Egyptian World No.1s Raneem El Welily made it through to the third round of the El Gouna International Squash Open after winning on the spectacular glass court at Abu Tig Marina last night at the PSA World Tour Platinum tournament.
El Welily got the better of eight-time World Champion Nicol David in the first match on the glass court this evening, winning the match in straight games, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8.
The World No.1 had met the former World No.1 27 times on the PSA World Tour, with their first meeting all the way back in 2001. David had won two-thirds of the previous clashes - including a stunning comeback from four championship balls down in the 2014 World Championship final in Cairo - but Welily had prevailed in the last six. She did so again in this one to advance to the last 16 of the tournament.
“I am really happy to have been on court with Nicol again. I was looking at the head-to-head right before the match and we have played so many times,” Welily said after the match.
“To play with her one last time, especially in Egypt, is an absolutely fantastic feeling for me. This past month, I have been spending a lot of time with her. We had an exhibition tournament in Birmingham and that was a special week for me.
“I spent so much time with her off court, for the first time ever so this past month has been really special for me, getting to know her a bit better. It has been a long journey, and I am proud to have shared some of it with her, at least.”
Also on the glass court yesterday, World No.3 Nour El Tayeb got the better of 42-year-old Rachael Grinham in straight games. The Egyptian only needed 18 minutes to seal victory, securing her passage through to the third round.
At the side courts - staged at the El Gouna Squash Complex - the big shock came through Belgium’s Tinne Gilis’ victory over India’s World No.16 Joshna Chinappa.
21-year-old Gilis will now appear in the third round of a PSA Platinum tournament for the first time after she held off a comeback from the Indian player to prevail 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4.
Their only previous meeting came in January’s J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions – with Chinappa winning in straight games – but it was all Gilis in the opening stages as she hit her marks early on to take a two-game advantage.
The third game went the way of Chinappa as the 32-year-old controlled proceedings, while she narrowly took the fourth on a tie-break to restore parity. Gilis regrouped impressively though and a composed performance from the Belgian saw her keep Chinappa at bay to cruise home in the decider, earning her a spot on the glass court at the Abu Tig Marina, where she will play El Welily.
“This is the first time ever I beat a top 20 player, and it’s probably the best I’ve ever played too,” said Gilis.
“It was the same game plan as my previous match, slowing the pace down as she is a hard hitter, and then attacking only when the opportunity arose.
“I kind of knew what to expect as I played her in the second round of the ToC and lost in three. I’m lucky I had my friends and family to support me today, I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Elsewhere in the women’s draw, Mariam Metwally came through a feisty encounter with England’s Victoria Lust in the only other surprise victory, while former World No.1 Laura Massaro required five games to see off Gilis' older sister, Nele.
New Zealand's Joelle King, United States' Amanda Sobhy and Egypt's Salma Hany were the other women to win on day three
Matches from the glass court will be broadcast live on SQUASHTV (rest of world), Eurosport Player (Europe only) and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour.
Results - Men’s Second Round (Top Half): El Gouna International
 Ali Farag (EGY) bt Cameron Pilley (AUS) 3-1: 14-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6 (54m)
Diego Elias (PER) bt Mazen Hesham (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-4 6-11, 11-6 (39m)
Joel Makin (WAL) bt Mostafa Asal (EGY) 3-1: 11-3, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4 (52m)
 Paul Coll (NZL) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 3-0: 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (23m)
 Simon Rösner (GER) bt Tom Richards (ENG) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)
Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 13-11, 11-6, 11-3 (41m)
Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Edmon Lopez (ESP) 3-2: 11-9, 11-1, 3-11, 9-11, 11-6 (70m)
 Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Zahed Salem (EGY) 3-1: 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6 (44m)
Results - Women’s Second Round (Top Half): El Gouna International
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Nicol David (MAS) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (26m)
Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt  Joshna Chinappa (IND) 3-2: 11-8, 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-4 (59m)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) bt  Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-2: 11-13, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9 (53m)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt Coline Aumard (FRA) 3-0: 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 (30m)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-2: 11-8, 1-11, 11-3, 4-11, 11-8 (60m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Emily Whitlock (ENG) 3-1: 9-11, 11-3, 11-5, 13-11 (37m)
 Salma Hany (EGY) bt Danielle Letourneau (CAN) 3-1: 11-9, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8 (35m)
 Nour el Tayeb (EGY) bt Rachael Grinham (AUS) 3-0: 11-2, 11-4, 11-7 (18m)
Draw - Women’s Second Round (Bottom Half): To Be Played Saturday 20th April
 Camille Serme (FRA) v Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA)
Hollie Naughton (CAN) v  Tesni Evans (WAL)
 Annie Au (HKG) v Julianne Courtice (ENG)
Rowan Elaraby v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) v Millie Tomlinson (ENG)
Zeina Mickawy (EGY) v  Hania El Hammamy (EGY)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v Nadine Shahin (EGY)
Yathreb Adel (EGY) v  Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
Draw - Women’s Third Round (Top Half): To Be Played Sunday 21st April
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Tinne Gilis (BEL)
Mariam Metwally (EGY) v  Joelle King (NZL)
 Laura Massaro (ENG) v  Amanda Sobhy (USA)
 Salma Hany (EGY) v  Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
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