R3: Hania in, Nour waiting…

[2] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 2-1 [5] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 8-11, 11-3, 11-7 (40m)

Ok, one of those matches where the players go on court with a calculator on their brain. Hania needed only one game to qualify for the semis – for a first appearance in the event, not bad for the 21 years old – while Nour needed to win and hope that Camille doesn’t to reach the semis.

So no wonder Hania truly clinged to Nour in that opener, clawing back from 5/1 down, taking 6 points in a row, while Nour was giving it all to hang in there! 16m game, taken by Hania in a second attempt, 11/8.

The second saw Hania go flat like a soufflé taken out of the oven too early, 9/0, with Nour playing a bit of an exhibition squash, winners all over, equalising 1/1 11/3 in 8m.

Having only pride to defend, the Gazelle still gave a good show, but it was Nour in control, 2/2, 6/3, 9/5, 11/7.

“As soon as I lost last night, I knew that this scenario would happen, it happened last year with Ali. I could sense that there was a major possibility and I’ve never been in the situation before, where I needed to win with a specific score.

I was so tense in the first game, Hania played very well.

I knew she had less to lose than I did, but I think after the first game and after I lost, I knew there’s a big chance that I’m out of the tournament, I think I cared less and that’s when I played better.

“It was hard until the end, even though Hania knew she was in the semis, she gave me a hard time. All credit to her, she has been doing amazing and giving everyone a very tough match and winning matches.

I’m pleased I got in the win in the end and I don’t think I have ever wanted Amanda Sobhy to win more! Today, I’ll be cheering for her. In all seriousness, I’m happy with my performance and that’s all that matters and taking it to the next tournament.

“The crowd is huge, last week we played in front of no-one, so this week to play in front of a crowd and my family and coach means a lot and hopefully it’s not the last day for me.”