Egypt’s World No.6 Hania El Hammamy reached her maiden final at the CIB PSA World Tour Finals after overcoming New Zealand’s Joelle King, 2-1 at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo.
This season marks El Hammamy’s debut at the World Tour Finals after she automatically qualified thanks to her win at the Black Ball Open PSA Platinum event in March – the final PSA World Tour event before the six month enforced suspension and the 20-year-old Egyptian picked up where she left off before lockdown with a formidable performance to set up tomorrow’s final against Nour El Tayeb.
A mammoth first game, which went all the way to 20-18 in King’s favour, saw both players continuously exchange game balls before the Kiwi was able to convert, letting out a huge roar before making her way off court.
This is just sensational from— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) October 2, 2020
Joelle_King</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/HaniaaElHammamy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">HaniaaElHammamy!!
16-16! What a tie-break this is! #SquashIsBack #WorldTourFinals pic.twitter.com/oAArlV7eVz
However, El Hammamy regrouped well and was able to work her way into the match in the second and start to cause problems for King as she found her length and accuracy to draw level, this time making no mistake when she was game ball up and converting on the first attempt.
In the third, it looked as though fatigue had got the better of World No.8 King as she struggled to cope with El Hammamy, who looked as though she was moving up the gears to comfortably close out by an 18-20, 11-8, 11-2 scoreline in 56 minutes.
El Hammamy will take on compatriot and World No.4 El Tayeb in the final tomorrow.
"Until the last point the match was so hard."
HaniaaElHammamy</a> reacts to reaching another major final - and her first CIB PSA World Tour Finals title decider! <a href="https://t.co/1ocrDcwVIb">pic.twitter.com/1ocrDcwVIb</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) October 2, 2020
“Joelle is in good form,” said El Hammamy afterwards.
“Until the last point, the match was so tough and hard. The first game was crucial and I didn’t want to let her win the game easily, I kept digging in and I kept fighting for each point. If she was going to win then I wanted her to be suffering. I couldn’t find my length in the first game and at the end of the match, I’m happy with my performance.
“Joelle is so tough, especially on the volley – if you give her a volley then she hits a winner, so I didn’t want to do that. I’m glad I managed to avoid those.
“I played Nour [El Tayeb] yesterday in a tough best of three and tomorrow is best of five. We play at the same club, train together and I really respect her, she is like a big sister and I hope tomorrow will be a good match.”
 Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt  Joelle King (NZL) 2-1: 18-20, 11-8, 11-2 (56m)