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Nour El Tayeb

Black Ball Open QF: El Tayeb Ousts Defending Champion El Welily

Egypt’s World No.5 Nour El Tayeb took out defending champion and World No.1 Raneem El Welily to reach the semi-finals of the CIB Black Ball Squash Open in a high-quality battle in Cairo, Egypt.

The two Egyptians are no strangers to facing each other on the PSA Tour with 22 meetings previously and four times already this season, with each play taking two wins apiece in 2019/20. However, today was El Tayeb’s day as she announced her return to form with a bang to take out the top seed.

Both players pushed each other to their limits right until the death with the momentum of the match constantly swinging between the two talented Egyptians and nothing between the players on the scoreboard in the gruelling 72 minute clash.

El Tayeb, who recently won the Cleveland Classic PSA Bronze title, has suffered early round exits at the two previous Platinum events, but ensured she produced a performance to remember against the World No.1 in front of her home crowd in Cairo as she fought from 2-1 down to win 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9.

El Tayeb will now face World Champion Nour El Sherbini for a place in the final.

“We’ve played so many times, but she is leading the head-to-head 14-8,” said El Tayeb afterwards.

“She is the World No.1 and is one of my role models growing up. It’s easy to prepare for this match because there is very little pressure on me and I can’t believe I won. Every game and every point I was happy to be there because I am in a major quarter final for the first time in so long.

“After I won the first game, I thought that's good progress, a week ago I wouldn't have dreamed of taking a game off Raneem, so I told myself, if you lose the second game, it doesn't matter. And that helped me to keep pushing.

“At the moment, I lack match fitness for sure, I lack confidence. It's fluid when you play against Raneem, and I don't mind her outplaying me for several rallies, sometimes it's just nice to see her play.”

[5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) bt [1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-2: 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9 (72m)

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