Raneem shocks world champ Nour

Dubai - Pilley edges Mossad as Camille downs Omneya



By Moni Mathews

Published: Tue 24 May 2016, 10:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 25 May 2016, 12:23 AM

Fourth seeded Raneem El Welily shocked world champion Nour El Sherbini 2-0 (12-10, 17-15) in a Group B fixture of the women's section of the PSA Dubai World Series Finals on Tuesday.
In the all-Egyptian first round clash, Raneem, the world No. 3, was able to sustain her better allround game during the crucial moments before subduing the world number one who is seven years younger at 20.
Nour was slightly ahead in the first set before going down to Raneem's superbly crafted side court shots off both hands. Nour used her longer reach against Raneem who was made to run faster to reach from the front to the rear glass wall for the backhands.
Raneen trailed 8-10 in the second set with the match looking all set to go into the deciding rubber but at that point, Raneem hit two superb crosscourt shots to level at 10all.
Each time Nour surged ahead to square matters during stretched deuces, Raneem came back into the picture to level issues, and at 15-14, the fourth seed here slammed one close to the tin after a let was called on the earlier point for Nour to come on level terms again at 14-14. Serving for the match, Raneem did not let the chance go (15-14) to go by for a 2-1 victory.
"I am so happy to be part of the four-player team from Egypt. Nour played with her same style and I have only made a beginning with a great start at a great venue like this in Dubai," said Raneem, the first Egyptian woman ever to become a world champion in any sport.
"I have no excuses and I don't think I made unforced errors. Raneem kept her shots tight and kept returning well consistently. She played a good solid allround game," said Nour.
There was an upset in Group B of the men's pool phase when the lowest ranked player in the eight-player field - Cameron Pilley of Australia - edged fourth seeded Egyptian Omar Mossad 2-1 (11-7, 5-11, 11-6) in a game that saw more of tactics playing the upper hand for close to an hour.
"The first went quite well and knowing Omar's game after two recent encounters especially the one in Egypt recently where I beat him, the only way to overcome a man who loves to volley hard was to pin him down with shorter returns to mid court," Pilley said.
Seventh seeded Frenchwoman Camille Serme won in straight sets though it was a touch and go affair against Egypt's Omneya Abdel Kawy, the number six in the tournament. The 23-minute first round tournament opener witnessed intense yet short rallies before Camille rode to a 11-9, 13-11 victory in Group B.
"I have played the World Series Finals before but it has been a while, so it felt a little strange and quicker than normal - especially against Omneya because she plays such short rallies," Camille said.
Later second seed Gregory gaultier of France steamed past sixth seeded German Simon Rosner 11-2, 11-9 in a men's Group B match in the final match before the night session.
moni@khaleejtimes.com


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