El Weleily Celebrates Maiden Tour Success At Heliopolis
10 Apr 2009
Egypt's world junior squash champion Raneem El Weleily celebrated her long-awaited maiden Tour title success in stunning style at the On The Run Heliopolis Open when she beat compatriot Engy Kheirallah in the final of the women's $20,000 WISPA World Tour event at the Heliopolis Sporting Club in Cairo.
The 20-year-old third seed from Alexandria, who studies in Cairo, is based at the host club - so the gallery was packed with fans eager to see the first ever final in the 14-year history of the event featuring two Egyptians.
The more experienced Kheirallah, a former world No12, took the opening game and, at 10-all, was poised to move into a two-game lead.
But the local club star drew level - and then began to take control of the match until, after exactly one hour, she clinched her breakthrough title in a 7-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 scoreline.
"It's my first WISPA title - I am so happy to take the title in my home club," said the tearful El Weleily after rushing straight from the court to hug her mother and father in the crowd.
"I want to thank my mother, father and brother - and my coach Cherin Adel and Ahmed Mataany," added the new champion - whose third attempt to qualify for a Tour event was at the last staging of this event, six years ago.
"I want to thank you for holding the event as I remember the last Heliopolis Open was in 2003 - I played in it, I was almost 14 years old, and now winning in my club that is great!"
The triumph marks the latest milestone in El Weleily's impressive brief career to date - which has included title successes in six British Junior Open Championships (at U13, U15, U17 and U19); victory in the senior Egyptian National Championships; and, in August 2007, the second successive World Junior Championship crown, repeating the 'double' only achieved once before, by today's world number one Nicol David.
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt  Engy Kheirallah (EGY) 7-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-5 (60m)