Count Down : The Top Four Seeds

With THREE days to go before the women’s tournament starts, we look at the recent form of the top seeds

[1] Raneem El Welily (Egy)

World Number One Raneem has enjoyed a fabulous run of success this season.

She won the China Open to begin the season on a high before helping Egypt retain their World Teams title, also in China. She was runner-up at the Netsuite Open in San Francisco, winner of the US Open in Philadelphia and runner-up in the Hong Kong Open.

This year she was runner-up at the Tournament of Champions in New York, and reached the semi-finals of the Egyptian Nationals. Last week in the World Champs in Chicago she lost out in an epic semi-final.

So far this season she’s played 36 matches, winning 31 of them. Her five losses have all come at the hands of different players – all of whom are playing this week in Cairo.

[2] Nour El Sherbini (Egy)

Recently crowned World Champion for the third time, World Number Two Nour has her eyes set on regaining the top spot.

She ended last season by winning the World Series Finals in Dubai, but didn’t win another title in 2018, reaching the semis in China, lost twice in the World Teams, reached the final of the US Open, and the quarters in Hong Kong – a defeat which saw her lose the #1 spot to Raneem.

But she’s unbeaten in 2019, winning the Tournament of Champions and, just last week, the World Champs in Chicago, taking her season’s tally to Played 26, won 21.

Like Raneem, all her defeats have been to different players, and they’re all in the Black Ball draw.

[3] Joelle King (Nzl)

Claiming two Gold medals at the Commonwealth Games gave Joelle a great lead-in to this season, which has seen her go from strength to strength.

After bowing out in Round Two in China, she reached the quarters in San Francisco, Round Three in Philadelphia, then finished the year by claiming her first Platinum (World Series) title in Hong Kong.

This year she’s reached the semi-finals in New York and the quarters in Chicago taking her season so far to  Played 23, Won 18.

[4] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)

Overtaking Joelle to become World Number Three this month, Nour came agonisingly close last week to capturing another major double with husband Ali Farag.

She reached the semi-finals in China and Round Three in Philadelphia before capturing her first title of the season at the Carol Weymuller in New York, then reached the quarters in Hong Kong.

2019 saw Nour reach the semis in New York, then going on to win the Cleveland Classic and the Egyptian Nationals titles, before finishing runner-up in Chicago.

She’s bee the most active of the quarter, with 34 matches played and 29 wins.

That’s our quick look at the credentials of the top four seeds – but with the likes of Laura Massaro, Nouran Gohar, Camille Serme and Sarah-Jane Perry in the 5/8 spots, not to mention top ten players Alison Waters and Tesni Evans among the 9/16 seeds, there’s no guarantee that one of the top four seed will become the first Women’s Black Ball Squash Open Champion,  no guarantee at all.

Event Raneem El Welily Nour El Sherbini Joelle King Nour El Tayeb
World Series Finals R/Up Winner Pools Pools
China Open Winner Semis Round 2 Semis
Netsuite Open R/Up Quarters
US Open Winner R/Up Round 3 Round 3
Carol Weymuller Winner
Kong Kong R/Up Quarters Winner Quarters
ToC New York R/Up Winner Semis Semis
Cleveland Winner
Egy Nats Semis Winner
Worlds Chicago Semis Winner Quarters R/Up