Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0 Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (34m)
It’s so impressive to watch the Terminator when she is in her ‘Do you feel lucky” mood… (if you don’t know what it refers to, just google Inspector Callahan). Looking fitter and trimmer than ever, she reminds me of Nicol David, every time she was coming back on court after I hadn’t seen her for 2 months, she looks fitter. One day I told her that she would have to lose a bone next time to get slimmer, nothing to waste anymore!
In about 3 minutes, Nouran was up 8/0. Right, that’s done, what next? In front of her coach Rodney Martin, she was focused, and lethally accurate. She made two errors in that opener but takes the game in 7m, 11/4.
In front, Sabrina, “RoadRunner” in ref to her extraordinarily quick movement, was not showing frustration nor fear. Just her brain was going very fast, trying to find solutions to the problem caused by the World number One.
The second saw a very good reply from the Younger Sobhy, 3/0. A succession of great rallies, breakneck pace, stunning flash quick thunder squash, both players finding their targets at the back and at the front, 3/3, 4/4. 7 points later, Nouran is up 9/4, 10/6, and 11/7 in 12m.
The American never threw the towel. She knows Nouran’s game, they have been playing since the Juniors – thanks SquashInfo – 2013, 10 years ago would you believe. So she hung in there, 1/1, 2/2, and if the score doesn’t tell the whole story, even at 7/3, believe me when I tell you Nouran couldn’t relax! Three points for the American, 6/7.
An error at the point, huge difference between 7/7 and 8/6. At that point, a huge rally, at a bit of a slower pace than the rest of the match. Sabrina challenges a let, she wants a stroke, and gets a no let, 9/6. A stroke for the Egyptian, 10/6, and a misshit from Sabrina’s raquet, 11/6, 12m game.
Not a single error from Nouran in that last game, and only 3 errors for the other two games. Momenator Mode…
“I couldn’t take Sabrina lightly at all, she’s proven that she can beat anyone on her day. That’s maybe why I was trying to win some fast points at the beginning to show her that I was ready for the fight and I’m glad with the way I managed the game today.
“For a lot of tournaments I’ve been coming back as the defending champion. I don’t really think about it, I’m just here to play every single match, I want to win every single point I play and I’m just focusing on the present and future, not the past.
“SJ has won this event before, so it’s a court that she likes and feels comfortable on, but I’ll be ready for it. She is one of the most talented players on tour, but I’m pretty sure I’ll find a way to play well against her.”