R3: A game of two halves between Joelle and Nouran…

[8] Joelle King (NZL) 2-0 [3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 12-10, 11-7 (28m)

It was a match of two halves for sure. First half, Nouran, calm, relaxed, playing her powerful and accurate game, while Joelle was positive but making a few errors. 10/6 game ball.

Then the second half started. Letting go of worries and self doubt, Joelle started playing her best attacking squash. And it totally destabilised Nouran who just didn’t have any answers, losing 7 points in a row. Crowd stunned. Nouran’s Mum and Dad telling her from afar that it was going to be alright. 15m game.

The pressure that comes from being world number one… I’ve seen it so many times… It’s harder to stay up there than it is to get there…

The second game saw a Nouran paralyzed by pressure. Losing her length, her power, she was like an animal stunned with a soporific gun while Joelle was playing more and more accurately/sharply/beautifully. From 5/5, the Kiwi was in control, 8/5, and takes the match  11/7 on her first attempt.


“I just tried to think that I was in the middle of a practice match with one of the guys back in Bristol and just relax.

“I felt like I was playing some good squash in patches but not for long enough. Nouran is such an amazing playing and mentally tough, so I knew I had to do something more. I just tried to play each point as it came and I was lucky to scrape the first.

“I was pleased with the mental side and I need to trust the work that I’ve done. I felt like it’s there and I didn’t quite get it out in Manchester, I just wanted to see how well I could play really and I’m pretty happy with that.”