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Hania El Hammamy in action during the 2019-20 CIB PSA World Tour Finals

World Tour Finals: El Hammamy Comes Back from 2-0 Down to Beat El Tayeb

Egypt's World No.6 Hania El Hammamy is the 2019-20 CIB PSA World Tour Finals champion after beating compatriot and World No.6 Nour El Tayeb 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 in 81 minutes to become the youngest female winner of the event.

The 20-year-old went into the match having lost six of her previous seven matches to El Tayeb and it looked as though she was going to be condemned to another defeat as her compatriot took a 2-0 lead, which earlier in the week under the best-of-three format, would have been enough to see her take the win. However, the final reverted to traditional best-of-five scoring, which worked in the favour of El Hammamy.

El Hammamy started the match well but it was El Tayeb who absorbed the pressure and punished the Black Ball Open winner’s errors as she was able to wrap off a succession of points to take the first game. The second proved to work in the same manner as El Tayeb once again made herself hard to break down to double her advantage and leave El Hammamy staring down the barrel of defeat.

El Hammamy roared to life in the third, however, as she began to break the resolve of El Tayeb to pull a game back. It was then all about the World No.6 as she completely dominated play to draw level, with El Tayeb beginning to look distracted.

The younger Egyptian continued to keep her focus and ramped up the pressure in the decider, taking nine points without reply before El Tayeb was able to get on the board with the latter hitting her racket against the floor in frustration before El Hammamy completed her comeback by a 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 margin in 81 minutes.

“I’m over the moon, I can’t believe I actually did it,” said El Hammamy in her post-match interview.

“2-0 down against Nour El Tayeb, it’s a nightmare and I want to see the time of the match – it’s really tough playing against her, she’s so strong physically and I’m really proud of myself after being 2-0 down, I kept pushing and I kept digging in.

“I think I’m at my best when I’m down. I was so stressed at the beginning, whereas last year, I had no pressure, I was the underdog, I was playing freely, and I was so hungry. But this year, I feel I’m on the top girls, and the pressure is on me. When I got to 2-0 down, I told myself, oh well, if I lose, I don’t mind, but I at least want to perform well.

“For the past week the positive thing has been that I kept fighting and today I can add that I am so happy with my performance.

“At the beginning I kept making a lot of errors and that gave her the advantage in the first two games. When I became patient and I kept playing straight lines and found my length and shots then that made the difference.”

[5] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [2] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-2: 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-3 (81m)

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