Nadine Shahin (EGY) 3-0 Jasmine Hutton (ENG) 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 (48m)
This little girl that I have been watching playing since she was 15. She looked always unhappy on court. Always struggling, even when she was winning, never letting her arm go really, and not paying too much attention to the way she was looking on court.
Tadada. The New Nadine has landed in New Cairo. Incredible transformation. Stunning outfit. Stunning squash. Confident player. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH NADINE??? I know she is soon to be married and I know that Mohamed her fiancé is extremely nice and supportive. And I know also that she changed coach a few months ago, and it is making a huge difference in her demeanour on court.
Today, Jasmine came on court with a strapped left ankle, but I am told it didn’t had any incidence on the result. But that it was more her head that seemed to struggle today. First, up 1 game and 3/0 in the second, we had a strident alarm for a few minutes, and that seemed to upset her rhythm, stopping her leading momentum. The rest of the game was close up to 6/6, 9/6 for the Egyptian, then Jasmine getting back close, 8/9, but in 10m, Nadine has levelled, 11/8.
The third is the one that Jasmine shouldn’t have lost really. Up and controlling the front of the court, finding good winners based on good solid back game, she was cruising 7/3, 10/5 game ball. OUt of the blue, Nadine find her best game, short rallies, sublime squash. It’s not like the English did anything wrong. Nadine did everything right. 12m later, against all odds, the Egyptian leads 2/1.
Wheel’s off at the start of the fourth, despite coaching from David Campion and Mohamed Elshorbagy, Jas down 8/0 before finding a bit of composure, match ball down 4-10, finally bowing 11/7 in 9m.
“Look at those racquets. Broken string. The other one, broken racquet. How does that happen in a few shots!!! I had to borrow my friend Abdallah’s racquet, down 3/0 in the rd!
“Yes, I have changed a lot recently, it’s a bit of everything really. First, my fiancé, Mohamed [that narrows it down] has been so supportive, always there for me, and that’s so important.
“Also, I have a new coach, who is like a big brother to me, Yasser Ali. He is also so supportive. Whenever I lose a match he is having a laugh with me, saying ‘I don’t care if you win or lose, what I want to know is did you have fun! I don’t train you to win matches, I train you to enjoy playing, to enjoy your squash. You only get one life and I need you to be happy. I don’t want you to go on court and be sad, or anxious, just go on court and be happy. That’s it’.
“And that’s the best advice I ever had.
“So lately, I have been enjoying my squash, more than ever, it’s becoming even better with the results that I can enjoy. Today, not easy at all playing Jasmine, last time was very tough, but I know she is struggling with her ankle, and I told her I hope your ankle is ok and that you recover quickly, that’s more important than the result.”