SF : Sherbini 3-2 Hammamy

SF : [1] Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-2 [6] Hania El Hammamy (Egy)  11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-5 (74m)

The court conditions – hot and bouncy – could have privilege the young Gazelle – 20 – as her athleticism seem to shine on warm conditions, while the Princess’ shot making seem to soar on colder court.

Hania mentioned the difference of court time in her aftermatch interview. Yes, it’s quite significant, as Hania spent a lot of time on the traditional – known to lengthen the matches – 148m. While Nour, not only playing on the glasscourt – shorter matches normally – but also having nobody to play in her second round as Yathreb was injured, spent only 61m on court. That’s 84m difference, nearly an hour and a half. That’s a lot.

Add to that last night drama with her quarters postponed for nearly two hours due to the poor court conditions, that’s a lot happening the head of the young girl I guess.

And Nour took a spending start tonight, comfortably leading 9-4, with short rallies, close to the tin kills and beautiful long drop shots. Hania started to feel a bit more at ease at the end of the game, only bowing 11/7 in 12m. Nour 6 winners, Hania 5.

Second is about the same story really, 7/1 up for Nour, 9/4, Hania a bit stronger at the end, 11/7 for Nour, not a single error from the Princess, only one for Hania. 19m game…

The third seems to go in the same direction as the Alexandria Star starts 4/1. But this time, Hania rushes into the gap Nour opens – making 6 errors in that game alone – and takes that one, 11/7 (again) in 11m.

Fourth, Hania in control, 6/1, 8/3, 9/6, 11/7. Again 5 errors for Nour…

She looks a bit lost our World number one on there in the last two games. Ha ha ha.

Out of the blue, she finds her second wind, while Hania seems to hit the wall – coming back from 2/0 down, not exactly surprising – 5/0, 9/1, 10/3, 11/5 in 12m.

Nour : “She never gives up!

“She’s still young, she’s top seven in the world she’s very good and has been giving everyone in the top 10 very tough matches. Last time I played Hania, I lost 3-2, so whenever you lose a match you always wait for this match, it doesn’t matter how many matches you won after, you just wait for the match you lost. I’m sure we’re still going to have many more battles together.

“The fifth game, I always tell myself to play it as if it was the first game. Try to win every point and of course taking the lead made a huge difference. I didn’t expect the fifth game to be like that but I just wanted to keep winning every point and don’t give up until the last point. As you saw she kept fighting until the last point, she still wanted to win.”


Hania :
First, I think that Nour has got a huge advantage for not spending as much time on court. Second thing, I didn’t have enough time on this court as I played most of my matches on the traditional ones.

Still, reaching the semis is something I didn’t think I could reach as I was not even sure that I would play the event, I had a little injury before the event. So it means a lot to me.

I am proud of myself to be able to push myself, push my body, even from 2/0 down, tried and found a way, dug in.

So, as much as I am disappointed for losing today, because I know I can reach the final, but I can’t give myself a hard time for that one.