flat start today but all in all I’m very happy with my performance. To come out today with the last two games and the way that I played them, I think I’m pleased with that and I’ll go home hungry for more for sure.”

El Welily will line up against No.12 seed Yathreb Adel in the last 16 after she got the better of Hong Kong’s Joey Chan.

[1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Alexandra Fuller (RSA) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-2, 11-4 (36m)

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