2023 Semis

SF: Joelle in there but Nouran too strong

[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1 [4] Joelle King (NZL) 11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-4 (54m)

Quite funny that Joelle and Nouran were wearing matching colours, just the opposite (top and skirt white, nice light green for the other one… Sorry you can’t take the French out of the writer.

To be fair, Joelle never had a sniff in the first game. 9/2, 11/5 in 9m, not that she did much wrong though. Nouran was just in Terminator mode in the opener.

Maybe she was that good in the first one that she ever so slightly relaxed? Or Joelle found some better length? Who knows. 3/0, 6/1, 7/3. It looked “dans le sac” in the bag for the Kiwi but gradually, Nouran was getting back in the match and the lead was getting smaller and smaller, 8/5, 9/6.

Four points in a row for Nouran, game ball out of absolutely nowhere, 10/9. Joelle goes for a lovely redrop, no let, 10/10. A winner for the New Zealander and an error from Nouran, it’s 12/10 for Joelle.

It took 19 long minutes for that one. 7 winners for Nouran, 10 for Joelle. Very high quality game.

A much better start for the World number one in the third, 3/0, Joelle comes back, 4/4, but from that point on, Nouran is keeping the lead, and will take the game at her second try, 11/8.

Again, a high quality game, 8 winners for Nouran, and 7 for Joelle, 13m game.

But in the 4th, Joelle is outplayed. Nouran flies to 5/0 7/1, 82, 9/3 11/4 match on her first attempt, only 8m game…


Mixed feelings really. There are some positive in there, but there are also a few things I'm disappointed with.

They were definitely moments in that match where we were back and forth in particular in that third. And against the World number one, a few stupid errors, and she sort of run away with it from that point on. But very pleased with the determination and the fight.

There was some pretty good squash in there, but just not quite consistent enough. But then again, when you are matching yourself against the world number one, it's the highest point you are going to fight and it exposes the areas you have to work on. And straight away, I'm thinking she actually help me by showing me those areas that still need some work.

To be honest, I was very disappointed with January, and now, it's two weeks of good work, and with what 4 weeks, 5 weeks to the British Open, then the World Champs, quite a busy schedule. For the moment, I'm quite happy with the way I'm at but I still there is a little more to go.

Couple of big ones coming up like I said, British and Worlds, and that makes me even more determined to keep going forward with what I've been doing, and adding a few things.

So very mixed right now, but sometimes those matches do you the world of good, and show you those areas that still need to be tweaked. Happy overall.


“Joelle played very well and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I’m very happy with the way I managed the game and changed some stuff during the match.

“Having the crowd here and having the coaching back in general is very helpful. Having your coach travelling with you and helping you out gives you a big boost. Rod [Martin] is one of the best in the game, so it definitely helps.

“The last two meetings with each one of them [El Hammamy and Sobhy] were five gamers. It’s going to be very tough and I think it will be a tough match between them tonight. Amanda did a very good upset yesterday and she is going to be up for it.

“Hania is playing well too, I’m going to watch it and be ready for my match tomorrow.”