QF: Nouran 3-0 Olivia

[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0 [5] Olivia Weaver (USA)  11-4, 13-11, 12-10 (58m)

What a difference from the BlackBall final. As I said to Olivia after her match ‘I didn’t have the impression it was the same player on court!’

If the first game was a bit onesided – always give one game for the player coming from the traditional court to get used to the glass – the second was a testimony to the improvements Olivia has made in her mental attitude.

Yes, I guess making a summer preparation with 3 sessions per day with Rodney Martin would do make sure your fitness is taken care of – both girls working with Rod have literally shrunk since training with him. So once the physical side is in place, one can focus on the mental side of the game.

And today, boy o boy, did Olivia take the game to Nouran, or did she? Not much between the players up to 7/7, 8/8. Nouran finds two winners, and it’s game ball 10/8, the first one saved by a lovely backhand drive glued to the wall from the American, 9/10.

From that point on, the refs were made to work hard. A video decision gives a let to Olivia, then an overule from let for Nouran to a no let, and finally, a video decision says one of Nouran’s shots were not up.

It’s now 11/10, game ball to Olivia. She won’t be able to seize it, the rallies are ridiculous long and fast pace, and with a no let against her opponent, Nouran finally gets to go up 2/0, 13/11 in 21m.

High quality game, 11 winners for Nouran, and 9 for Olivia.

But the 3rd is even more nailbitting for the Gohar camp as their girl seems to cruise 5/0, 6/1, but still taking the game to her opponent, Olivia strings 5 points in a row, 6/6. Nouran feels the danger, and gets her first match ball 10/7.

She will requiere 3 more to finally clinch that game, having been asked for the third time of the match not to take her opponent’s line.

12/10, 22m.

I can’t wait for their next battle.



To be honest, I thought I played OK in terms of my technical abilities. I feel I can play better, I don’t feel it was a day where I was ‘on fire’. It was just a much stronger mental performance than it was in BlackBall.

I came out here with a lot more belief. I learnt a lot of the last match, every time I play her, like any player, you learn so much. I know when I’m out there and when I’m backing myself, and that when I’m playing my game that I can beat anyone.

There was that mental grit, and toughness and belief today and I’m already looking forward for the next time we play.


“It’s hard from a ref’s perspective. Sometimes, they think we’re not looking to play the ball, but I walloped her three times and didn’t want to hit her a fourth time, obviously. It was a bit hard to deal with, with three calls to go to tie breaks.

“The conditions were very hot, and you had to keep your head cool. It wasn’t easy.

“Mohamed was a top junior, one year above me. Very talented and very fast as well. He wasn’t really coaching but he always had really good eyes for squash and I always like to use the potential of having a good friend. It’s a different dynamic as I’ve never had a coach my age. It’s very enjoyable and he’s very calm, so different to I am – I’m pretty intense. Sometimes he sees things I don’t see.

“World No.1 is amazing, and it’s harder than winning a world championships. Being world champion is amazing but you just need to be on your best for one week.

“But World No.1, I’ve ticked the box and I’d do everything to come back but World Champion is top of the list now.”