QF:One match too far for El Tayeb

[8] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-0 Nour El Tayeb (EGY)  15-13, 11-7, 11-9 (33m)

What Nour achieve for a few weeks, but especially this week should be sponsored by BabyFoods and BabyClothes all over the world. Playing on a traditional court for two games, hard ones, then coming onto the glasscourt to beat the world number 3, is just surreal.

So, yes, today, she was not as explosive on her legs than she was yesterday – no wonder really – and Rowan exposed her movement on the backhand front corner again and again – where yesterday she did so much damage to Hania El Hammamy…

Maybe had she took the first game, adrenaline would have taken over the acid lactic in the muscles… And she had three chances as well, down 10/6, she forced a tie-break, had three game balls but it’s finally Tinkerbell at her 5th game ball that clinched the opener, 15/13 – like she did yesterday against Jana Shiha.

Nour never stopped trying but if yesterday, she was pro active on the court, today, she was more or less only reacting, unable to pin her opponent at the back of the court and move her around as she did to Hania last night.

After the 12m first game, it would look like Nour was finding her second wind, up to 6/3 in the second, but from 7/7, Rowan had the front corners hit again and again, 11/7 in 9m.

Last game was led by the youngster 9//5, before nerves on her part and pride on Nour’s part kicked in, pushing the former US Winner to come back from the dead, 10/6 match ball, only bowing 11/9 (9m), another ball in the backhand front corner from Tinkerbell…


“I’m out of words. I really do look up to her. What she is doing is amazing and unbelievable. We all look up to her now, and it’s amazing I played with this performance against her. I’m really happy with my performance today, I worked hard for this moment. I’m overwhelmed.

“Today was about enjoying my squash and playing my best. It was a tricky one yesterday, today my coach told me to enjoy my squash and do whatever I want.

“They’re [El Sherbini and Kennedy] very different players. Last time I played Nour she chopped me. If it’s Nour, I want to prove last time wasn’t the best. If it’s Gina, she is really strong and she’s come from nowhere. I lost to her last time, so if it’s either of them I’ll be looking forward to the match.”