It will be Cairo v the host city Alexandria in the surprise all-Egyptian final of the Women’s Alexandria International after No.7 seed Omneya Abdel Kawy and second seed Raneem El Welily prevailed in dramatic five-game semi-finals of the WSA International 100 squash event before a packed crowd surrounding the all-glass court at Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
The Giza-born underdog took the opening two games – but, spurred on by a significant Malaysian contingent in the crowd, David struck back to draw level, taking the fourth for the loss of just a single point.
The pair traded point for point in the decider with Abdel Kawy reaching match-ball first at 10-9 – but losing it on a stroke. The former world No.4 clinched the second to record her shock 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 1-11, 12-10 victory after 65 minutes.
The triumph set up the 32nd WSA World Tour final of Abdel Kawy’s career – and her first this year – but denied eight-time world champion David a place in her 100th Tour final.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am,” Abdel Kawy told the event website www.alexandriainternationalsquash.com later. “I only beat her once a long time ago and since then she always beat me.
“I am flattered with the way I played today. I thought that I really played very well. After that fourth, I told myself, now is the time, you give it all what you have.”
El Welily twice led and fourth seed Massaro twice levelled. But from 3-5 down in the decider, the now Cairo-based El Welily rattled off eight points in a row to ensure an all-Egyptian climax.
“It was a long match, a very tough match, mentally and physically,” said 26-year-old El Welily after her 70-minute 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 victory. “I didn’t think I was as fast as yesterday and I think we were both feeling the effects of yesterday’s matches.
“It was all about the end of the match and I was glad I was able to concentrate and push through then. Obviously I’m delighted to be in an all-Egyptian final, especially with Omneya!” added El Welily, now in her 25th Tour final.
Abdel Kawy was equally delighted with the outcome: “I’m so happy Raneem won. She is my best friend, she won most of our matches but tomorrow I’m going to make her life very difficult, she is going to have a bad experience, and the best player will win!”
It is exactly nine years since the two Egyptians first met on the WSA Tour. Their distinctive head-to-head record is currently poised on seven wins apiece – Abdel Kawy winning the first seven in a row until May 2011, since when El Welily has prevailed unbeaten.
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt  Nicol David (MAS) 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 1-11, 12-10 (65m)
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 (62m)