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Squash - 08. April 2009.

Grinham Forges On At Heliopolis

RESULTS:         Women's On The Run Heliopolis Squash Open, Cairo, Egypt



[1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) bt [7] Orla Noom (NED) 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 (18m)

[3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY) bt Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8 (41m)

[4] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt [Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 (33m)

[2] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) bt [8] Christina Mak (HKG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-0 (19m)



Rachael Grinham is one match away from extending her lead as the current player with the most WISPA World Tour final appearances after despatching Dutch opponent Orla Noom in the quarter-finals of the On The Run Heliopolis Open, the women's $20,000 WISPA World Tour squash event at the Heliopolis Sporting Club in Cairo.


The top seed from Australia took just 18 minutes to overcome the No7 seed 11-5, 11-3, 11-9 – and will now face Egyptian Raneem El Weleily for a place in her second final in Egypt in a week, and the 52nd of her career.


Third seed El Weleily was made to battle for 41 minutes before getting the better of unseeded compatriot Heba El Torky, the 18-year-old world No44 from her own hometown Alexandria, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8.


El Torky was unable to repeat two recent wins over her higher-ranked opponent, who is based at the Heliopolis club:  "Raneem is playing in her club – besides, I don’t like to play her as we are team-mates!   I was also breathless in the first two game, but I continued.  She played very well, and thank God I played well too as I changed my game.  Now I will take a rest as I have played nine matches in the last month," explained teenager El Torky.


There will also be hometown interest in the other semi-final where fourth seed Engy Kheirallah takes on Hong Kong's Rebecca Chiu, the No2 seed.  Kheirallah - originally from Alexandria but now living in Cairo with her husband Karim Darwish, the men's world number one – beat 16-year-old qualifier Nour El Tayeb, also from Cairo, 11-7, 11-7, 11-4.


"I am happy I won in three - I was very sharp, I played well," said 27-year-old Kheirallah afterwards.  "Nour is a very talented player - I had to be focused so that I didn’t give her any easy balls as she has very sharp shots."


Chiu beat long-time national rival Christina Mak, the eighth seed, 11-6, 11-6, 11-0.


“We know each other's game, we are team mates," said 30-year-old Chiu, the world No14.  "We train and play a lot against each other - almost a hundred times - so I don’t like to play her!  I am happy to pass through to the semis."


Semi-final line-up:

[1] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v [3] Raneem El Weleily (EGY)

[2] Rebecca Chiu (HKG) v [4] Engy Kheirallah (EGY)

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photos Janos Schmidt 

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