A major upset by Raneem El Weleily in the women’s semi-finals of the Hurghada International has set up all-Egyptian finals in the international squash circuit event in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Hurghada.
El Weleily was facing Australia’s three-time champion Rachael Grinham in the WISPA World Tour Silver 20event celebrating its tenth year in Hurghada.
In a match described by event spokesman Hesham El Attar as “a beautiful tactical battle”, fourth seed El Weleily, the world No12 from Alexandria, took just 31 minutes to defeat the top-seeded Queenslander 11-4, 12-10, 11-9.
Grinham was expected to reach the final for the seventh time – but the El Weleily’s second upset over the illustrious former world number one this year takes the 22-year-old Egyptian into her first Hurghada final, and the seventh Tour final of her career.
El Weleily will face national rival Omneya Abdel Kawy, the Egyptian number one bidding for her fourth successive title, beat fast-rising compatriot Nour El Tayeb, the 18-year-old world No18, 9-11, 15-13, 11-7, 11-7.
Abdel Kawy, the world No8 from Cairo, is celebrating her 27th appearance in a WISPA Tour final.
The climax of the men’s PSA World Tour International 70 event will be the battle between two of the top three players in the world predicted by the seedings.
Favourite Ramy Ashour fended off Gregory Gaultier, beating his third-seeded French rival 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 in 48 minutes.
It was the pair’s 14th Tour clash since December 2005, but world No2 Ashour was celebrating his seventh win in a row over the world No6 from Aix-en-Provence, but only his second straight games victory.
In a repeat of the 2010 final, Ashour will line up against Cairo compatriot Karim Darwish, the world No3.
Darwish ended Olli Tuominen’s brave run in the event, beating the unseeded Finn 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 in just 29 minutes.
Tuominen, the world No22 from Helsinki who made his breakthrough in the first round where he toppled France’s No4 seed Thierry Lincou, was playing for the second time in the day after having to continue his quarter-final match after excessive humidity in the outdoor court the previous night caused the match to be halted.
Ashour and Darwish have appeared in more than 60 PSA Tour finals between them – 23-year-old defending champion Ashour marking his 33rd, while 29-year-old Darwish is in his 35th.
 Ramy Ashour (EGY) bt  Gregory Gaultier (FRA) 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 (48m)
 Karim Darwish (EGY) bt Olli Tuominen (FIN) 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (29m)
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt  Rachael Grinham (AUS) 11-4, 12-10, 11-9 (31m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 9-11, 15-13, 11-7, 11-7 (49m)