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Battle of world champions at Cleveland Classic squash

Posted on Feb 01 2014 | IANS

Cleveland (Ohio), Feb 1 : Egypt's junior world champion Nour El Sherbini will face Malaysia's senior world champion Nicol David in the opening round of the Cleveland Classic after prevailing in the qualifiers of the Women's Squash Association (WSA) Gold 50 event here. India's Dipika Pallikal opens her campaign against England's world no.4 Alison Waters.

El Sherbini, the 18-year-old world no.16 from Alexandria beat England's Emma Beddoes 12-10, 15-13, 11-3 at the Cleveland Racquet Club in Pepper Pike here Friday. The Egyptian teenager saved two game balls in the first game before being extended in the second, the longest game of the day, by the world no.25 from Leeds.

El Sherbini will now face title favourite David, the world number one from Malaysia, in the pair's first meeting since contesting the 2012 British Open final in London. All first round matches will be played Saturday.

Hong Kong's Annie Au beat former US champion Latasha Khan to deny home interest in the main draw of the event celebrating its fourth successive year at Cleveland Racquet Club. Veteran Khan, the 41-year-old world no.32 from Seattle, forced a tie-break in the second game, but left-hander Au ultimately proved too strong, winning 11-4, 12-10, 11-3.

National champion Nour El Tayeb doubled the Egyptian success in the qualifiers after upsetting Australia's former world champion and world no.1 Rachael Grinham 11-5, 11-5, 11-5.

First round draw:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) v [Q] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)
[5] Camille Serme (FRA) v [Q] Sarah Kippax (ENG)
[3] Raneem El Welily (EGY) v Kasey Brown (AUS)
[6] Joelle King (NZL) v [Q] Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
[8] Low Wee Wern (MAS) v Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY)
[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v Dipika Pallikal (IND)
[7] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v [Q] Annie Au (HKG)
[2] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Madeline Perry (IRL)

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