Delaware Investments U.S. Open 2012
Fri 12 Oct, Finals:
Two new champions were crowned at Drexel University in
Philadelphia as Nicol David and Ramy Ashour joined
the list of winners of the prestigious U.S. Open Squash
 Nicol David (Mas) bt  Raneem El Weleily (Egy) 14-12,
8-11, 11-7, 11-7 (45m)
 Ramy Ashour (Egy) bt  Gregory Gaultier (Fra) 11-4, 11-9,
completes the set
The U.S. Open was the only major title that was missing from
Nicol David’s trophy cabinet, but tonight in Philadelphia not
only did she fill that particular gap, by gaining revenge for
her home defeat in the Malaysian Open final by Raneem El Weleily,
she set a new record of WSA titles, moving one ahead of Sarah
Fitz-Gerald to 63.
Compared to yesterday’s semifinals this was a fast an furious
match with El Weleily unafraid as ever to go for her shots and
David, as well as trying to contain her opponent, at times
joining in the shotmaking contest, more often than not to good
After the Egyptian made the slightly better start the first game
was evenly contested, David leading 9-6 but El Weleily firing in
four winners to earn game ball. She would have three chances,
but Nicol typicall took her first opportunity as an Egyptian
dropshott found the tin for 14-12.
Raneem reduced the errors to lead all the way in the second,
taking it 11-8, and at 4-0, 5-1 and 6-2 to the Egyptian in the
third Nicol looked in trouble.
As she said last night though, she’s been there before, many
many times, and a run of eight unanswered points took her to
10-6, then 11-6 on another Egyptian error.
The top seed held a slight advantage throughout the fourth, and
from 8-6 two short volleys into the nick brought up match ball.
A dropshot saw Raneem struggle to reach the ball, tripping over
her opponent and she was just being assisted to her feet when
the unsurprising, but nevertheless somewhet anticlimactic, “no
let” decision came.
A first U.S. Open title, revenge for a home defeat, and a new
record, not a bad night’s work for Nicol!
“I can’t believe it,” said a delighted new champion, “I keep
thinking I should still be out there running after Raneem’s
dropshots like I’ve been doing all night!
“When she gets on a roll like she did in the third she can score
six points before you’ve even moved off the ‘T’, but I just got
my act together, became more positive and stronger on my shots,
and played my game not hers, which is what Liz [Irving] had told
me to do.
“It feels fantastic to be U.S. Open champion! Next I just hope
we can get in the Olympics - if we do I’ll make sure I’m there,
even if I have to turn up with my walking stick!”
races to title
There was a first time men’s winner too as Ramy Ashour continued
his recent run of good results against Gregory Gaultier to beat
the Frenchman in straight games in a match lasting two minutes
less than the preceding women’s final.
For Gaultier it was almost like a role reversal from yesterday’s
semifinal with James Willstrop. There, he had been in control
and in the lead from the outset, yet today he was the one doing
the chasing, on the court and the scoreboard.
Ashour, playing with the speed and control with which he
finished his semi-final with Nick Matthew, was quickly 6-3 up in
the opening game, and took it 11-4. A 6-1 start to the second
for the Egyptian, which Gaultier pegged back to 6-7 and then
held it to 9-all, but Ashour found two winners to double his
After an even start to the third Ashour raced away again, from
5-all to 9-5 in a flash, and although Gaultier again pulled
back, on Ramy’s third match ball Greg’s volley found the tin and
another new U.S. Open champion was crowned.
“I lost in this final three years ago so to win a prestigious
title like this against such a great player as Greg feels just
unbelievable,” said Ramy.. I felt good on court tonight but I
had to fight really hard to win.
“It’s been a great week, everyone here does a tremendous job and
makes us all feel so welcome, so thanks to everyone involved and
we’re all looking forward to next year already!”