QF:  Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0 Nele Gilis (BEL) 11-4, 11-9, 11-9 (45m)
Nele Gilis had played Nouran several times, and from the record, Nouran seemed to really have the upper hand on the number 1 Belgium.
It took quite logically a game to Nele to get used to the court as she had played her matches on the traditional set up in the Giza Sporting Club. 7 minutes opener, but we knew it was not over, far from it.
Nele is one of those players that work. And work. And work. Nouran and her have that in common for sure, and the battle that followed was credit to both of them. Nele took the game to the World Number One, who today was moving better I thought, her scare about her ankle seemed to have settled thank the Angels of Squash….
There was a stoppage for blood injury when Nouran accidentally was hit in the lip in the end of the second game (9/6), so the length of that superb game is 20m minus 5, 15m of truly gruelling squash, both of the girls attacking and retrieving in a warrior/gladiator style.
Despite being down 2/0, Nele forgot about the score, put her head down, and like in the previous game, was neck to neck with her opponent, 7/7, and this time, 9/9, it was all possible, Nele cannot retrieve a superb length that dies at the back, then a short attack at the front.
But a superb battle that could have very easily gone to 5..
“It is quite late and I was impressed that Nele was still awake and able to play because us Egyptians are used to this !
“She played really well, and she caused the upset of the tournament by beating Amanda so, definitely, it wasn’t easy at all and I am very pleased that I am not still playing now.
“Maybe the injuries are the lucky charm for this tournament. I can’t really complain. I am dealing with the ankle and it is part of the game. There is always the risk of getting injured, but I am dealing with it and using it as part of the tactics I employ. Luckily, we have another rest days so I can try to heal it tomorrow.
“Honestly, I am trying not to think about being No.1, which really helps. I just feel that becoming World No.1 did not change me as Nouran, and that I still have the same strengths and the same weaknesses. I am just working with my coaches on the same things, so I don’t really thinking about being World No.1 when I enter the court, I just have the same game plan and I try to enjoy myself on court.”