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Karim Abdel-Gawad, Raneem El Welily win Al-Ahram titles
Karim Abdel-Gawad and Raneem El Welily won their respective finals in the 2016 Al-Ahram Squash Open on Friday, as Egypt’s dominance of the sport continued.
Egypt hosted the Al-Ahram Squash Open by the Giza Pyramids for the first time in 15 years, taking the sport back to the country which has produced the top players in the world in recent years.
World #1 Nour El-Sherbini continued her fine form to progress to the final, after dispatching Australian Rachael Grinham, and Egyptian duo Omneya Abdel-Kawy and Nour El-Tayeb.
Her opponent – and former #1 – Raneem El Welily qualified after victories against Joshna Chinappa, Amanda Sobhy and Sarah-Jane Perry.
El Welily made a strong start, winning 11-5 in the first game. A 11-9 win in the second match suggested the match was almost over, but El-Sherbini rallied to win 9-11 in the third and fourth matches, to set up a thrilling finale.
In the end, El Welily triumphed 11-7 in the final game to clinch the title ahead of her young opponent.
— Al-Ahram Squash (@AlAhramSquash) September 23, 2016
Karim Abdel-Gawad beat Scotland’s Greg Lobban in Round 1, before eliminating compatriots Tarek Momen and Omar Mosaad en-route to the tournament final.
Fellow finalist Ali Farag’s route to the final consisted of Egyptian trio Fares Dessouky, Ramy Ashour and world #1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, as he defeated the latter 3-1 in the semi-final.
Despite Farag’s tougher qualifying route, Karim Abdel-Gawad eased to a comfortable victory after winning 11-4, 11-7 and 11-5 to win his second PSA Tour title in 2016.