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Linda Elriani Makes it Two
Jan 28, 2005, by Ron Beck, SquashTalk,
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 [WISPA draw/results]     [PSA draw/results]


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Linda Elriani - victor over Omneya Abdel Kawy - talks to SquashTalk following her win in Dayton
(Photo © 2005 by Debra Tessier)

Linda Elriani used a combination of craft, determination, focus and grit to defeat the Egyptian Magician, Omneya Abdel Kawy.

A full crowd of about 150 saw an interesting contest between youthful skills and experienced focus, as the first Dayton WISPA event came to a conclusion.

Elriani, who had been pacing the club for several hours preceding the finals, came out charged up and determined, but the black-clad Omneya came out fully engaged as well.

The two protagonists had split their last two meetings, with Elriani defeating Abdel Kawy the prior the prior week in Greenwich Ct but Abdel Kawy coming out on top last October on the glass court in Shanghai.

Linda Elriani was all there, every point to keep Omneya Abdel Kawy off balance. (Photo © 2005 by David Barry)

Again the players had to contend with the playing characteristics of the Dayton courts, and Elriani revealed immediately her plan to duplicate her semi final approach involving lobs to both sides of the court.

Abdel Kawy countered by immediately unveiling a total short court game — going short at every conceiveable moment. Drops off the serve. Drops from volleys over the head and over the shoulder. Volley boasts. Whatever shot you might imagine, or might not conceive of, Omneya was going to use them to move Elriani up front.

But also, Abdel Kawy was ready to run. Showing her clear desire to win here, she put it all out on her sleeve, running down shots that she had not even showed any sense that she could chase down all week.

Omneya's shot selection was at times hard to fathom. (Photo © 2005 by David Barry)

In the end it came down to three factors that set Linda Elriani apart on this snowy Saturday afternoon. First, Elriani seemed to desire the win more. She put out the full effort at every moment. Second, Elriani countered Abdel Kawy's offense with some offense of her own. And third, in response to Elriani's gritty play, Kawy began to display more and more inexplicable shot selection.

Though applied much more sparingly than the constant attacks by Omneya, Elriani unleashed some fine attacking shots of her own, accurate drops, a very occasional volley boast, and an offensive lob.

When it was over, Elriani had a straight game win that could have easily been reversed, with Abdel Kawy having built two-point leads in both the first and second games that she somehow was unable to maintain.

EBS Dayton Open WISPA Finals, Friday January 27th
(1) Linda Elriani (ENG) def (2) Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 9-7 9-5 9-0

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