Nicol surrenders Malaysian Open squash crown

KUALA LUMPUR: Egypt’s rising star Raneem El Weleily outplayed world number one and home favourite Datuk Nicol David to win her first Malaysian Open title yesterday.

HEARTBREAKER: Raneem El Weleily of Egypt (left) plays a return during her final match against Nicol yesterday. — Bernama photo

The 23-year-old claimed the trophy with a 12-10, 11-13, 13-11, 11-2 win over a sluggish Nicol. It was El Weleily’s first victory over the six-time world champion, who was hoping to win her eighth consecutive Malaysian crown and a record-equalling 63 international titles on the world circuit.

“Raneem was just playing magnificently today, she hardly made an error throughout,” said a dejected Nicol.

“It is so difficult to win points against that kind of performance.

“She had no fear taking me on the court, so congratulations to her for a good game played. The better woman won today.”

The Egyptian, the world number two, described the victory as “unbelievable”.

“I was a bit nervous in the semi-final against (Malaysia’s) Low Wee Wern, but I controlled myself better on the court against Nicol.

“I ensured I did not make errors, and played a solid match. It is a great win for me.”

Nicol, 28, Malaysia’s sporting darling, had no answer to her opponent’s drop shots, and paid the price.

Earlier, Egypt’s Tarek Momen claimed the biggest win of his career when he upset compatriot Mohamed El Shorbagy 12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 8-11, 14-12 in the Malaysian Open men’s final.

“I wanted to win really, really badly,” he later told reporters. — AFP

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