3:05 am
11 Dec 2023

England & Egypt Battle Into World Final

30 Sep 2006

Favourites England will face Egypt, the No2 seeds, in the final of the Lexus of Edmonton WSF Women's World Team Championship at the Royal Glenora Club in Edmonton, Canada - England beating fourth seeds Netherlands to reach the event's climax for the seventh successive time since 1992, while Egypt overcame Malaysia, the third seeds in their maiden semi-final appearance, 2/1 to reach the final for the first time.

Squad number two Vicky Botwright put England into a commanding position in the first semi-final by beating her Dutch opponent Annelize Naude 10-8, 9-2, 9-4. "I wanted to get the team to a good start, and knew there was more pressure on me because I am higher ranked than Annelize," said the 29-year-old from Manchester afterwards. "I think she may have been disappointed in not winning that tight first game which I won 10-8, and in the second and third games she perhaps tried too hard, making too many errors."

In the second match, England's British National Champion Tania Bailey, ranked seven in the world, took on world No2 Vanessa Atkinson. Bailey was 2/1 up, with two match-balls from 8-5 in the fourth, when Atkinson, a former world champion and world number one from The Hague, mounted a major comeback to force the match into a fifth game decider.

But Bailey, 26, from Lincolnshire, maintained her composure to record her second win of the year over her higher-ranked opponent by a 7-9, 9-2, 9-0, 9-10, 9-3 scoreline. "I felt really comfortable with the ball, moving on the court, and enjoying the game," said Bailey after the marathon 71-minute victory which ensured England a place in the final.

By contrast, Egypt had a tougher battle to claim their debut appearance in the world team final. Although Engy Kheirallah defeated Sharon Wee of Malaysia 9-0, 9-5, 9-0 in just 26 minutes in the first match, it seemed that Egypt might take the second match when Omneya Abdel Kawy took Malaysia's world No1 Nicol David to the limit in the first game.

When David tied the first game at 8-8, Kawy called "set one", and returned David's serve with a crosscourt nick. She repeated that a second consecutive time, however, but David hit a winner when she had "game point" for the third time. Kawy was so extended from the first game that David easily took the next two games to level the tie with a 9-8, 9-0, 9-0 victory.

The turning point in the deciding match between Egypt's Raneem El Weleily and Malaysia's Tricia Chuah came from a missed winning drop shot by Chuah when serving at 7-8. The Egyptian then hit a winning drop shot the next rally to win the game 9-7. From there on, Chuah could not sustain any momentum in the second game, and in the third game - despite leading 6-3 and 7-5 - she seemed to lose her concentration. Nonetheless, El Weleily displayed some excellent winners in boasts and soft drop shots to record a 9-7, 9-2, 10-8 win to give Egypt a berth in the final for the first time.

When asked afterwards if she expected to win her match, the 17-year-old Egyptian answered: "It is not so much the expectation, but rather all the pressure that is placed on you to win for your team."

Perhaps the surprise nation of the Championship is South Africa. Seeded 12, the team continued their winning ways with a 2/1 victory over 10th seeds France to earn a place in the play-off for 5th place after finishing 10th two years ago. Even though France were missing their squad No1 Isabelle Stoehr, South Africa's coach Richard Castle, said: "If Claire (Nitch) too was playing, then I think the result would have being the same." Nitch suffered a knee injury in her second match forcing her out of the Championship. This is Nitch's 8th World Team Championship, and probably her last - indeed she is one of the "veterans" of this Championship.

Vicky Botwright bt Annelize Naude 10-8, 9-2, 9-4 (48m)
Tania Bailey bt Vanessa Atkinson 7-9, 9-2, 9-0, 9-10, 9-3 (71m)
Alison Waters bt Orla Noom 9-2, 9-3 (17m)
[2] EGYPT bt [3] MALAYSIA 2-1
Engy Kheirallah bt Sharon Wee 9-0, 9-5, 9-0 (26m)
Omneya Abdel Kawy lost to Nicol David 8-9, 0-9, 0-9 (34m)
Raneem El Weleily bt Tricia Chuah 9-7, 9-2, 10-8 (35m)

5th - 8th place play-offs:
[6] NEW ZEALAND bt [9] IRELAND 3-0
Jaclyn Hawkes bt Aisling Blake 9-0, 7-9, 9-0, 9-3 (47m)
Shelley Kitchen bt Madeline Perry 9-1, 9-3, 9-3 (27m)
Louise Crome bt Laura Mylotte 9-5, 9-4 (16m)
[12] SOUTH AFRICA bt [10] FRANCE 2-1
Diana Argyle bt Celia Allamargot 9-1, 9-0, 9-4 (19m)
Tenille Swartz bt Camille Serme 9-3, 9-3, 9-6 (39m)
Karen van der Westhuizen lost to Soraya Renai 4-9, 9-7, 8-10 (20m)

9th - 12th place play-offs:
[8] HONG KONG bt [11] USA 2-1
Christina Mak bt Meredeth Quick 5-9, 7-9, 9-5, 9-0, 9-4 (62m)
Rebecca Chiu bt Latasha Khan 10-9, 9-4, 9-3 (41m)
Annie Au lost to Louisa Hall 6-9, 10-8, 5-9 (31m)
[5] AUSTRALIA bt [13] GERMANY 3-0
Melissa Martin bt Katharina Witt 9-2, 4-9, 5-9, 9-3, 9-4 (54m)
Kasey Brown bt Daniela Schumann 9-0, 9-1, 9-1 (21m)
Amelia Pittock bt Carola Weiss 9-6, 10-9 (29m)

13th - 16th place play-offs:
[14] JAPAN bt [15] SPAIN 3-0
Chinatsu Matsui bt Chantal Moros-Pitarch 9-3, 9-2, 9-3 (36m)
Mami Nishio bt Elisabet Sado 9-2, 9-4, 9-5 (31m)
Sachiko Shinta bt Laura Alonso 9-4, 9-0
[7] CANADA bt [16] AUSTRIA 3-0
Carolyn Russell bt Birgit Coufal 9-3, 9-10, 9-1, 9-3 (41m)
Runa Reta bt Pamela Pancis 9-2, 9-3, 9-6 (39m)
Alana Miller bt Theresa Gradnitzer 9-0, 9-5