Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 12-10 (57m)
Just look at the score. For once, it does tell the story, and it could have seriously have gone the other way. Actually, SJ had a very short quote for me, it’s only one word, which in French is called “Le Mot de Cambronne”. Look it up…. 🙂
It was a close, very close call! And Nouran was very expressive at the end, which is not like her at all.
For the reasons we mentioned in the Ali/Daryl report, Nouran was not that settled when the match started, while SJ was on fire. From 3/3, 7/4, 9/6, 10/7. Nouran tries a come back, but on a let that she reviews ‘review, review, review review”, to become a stroke, the English lady closes it 11/9 in 13m.
A blasting start for the US Open champion, 7.1 9/4. A few nervous errors at that point -probably trying to end it too quickly – 10/5, only clinching it 11/8 in 10m.
The third is led most of the run by Nouran, but SJ is always there, so close, coming back, and despite Nouran being in front 3/0, 8/5, SJ equalises 8/8, and overtakes her opponent, 10/8.
Very hard rallies there, Nouran forces a decider. SJ will have another game ball, but it’s Nouran that takes that crucial third, 13/11 in 18m.
About the same scenario in the 4th, from 8/5 for Nouran, SJ comes back to 8/8, sets up two game balls, 10/8, but Nouran manages somehow to score the next four points, clinching that match 12/10 in 12m…
SJP (on twitter)
End of the road in the 1/4 finals at this season’s World Champs…Nouran played the big points better today! Home 🏡 for some 😴 and hard work 💪
It was a very emotional atmosphere when I arrived and everybody was crying, I can only salute Ali who managed to do his job despite all those emotions.
So I was not at my 100% when the match started and she was playing very well as well. But I didn’t want to disappoint the crowd who helped me so much tonight.
I knew I had a chance to grab, I am top 4 and it would have been a shame to let it go.
Although I’m Egyptian, I don’t like to play late so starting the match at 10pm was not the best of conditions for me, but Sarah Jane was facing the same conditions, and did adapt very well I thought.
She was playing so well at the end, I actually had to slow the pace down, to get my accuracy back because I wanted to attack but was doing too many unforced errors. So I had to slow down the pace – which is not my game – to make sure I could attack in good conditions.
I reached a semi-final here in Egypt before or twice I think, one of them was in El Gouna, so Egypt is my lucky place and I play my best squash here because the crowd give me great energy.
I’m going to enjoy my rest day as a normal athlete because after my last match two days ago, I had an exam the next morning !
I’m going to try and recover really well because each point was really tough. She didn’t give up at all, I was up in the third and the fourth but it was like she was leading. I’m really looking forward to my semi-final match now in a couple of days.