Raneem El-Welily wins Windy City Squash Open

Maya Nawar
3 Min Read

On 1 March the Guggenheim Partners & Equitrust Windy City Open 2017 celebrated its finals in Chicago, US. Egypt’s Raneem El-Welily, ranked third internationally, won the women’s final. In the men’s competition, France’s Gregory Gaultier triumphed over Egypt’s Marwan El-Shorbagy.

During the women’s final, which took 42 minutes, El-Welily beat her compatriot Nour El-Sherbini, ranked first internationally, with a score of 3-1. The first game was in favour of El-Sherbini, who won by 10-12. El-Welily stated, “she played really well in the first game and I was not sharp enough.” However, El-Welily turned the table, winning the following three games with a score of 11-7 in each game.

El-Welily commented, saying “even though I lost that first game, I knew that I was on my way to find the right plan.” This is the third consecutive Windy City Open title for the Egyptian champion, who took home the title in 2015 and 2016 as well.

In 2016’s final she as well played against El-Sherbini, also winning 3-1. The 2016 final’s scenario was close to the one of 2017, as El-Sherbini won the 2016 final’s first game by 9-11, but El-Welily then took revenge, winning the following three games by 11-6, 11-3, and 11-6, respectively. Celebrating her victory, El-Welily commented “Chicago is my lucky city and I am always happy to be here.”

Regarding the men’s final, France’s Gregory Gaultier, ranked third internationally, won against Egypt’s Marwan El-Shorbagy, ranked seventh internationally, with a score of 3-1. El-Shorbagy won the first game 5-11. The French champion did not permit another Egyptian victory and turned the match to his favour by winning the following three games by 11-8, 11-2, and 11-4, respectively.

Gaultier commented, stating “I had to find a solution and put more pace into it and get in control because when I was playing at his rhythm he was just a better player than me.”

This is the second Windy City title for Gaultier, since he won the tournament previously in 2014. Concerning his second victory, the French champion added, “I am really happy. It is amazing to win these kinds of major titles, so it will be nice to see my name on this beautiful trophy once again.”

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