R3 : Gohar 2-1 Sherbini

[3] Nouran Gohar (Egy) 2-1 [1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 10-12, 11-7, 11-8 (52m)

Not taking anything away from Nouran, but like I said in my first report of the event – Camille beating Nour – it looked like the Alexandria Princess was really struggling with her breathing today again today at times.

But that’s all credit to Nouran’s relentless pounding and hammering of the ball, changing angles and height constantly, twisting and turning the world number one to perfection.

What a difference with their last match, a completely onesided Nour festival….

If you look at the stats it’s quite interesting to be honest, first time they played was in 2014, Nouran stunned her in 4 games, then Nour dominated the game for years, then 2019, Nouran beat Nour, and since then, Nour was dominating! So strange!

To be honest, it was such a high quality match.

First game saw the two girls playing neck to neck up to 6/6, Nouran keeping getting no lets (4 in a row) as she kept running into her opponent instead of looking for the ball said the ref. 10/6, game ball… Well, it took 4 more to give Nour the 19m game, 12/10…

0 errors from Nouran, only 1 for Nour… 11 winners Nour, 7 Nouran.

Second game, like against Camille, Nour looked very tired, much more than she normally does. From 2/0 Nour, we zoom at 8/3, 10/6, 11/7 for Nouran, 15m hard work still.

Still 7 winners for Nouran, only 5 for Nour, 3 errors for Nour, 2 for Nouran.

Third is nailbitting stuff. And I know that Nour is in trouble as Atef, her dad, normally very calm no matter what, keeps indicating to his daughter to push – that’s no coaching, I promise you. But that’s very unusual from Atef.

1/1, 2/2, 4/2 Nouran, 5/5, 8/5 Nour, 8/8, thanks to 4 uncharacteristic errors from the Alexandria Princess. Nouran, powerful and accurate, doesn’t tremble at the end of that last game, and string 6 points (from 5/8 down), taking the match 11/8 on a confirmed stroke decision, 16m last game.

In that game alone, Nour gave away 7 points (4 errors and 3 strokes). Like I said, very uncharacteristic.

And the whole of the French Squash goes “MERCI NOURAN!!!!” as Camille is now in the semis…

Nouran :

Not only in the first game, but in the last game as well she was 8-5 up”

“So, three points away from the win and it’s never easy to play against Nour. She’s young but very experienced and it’s very tricky and tough to play against her. That’s why she’s World No.1, so to win against her is something else.

“For the semis, we are playing best of three as well, so we are kind of prepared. It’s very different because the semi-final is important, but it’s best of three, so you have to be on your toes from the first point.

“I’m just trying to relax and enjoy it, it’s one of the most prestigious tournaments and I’m really happy to be playing this event in Egypt, it’s even more special when your sponsors, CIB and Wadi Degla are the sponsors of the event. It’s a blessing to be playing here, in front of my coach, the crowd and my whole family are here.”