SF: Nour just run out of steam but what a match!

[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1 Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-7, 13-11, 4-11, 11-1 (65m)

Gladiators. Warriors. Incredible weight in the ball from each. Hitting. Finding nicks. Lobs. Intense at all times. No fishing. A few discussions at the start for a couple of shots that were doubles. That’s it.

And yes. I think Nour is playing better than before too…

I loved it. I was in the middle of the two camps. On my left, Nouran’s with even the lovely grand-mother that keeps smiling like an angel, rarely saw somebody as shining as her. On my right, Nour with husband and family. Respect from both. It doesn’t mean nice and fairy tale mind…

Nouran leads the first game, 5/3, 8/4. A few errors at that point from Nour, and it’s 10/6, then 11/7 in 17 very hard work minutes.

The second sees a great response from Nour, 4/0, 5/1, 6/3. But if Nouran was a bit on the backfoot at the start of the game, she is soon recovered, 6/6. The rallies seem to get stronger, more intense. Strokes, errors. It’s all happening, but Nour seems to have found the way to the finish line. 10/8

Nouran starts to play her perfect squash. I have to say both are. Tight drives, perfect lobs and heights. It’s classic squash. Nouran is just a bit better and scores 3 points, 11/10, game ball.

Two errors, one each, 12/11 Nouran, a kill will finally close that one, 13/11 in 20m.

Sublime response from Nour, finding her fast pace and high position on the T, from 4/4 straight to 11/4 in 11m.

But maybe a bit of drop in energy – mental & physical – from Nour, and Nouran wheezes through the 4th, 11/1, in 9m.
And respect to Nour’s family, coaches and parents coming to salute the other camp. I love Egypt.

Nour (on FB)

Closer than before.
Not close enough to close big matches.
Will keep the faith and belief with me for the next season.

Nouran

“It was quite a different feeling getting into this match. For some reason, I felt I was the underdog even though I’m the No.1 seed and the World No.1.

“Nour, since I was a junior, has been a role model for us and she’s one of the best and she keeps on being the example, having a baby and playing like this! I think, not just me but the whole tour thinks she’s playing better than before.

“Honestly, I was really excited for the match. It’s been so long since I felt I was challenged, in a way, mentally more than anything, so I was really excited for this match and I was really excited for the challenge. I knew it was going to be very challenging. I hope the crowd enjoyed the match!

“It’s one of our favourite tournaments, this one. Sometimes they save the best for the end and El Gouna is this and Mansi’s been doing an incredible job for 10 years now.

“I’ve lost two finals and hopefully tomorrow it’s third time lucky and I can get this title.”