Irrepressible Nour El Sherbini maintained her impressive run in the World Squash Championship, winning the title for the fourth time with a 3-1 victory over fellow Egyptian Raneem El Welily to celebrate her 24th
birthday in style.
El Sherbini produced a typical lively display to win 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 in 41 minutes, overcoming world number one El Welily who had hoped to win the title for a second time following her maiden triumph in 2017 when she beat El Sherbini in Manchester.
This time, the contest was played in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza, with the breathtaking view providing a beautiful backdrop as both women traded quick shots in the glass court.
But the forehand, backhand and drop shots of El Sherbini were too strong for her 30-year-old opponent, with the former enjoying a comfortable lead in three of the four games.
After losing the first game, El Welily roared back in the second with a confident display of her own but El Sherbini quickly regained control to emerge a worthy winner.
She took her tally to four World Championships, including three in the last four editions. Her ultimate target is overtaking squash legend Nicol David of Malaysia, who has eight world triumphs to her name.
El Sherbini said she was relieved to have finally overcome her injury.
"The last couple of months for me have been really hard," she said.
"I didn't know what I was going to do and almost from not playing any tournament, but I took the risk and took the decision that I wanted to play this tournament badly and I wanted to come and try – see how it goes.
"I was getting better every match and I’m very grateful and happy to be standing here right now.
"I missed playing with all the top players and especially Raneem. She is closest to my heart and it's very hard to play her mentally and emotionally but we try to leave the emotions and focus on squash once we get inside the court.
"I think because today is my birthday I was making sure not to be sad. I was very relaxed and it took a lot of pressure off thinking about the messages and not focus on the match, so it helped me a lot," she added.
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