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Kheirallah conquers teenager in Cairo final

CAIRO, June 30, 2009 - Nour El Sherbini, the 13-year-old Egyptian who made history by becoming the youngest player ever to reach the final of a WISPA World Tour squash event, almost claimed a further record when she took experienced compatriot Engy Kheirallah to a fifth game decider in the climax of the ATCO Miro Classic No1 at the National Squash Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

Kheirallah, the 27-year-old top seed ranked 22 in the world, took the opening two games against her novice opponent - ranked more than 140 places lower.

But El Sherbini - unseeded and undaunted, and competing in only her third Tour event - battled back to draw level.

The favourite pulled ahead 7-1 in the fifth - but the never-say-die youngster again fought back to lead 8-7. But former world No12 Kheirallah kept her composure and regained the lead before winning 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 11-7 in a dramatic encounter which lasted well over one hour.

"I'm so glad I got that start in the fifth, I wouldn't have won without it," explained the relieved winner to www.squashsite.co.uk afterwards. "After I got to 7-1, I was rushing to finish it - but these juniors, they have no pressure: they just go on playing until the end!

"She's such a good player, one of the best under-nineteens in the world already. You really can't call her a junior any more playing like that, she doesn't play junior squash.

"She played really well in the third and fourth. I lost concentration a little and panicked after a few calls went against me - but in the end I'm happy to get away with that one."

It was Kheirallah's second Tour final appearance on home soil in two months - but her first title triumph since November 2005.

[1] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 11-7

[1] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt [7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-5, 11-6, 11-4 (20m)
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [4] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) 12-10, 11-6, 11-6 (45m)

[1] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt Nour Bahgat (EGY) 11-7, 11-4, 11-6
[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [3] Lucie Fialova (CZE) 11-7, 4-11, 11-4, 11-4
[4] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt [Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-5
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [6] Linda Hruzikova (SVK) 11-5, 11-2, 11-4

1st round:
[1] Engy Kheirallah (EGY) bt [Q] Haidi Lala (EGY) 11-4, 11-4, 11-4
Nour Bahgat (EGY) bt [8] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11-8, 11-4, 11-3
[3] Lucie Fialova (CZE) bt Salma Hany (EGY) 11-8, 11-8, 11-5
[7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Salma Nassar (EGY) 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6
[Q] Yathreb Adel (EGY) bt [5] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-8, 11-8, 12-10
[4] Kanzy Emad El-Defrawy (EGY) bt Merhan Amr Mahmoud (EGY) 4-11, 11-1, 11-7, 11-3
[6] Linda Hruzikova (SVK) bt Farah Abdel Meguid (EGY) 11-6, 11-4, 11-5
Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [2] Heba El Torky (EGY) 11-9, 11-7, 11-6
Source: WSF


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