R3: No walk in the Gouna Park for Nouran against Fayrouz

[1] Nouran Gohar (Egy) 3-0 Fayrouz Aboelkheir (Egy)  11-9, 11-7, 12-10 (36m)

If foreign players do not enjoy playing young Egyptian players, don’t think for a minute it’s not the same for the Egyptians top players. THEY HATE IT! Because they know there are playing against young fearless talented skillful players, with nothing to fear/lose, making them ultra dangerous indeed.

The first blood went Fayrouz in the opener, 2/0. We thought that’s a bit of luck. But when she went up 8/4, we rethought our opinion. A good turnaround from the World number 2, 5 points in a row, 9/8.

At 9/9, it was anybody’s but experience talks and it’s 11/9 for the Terminator, 9m game.

The second is as close up to 7/7, a few short rallies at that point, and Nouran imposes her energy and power, 11/7 in 12m. Funnily enough, same amount of winners for Fayrouz in the first and second game. Nouran improves though, from 8 to 10 winners.

The last game is remarkable from both players. 6/0 up for the challenger, Mum and Dad Gohar have problems to breath, 8/2, still tense in the Gohar camp. But as she does, Nouran strings the points, and score 7 points with two hands.

Still the youngster gets her chance to make her mark in the match, game ball 10/9. A no let, and two very quick rallies later, it’s 12/10 for Nouran, 10m game…

A very high quality game from both, with 10 winners still for Nouran but 9 for Fayrouz.

I feel that Nouran might have been relieved to take that third… She is not at the tops of the

Nouran : I think I can do better in terms of squash, but mentally I’m happy with it.

I’m really happy and I think she played really well and went for shots. It was a great match for me to start the tournament; I was looking forward to the pressure, kind of. It’s a good start but I know I’m much better than that. All credit to her, she made it tough out there. I’m really happy with the way I dealt with it.

Young, talented Fayrouz had nothing to lose. You’re going to go for shots. So obviously that makes you fearless with nothing really to lose. I expected that for sure.

There’s no secret to the comebacks. I always try to make it hard for my opponent, even if they’re going to win the game. I want to send the message that I’m not going to give up cheap points, or cheap games. So even if I’m down, I think that works for me as I’m just thinking about breaking their momentum and getting back into the match. I just want to make it harder and more physical because when it’s more physical I have an advantage.

It’s good to reach the final three times in a row, but that’s not the goal! I’m happy that I’m consistent in a way, but I have one more step to go.

“The court was really bouncy today. Very different conditions than lately to how we used to play. Very humid! I’m happy with the way I dealt with it and closed it in three today.

“It’s the end of the season, everyone is giving the last push they have. If we do the math, I think I played a lot of matches this season, so I’m just giving it the last push and hopefully it is going to be a good week.

“Gina and I go way back, juniors… we played all the British Junior Open’s together and yeah, she’s just a very hard worker and clean player and I’m really looking forward to this one!”