CIB: Cairo Plays Host To World Tour Finals

CIB: Cairo Plays Host To World Tour Finals

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals action which kicked off yesterday, is the first six matches of the tournament take place at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo, Egypt.

Egypt’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily and Wales’ World No.9 Tesni Evans were the first to kick off the day’s action in the first match of the day.

Followed by Egypt’s World No.2 and defending men’s champion Mohamed ElShorbagy who faced Peruvian Puma Diego Elias.

POINTS ACCUMULATION  

Players competing at the World Tour Finals will compete in group stages, which are held under a best-of-three games format,

With the top two from each group progressing to the knockout semi-finals and beyond.

Points are on offer for all results in group matches, apart from a 2-0 loss. If a player loses 2-1, they get one point.

If a player wins their match 2-1, they would receive three points, and if they win in straight games 2-0, they get the full four points.

Egypt’s World No.1 Raneem El Welily got her final tournament of the season off to a winning start as she overcame Wales’ World No.9 Tesni Evans in two-games at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals.

Players competing at the World Tour Finals will compete in group stages, which are held under a best-of-three games format,

The top two from each group will progress to the knockout semi-finals and beyond

 El Welily however got off on a perfect start with a dominant performance at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo.

The Egyptian, who was named the PSA Women’s Player of the Year over the weekend, was in full flow in the opening game as she immediately took a 1-0 lead over Evans,

Evans however changed her game plan in second round to attacking more, thereby taking the lead for the first time in the match,

Welily however bounced back to close out an 11-4, 11-6 win in 18 minutes thereby coolecting the full four points on offer.

WELILY SPEAKS

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Women’s Title holder Raneem Welily

“I think in the second, she found a pace that suited her more than it suited me,

“I had to up that a little bit and push myself to make things a bit quicker,

“You practice on the court a lot, but every day the conditions are different. Obviously, the weather is really hot,

‘’We practiced this morning at 11am and the ball was bouncing high up and it’s very different to what we have played on today, but definitely a situation that you can adjust to.

“As Egyptians, we are very lucky to be playing the last tournament at home and not having to travel on a plane

‘’We are very lucky to be able to play in front of our home crowd and playing in a tournament where my family and coaches can watch.

‘’And also playing in a tournament that CIB and Wadi Degla, my own sponsors, are sponsoring.”

Result: [1] Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt [8] Tesni Evans (WAL) 2-0: 11-4, 11-6 (18m).

Serme and King on court

In other matches, France’s World No.3 Camille Serme came from two match balls down to defeat New Zealand’s Joelle King in Group A of the PSA World Tour Finals.

All three games went to tie-breaks as both played to an intense tempo in Cairo. However, it was the Frenchwoman who was able to hold her nerve and close out as she claimed a 12-14, 12-10, 12-10 victory in 55 minutes.

King, who qualified automatically for the World Tour Finals after winning the Hong Kong Open title, started strongly to take the opening game, 14-12.

Serme in the other hand, who reached the final of the British Open last month, recovered in the second round with a high-quality contest to draw level against the Kiwi.

The momentum once again swung in King’s favour, as she held two game balls against the Frenchwoman,

Followed again by Serme, as she found her accuracy and composure to take her opportunity at the first time of asking and close out a 12-14, 12-10, 12-10 victory.

CAMILLE SERME SPEAKS

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The thirty-year-old says: “I remember those really close matches and being match ball down and winning at the end,

“I was thinking ‘it’s not finished yet’, but obviously I got a bit of luck at the end. It could have gone either way and I think it was a good match from both of us and at least we gave it all.

“The intensity is straight from the first point; you are straight into it. I remember the first rally was really long and I was thinking ‘ok, it is going to be a long match,

‘’It’s hard because you have to stay focused the whole way and I think that is one of my weaknesses that I struggle to stay really focused the whole way and I think today was the same,

‘’I got a bit lucky at the end and I just relaxed with my shots as well,

“I just want to focus on each match and we will see how it goes tomorrow and I’m happy to get the win today.”

Result:
[4] Camille Serme (FRA) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 2-1: 12-14, 12-10, 12-10 (55m)

Sherbini and Perry on court

England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry caused an upset as she came from 9-3 down in the second game to defeat defending champion Nour El Sherbini 2-0 under the lights at the Mall of Arabia.

Perry who holds a strong record over three-time World Champion El Sherbini, with the Englishwoman winning her last two matches against the former World No.1 this season,

Most recently, at the British Open, she ensured she claimed the hattrick as she claimed a round one win over the 23-year-old.

It was the Egyptian who started stronger in both games, going 8-5 up in the first below losing six points in a row and then holding a 9-3 advantage in the second,

 Perry however, soon whittled down as she found her accuracy and range to devastating effect.

SARAH-JANE PERRY SPEAKS

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England’s No.1 Sarah-Jane Perry

“I just relaxed and remembered that there wasn’t any pressure on me,

“I just played my squash and thankfully hit some nice shots after that and got back into it,

“I remember playing her on this court in Gouna a couple of years ago and I got an absolute lesson and have had a few of those over the years,

‘’It makes it a bit of a bonus being here at the end of the season following my operation and so I’m just trying to seize any opportunity that comes my way on the court,

“You can’t afford to have a bad start and you can’t afford to go 9-3 down in any game. I didn’t think about winning that game when I was 9-3 down,

‘’I just tried to play my way back in because I knew how important the third game was.”

Result:
[7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 2-0: 11-8, 11-9 (23m)

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