Hopes were high of an all-Malaysian climax to the women’s CIMB Malaysian Open at the Curve shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, but Raneem El Weleily put an end to those hopes as fellow Egyptians Mohamed El Shorbagy and Tarek Momen advanced to the men’s final. It wasn’t all bad news for the home crowd though as Malaysia’s own Nicol David won through to an eighth Malaysian Open final and a shot at breaking the all-time record for women’s tour record won …
El Weleily Ends All-Malaysian Final Dream
Raneem El Weleily booked her place in the CIMB Malaysian Open Squash Championships after ending the impressive run of Low Wee Wern.
The Egyptian closed out the contest in four games against local interest Wee Wern, but the No.2 seed didn’t have it all her own way. After narrowly losing first game, the Malaysian upped the pace of her play to force a number of errors from her opponent and managed to draw level at one game apiece.
El Weleily hit back immediately though, moving Wee Wern strategically around the court and ended the third game by forcing a stroke from the world No.10. As the match progressed though, the Egyptian steadily upped the power of her shots, which seemed to play into Wee Wern’s game plan.
Some steady and patient play from Wee Wern in the fourth game was enough to force a fifth game out of El Weleily, after some uncharacteristic errors from the world No.2 put herself under unnecessary pressure.
The Egyptian returned to court a more focussed and consistent figure, but Wee Wern, buoyed by her home support, refused to go down quietly. A close 11-9 final game went in favour of El Weleily as she progresses to the final, but the young Malaysian can be proud of her efforts in this World Series event.
El Weleily will face Nicol David in the final after the home favourite game from a game down against a determined Laura Massaro to win in four. Massaro started the quicker of the pair in the second WSA match of the day, and took the first game tie-break. She extended a small lead in the second too, but Nicol got into her stride and closed out the Englishwoman’s efforts with some excellent retrieval and impeccable lengths.
Massaro’s threat never waivered, but David’s court movement absorbed much of the attacking pressure and it was the Malaysian who continues on to her tenth Malaysian Open final, of which she has won eight.
David now has the chance to claim title number 63, a feat which would see her overtake Sarah Fitzgerald in most number of WSA titles ever won.
WSA $70k World Series CIMB Malaysian Open Semi-finals:
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG) 10/12, 11/6, 11/7, 11/8
 Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt  Low Wee Wern (MAS) 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9
Momen Sets Up First All-Egyptian Malaysian Open Final
Unseeded Egyptian Tarek Momen overcame a first game deficit in today’s semi-finals of the CIMB Malaysian Open at the Curve Shopping Mall in Selangor before beating higher-ranked Spaniard Borja Golan to set up the first ever all-Egyptian final of the PSA World Tour International 50 squash event.
Momen will face fellow countryman Mohamed El Shorbagy, the No2 seed who earlier beat Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller.
But Momen, five years younger and two ranking places lower, reclaimed the advantage early in the second game and held his nerve thereafter to close out the match 13-15, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 after 53 minutes.
The Cairo-based Egyptian was celebrating his second appearance in the event final since 2010 – and his first win over former world No10 Golan since August 2008.
“What really helped me today – and made a big difference – was that I was really calm. And this helped me keep my focus,” said Momen, now in the eighth PSA Tour final of his career.
“I kept my error count to a minimum and that really helped.
“It’s good for Egypt that we have two players in the final. And I wish Mohamed the best of luck!”
El Shorbagy, the world No8 making his first appearance in the Malaysian Open, twice had to come from behind against Mueller, the 23-year-old from Zurich who became the first Swiss player to make the world top 20 this month.
The Egyptian regrouped in the decider and finally clinched his 11-13, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8 victory after 64 minutes.
“I am just really glad I got through .. it wasn’t easy at all,” said the 21-year-old from Alexandria who is marking his ninth Tour final. “I’m putting too much pressure on myself these days to win and which I shouldn’t!
“I can’t believe that was our first meeting on PSA. We played only once before, which was at the semi final of the World Juniors which I won in five also.
“I was 10-7 up in the first and 8-6 up in the third – and lost both! It’s just frustrating how I lose my concentration. If I had got any of these two games, I don’t think we would have gone to a fifth game – but the way he came back was just very strong!
“It was a great match. I think we both played well and I think we both realise after this match that we will create great rivalry together – hopefully like the Nick (Matthew) and Ramy (Ashour) one in the future!”
PSA International 50 CIMB Malaysian Open, Semi-finals:
Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Borja Golan (ESP) 13-15, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 (53m)
 Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY) bt Nicolas Mueller (SUI) 11-13, 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8 (64m)