2024 Reports Finals Semis

F: Nouran Gohar 3-0 Olivia Weaver

[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0 [2] Olivia Weaver (USA)  11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (38m)

I thought that Olivia was very tough with herself at the end of the match. She kept pointing out the few errors she made, but let’s look at the stats.

2 errors for Olivia in the first game (one was so under pressure it doesn’t count as an unforced error), 4 in the second, and two in the 3. It’s not the best ever stat, but come on, it’s not “inexcusable”, as she put it.

I thought she was very positive and stepped up the court nicely. She was aggressive and that, sometimes, leads to a few “déchets”, losses. But I liked the “new Olivia”, the one that hits harder, moves to the front, and makes sure she is one to count with, and not just an up-and-coming lovely blond! So offence of the lovely blonds on this world, I used to be one.

I’ve noticed something. When the ref is penalising Nouran, or just warning her, Nouran seems to lose a bit of focus. She did it yesterday against Nour El Tayeb, and again tonight. First game, she was up 9/3, gets a no let, asks why, and is told that she needed to go to the ball. Unhappy but not showing it, she loses the next 3 points.

Again in the second, she is up 8/3, and the ref has a go at her for wasting time between serve – stop hitting the ball around the court between the rallies – and she loses 2 points.

And in the third, the ref refuses her to go to the towel at 5/3 – “I see it as tactical” – and she loses 4 points.

It could be coincidence, but I don’t think so..

Nouran was the one dictating the shots today, from the first game 7/2, 9/3, 10/6, 11/7 in 13m. The score doesn’t tell how hard they both worked to be honest.

The second is a bit more comfortable for Nouran, 8/3, 11/5, and that’s where Olivia made the most of her errors, still 5 winners for the American, and 6 for Nouran.

Chapeau to Olivia for turning the tables in the 3rd, from 3/0, 5/1, all the way to 7/5, leading for the first time of the match. It’s a big wake-up call for the Egyptian, who’ll string the next 7 points, closing the game and match 11/7, 12m last game.

And the scream of victory from Nouran was not aiming at her camp, I felt but she was looking higher, to the ref’s chair…



So many errors, forcing it. Just struggling to find my width at time as well.

I think I created some good opportunities, but it’s the pressure of playing someone like Nouran, when you get those opportunities, they don’t come often. So it’s a question of continuing to build that confidence and experience to not force it, to not feel it has to be THAT perfect.

It’s an area where I’ve been pretty strong lately, but against those top few girls, it’s another level. I was not thinking about the fact it was my first Gold final, but more as an opportunity to play against Nouran, one of the best ever, just another exciting opportunity to test myself.

I know I’ve been playing some of my best squash, I was excited to get toe to toe with her, you just step it up and get closer and closer. We are all chasing those top three girls.

My coaches are Rodney Martin, Graehme Williams, Danny Massaro and Peter Nicol.

I have made technical changes in the summer, changes to my swing, my movement style has become a bit more aggressive, I’m trying to play at a much faster pace. I used to be a quite relaxed more of a feel player and against those top girls, you’ve got to be able to play at a much faster pace. You have to punish them when the openings come, and get on the ball early. Rod brought that next level of movement and pace, and aggressive hitting to my game.

So it’s tough. I’m happy overall, I know I’m playing my best squash this season as a whole, but very disappointed with today. Unexcusable to make that many errors I think in my mind.


“As I have said before, this is home, literally my home. I live about five minutes away from here, and I’m very thankful to the Black Ball management team that I can hit when I want. I’m very lucky to have such a facility next door. This is the best facility, not just in Egypt but in the world. You can’t find 24 courts like this and a glass court with such nice qualities. We are very lucky, and when they ask us why Egyptians are so good, it’s because we are lucky enough to have a place like that.

“It’s just amazing to be honest. I was very happy to not be playing an Egyptian, because sometimes it is half the crowd on your side and the other for the other player. But today they were all cheering for me.”