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Hania El Hammamy celebrates her victory over Sarah-Jane Perry

Black Ball Open SF: El Hammamy Reaches Maiden Platinum Final

Egypt’s World No.10 Hania El Hammamy has reached her first ever Platinum final after defeating England’s World No.7 Sarah-Jane Perry in five-games at the CIB Black Ball Squash Open taking place in Cairo, Egypt.

19-year-old El Hammamy has enjoyed a formidable run to the semi-finals, beating France’s World No.3 Camille Serme and USA’s World No.8 Amanda Sobhy in the previous rounds and the Egyptian ensured that streak continued as she survived a comeback from Perry to book her place in the final.

El Hammamy stormed into an early lead, taking everything in short as she punished Perry with her volleying, with the Englishwoman suffering from a sluggish start in the match.

The World No.7 fought back well in the second though, getting in front of her opponent to find her length and coupled with some errors from El Hammamy was able to draw back level.

The momentum appeared to shift back once again in World Junior Champion El Hammamy’s favour in the third, as she built up a strong lead at 8-2 with confidence oozing from the young Egyptian, before holding off a comeback from Perry to take a crucial third game, 11-9.

The battle was not over there though as Perry utilised her experience to break up the rhythm of El Hammamy and come back to draw level again as she closed out to push the match to a deciding fifth. It was to be El Hammamy’s moment though as she regrouped well to play with experience well beyond her years and close out 11-3, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6 in 69 minutes to reach a maiden Platinum final.

“I’m really out of words,” said El Hammamy afterwards.

“I’m over the moon, I can’t believe I’m playing in the final tomorrow. I think this is the toughest tournament I have ever played. I’ve had a lot of tough matches and I’m really proud of myself for pushing myself and winning such tough battles.

“SJ is very tricky. Whenever I gave her an opening, whenever I changed my plan she found herself and would take advantage of any loose ball or shot, so I had to be really consistent and stop making mistakes.

“I’ve been watching all the top players and have been dreaming of these days and reaching these finals. I’ve worked so hard in the off season and in between tournaments to work on my weaknesses and I’m really pleased it’s paying off.”

[9] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [7] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-2: 11-3, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6 (69m)

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