Thursday February 7, 2013
Raneem stuns Nicol for second time to clinch Ohio title
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: It seems like Egypt’s Raneem El Weleily is fast becoming a thorn in world No. 1 squash player Nicol David’s side.
The second-seeded Egyptian dashed Nicol’s hopes of winning a record 65th professional title with a stunning win over the Malaysian in the final of the Cleveland Classic in Ohio on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old Raneem beat defending champion Nicol 3-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 in an hour.
It was Raneem’s second win over Nicol in 11 meetings.
The Egyptian also beat Nicol in the final of the Malaysian Open in September. She did avenge that defeat when she beat Raneem in the final of the US Open in November.
But she was no match for a determine Raneem this time.
World No. 2 Raneem was elated with her win over seven-time world champion Nicol.
“All my hard work in training is paying off ... I also proved that my win over Nicol in the Malaysian Open last year was no fluke.
“This win over Nicol has boosted my confidence to win more WSA titles,” said the former world junior champion after bagging her sixth title since turning pro in 2003.
Nicol, however, had the consolation of being named the Women Squash Association (WSA) Heather McKay Player of the Year for the seventh consecutive time in her career.
The Malaysian won the award for winning seven tournaments last year, including her seventh world title in Cayman Islands.
The award is named after woman squash legend McKay, who was a dominant force on the tour in the 70s and 80s.