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Hong Kong Squash Open

Raneem El Welily out to lose bridesmaid tag at Hong Kong Squash Open

  • Egyptian meets New Zealand’s King in the final looking to finally snare the Hong Kong title
  • Number two seed takes over the No 1 spot in the world rankings next month regardless of result on Sunday
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2018, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 November, 2018, 1:12am

Egypt’s Raneem El Welily will be out to lose her bridesmaid tag at the Everbright Sun Hung Kai Hong Kong Open after reaching her fourth final on Saturday.

The number two seed will have a chance for redemption in the glass court at Hong Kong Park and although she regains her world No 1 ranking next month, the 29-year-old Egyptian won’t be celebrating until she wins the title that has eluded her for years.

El Welily has come close to the Hong Kong title on three different occasions but has always found one better in the 2011, 2013 and 2017 finals, but she has been afforded another opportunity to finally make things right.

“I’m not celebrating just yet. The tournament is not over and I still have one more match to go tomorrow,” said El Welily after her tough 3-2 (13-11, 10-12, 11-8, 9-11,11-7) win over fellow Egyptian Nouran Gohar.

“I won’t be thinking about the world number one ranking too because I need to focus on the final. I will be very happy if I can finish with a win tomorrow,” said El Welily, who regains top spot in December’s rankings after first knocking Nicol David off her perch in September 2015.

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The Egyptian expects a tough match against Joelle King, the New Zealander and fifth seed, who stopped the run of England’s Sarah-Jane Perry 11-7, 11-3, 11-7 in the other semi-final.

“We had some very close matches in the past and she has beaten me a few times so it’s revenge time,” said El Welily of her Kiwi opponent.

Perry had a thrilling five-game win over top seed El Sherbini in the quarter-finals the previous day.

“Perry has had an amazing week and two really tough matches,” said King. “I just had to think about making it hard for her from the start and try to not let her back into the game. We have had some epic battles over the years. Today it was 3-0 but it is always mentally so tough against her.

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Meanwhile world No 1 Mohamed Elshorbagy, of Egypt, is on course for his fourth Hong Kong Open title after thrashing compatriot Tarek Momen 3-0 in the men’s semi-finals. The defending champion, who also won his three previous finals in 2014, 2015 and 2017 in Hong Kong, was never really troubled by his compatriot.

Elshorbagy will now meet fellow Egyptian Ali Farag, the second seed, in a repeat of last year’s Hong Kong final. Farag thrashed Germany’s Simon Rosner 3-0 (12-10, 11-7, 11-3) in the other semi-final.