2021 GOLD NEWS

2021 Women’s Gold : QUARTERS

Gina Kennedy joins the top three seeds Nour El Sherbini, Nouran Gohar and Hania El Hammamy in the semi-finals …

2021 CIB Black Ball Squash Open GOLD - WOMEN'S QUARTER-FINALS

[1] Nour El Sherbini(Egy) 3-0 [7] Nour El Tayeb (Egy)          11-9, 11-7, 11-5 (33m)
Georgina Kennedy
(Eng) 3-0 
Farida Mohamed (Egy)         12-10, 11-8, 11-6 (32m)

[3] Hania El Hammamy (Egy) 3-0 [8] Rowan Elaraby (Egy)  11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (39m)
[2] Nouran Gohar (Egy) 3-1 [6] Salma Hany (Egy)        9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 (46m)

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Gohar recovers to complete semis lineup

In the final match of the day, black Ball favourite Salma Hany took a close opening game against Nouran Gohar to set up the prospect of a popular upset.

But the second seed fought back, dominating the next three games and despite a late recovery from Salma in the fourth, Nouran closed it out to ensure that the top three seeds would be in semi-final contention.

Not great, but I am just happy with the way I dealt with it today. Sometimes you just don’t play your best but you have to adapt and manage, to be able to win. It is all about that, finding ways to win even if it is not your best.

I think Hania and I have played every tournament this season We always have great battles and it’s really enjoyable. I really enjoy it on court with her, I think we bring the best out of each other and it is good for the game. We have played in quarter finals, semi-finals and finals. I am really excited for tomorrow’s battle.

I’m just taking it one match at a time. Definitely winning a big title would always be something nice for career, so I will look forward to trying to do that this week.

Sherbini ends Tayeb comeback run

As with the previous all-Egyptian match, Nour El Sherbini and Nour El Tayeb have a long record of rivalry stretching back to junior days, starting with including a world junior final back in 2009.

Top seed Sherbini had won the majority of the recent matches, and continued that run tonight to end Tayeb’s comeback run in straight games

It was never easy though, with Tayeb playing some wonderful stuff but never quite able to close the gap in each of the three games.

She’s a fighter and it is very inspiring that she is back and playing like this. I don’t think anyone could believe she has just given birth five months ago. It is really amazing and I didn’t expect that she would push me that hard but I am really happy to see her playing like this and she will get fitter and get better over the next few tournaments.

I was a bit emotional playing her today. I was very happy and I just want her to keep going and to be motivated that she is back. At the same time, I was against her so I wanted to win the match. She played really well, getting everything back. You’ll see her now, she will go back to her beautiful baby and be smiling. She will train harder and harder and keep inspiring everyone.

Georgina is playing amazing this week and the only English player remaining. She has had a very good tournament and I am sure she will be positive. I have never played her before, and I have only seen her play this week, so a new challenge, a good player coming up, so I will try to make a good gameplan and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

I keep looking, before every match, I try to look and make a good plan. I will try to watch some of her videos and make up a plan for tomorrow.

Hania holds the edge over Rowan

The rivalry between Hania El Hammamy and Rowan Elaraby is a longstanding one, including meetings in three British Junior Open and two World Junior finals.

This was only their second PSA meeting though, and today it was Hania who held the edge, establishing leads in each of the three games and taking them with increasingly comfortable scorelines.

I’m definitely happy to get through. It is never easy playing Rowan, we have a long history in juniors. Before the match, I saw the head-to-head and it was 6-3 in my favour even though I lost finals of the World Juniors to her, so I didn’t think I had the upper hand. We have a long rivalry and we will play a lot on the PSA World Tour as well.

I’m really glad that I managed to handle the pressure of today’s match. It is a different match to others. I have a lot of memories of playing Rowan, so I am happy with the win, and definitely happy with how I handled the pressure.

I love playing in Egypt a having my family, friends and coaches around, so it definitely gives me a huge push!

Gina storms into the semis

The first quarter-final featured the first meeting between two rising stars of the game, England’s Gina Kennedy and Egypt’s Farida Mohamed, both unseeded having taken out seeded players yesterday.

The first game was close all the way, but it was Gina who sneaked it on extra points, and the Englishwoman stayed ahead throughout the next two games to reach her first Gold event semi-final.

I’m still in shock a bit right now! That match was really difficult. I’m used to playing in a rhythm and with long rallies, but that match was really stop-start, and I’m not used to it. The ball was really dying off in the third. I am not that happy with my performance, I thought it was quite scrappy and I got let off the hook a few times but I am obviously really happy to make the semi-finals. I think it will take a couple of hours, at least, to sink in.

It was cool last night, my parents were watching SquashTV and saw the quarter final line-up and it was my name along with seven Egyptians, so it’s really exciting. Egypt is known for being the dominant force in squash so I am really proud that I can immerse myself amongst those girls.

To win is a tough task for sure, with the quality of the players still in the draw. All top ten, obviously Nour El Tayeb is back as well. It’s definitely a tough task, I think I just need to focus on my game and not think too much about who I am playing because it’s quite intimidating, the quality of the squash that these girls play. I have been watching them at home on SquashTV and now I am here playing with them. I just need to focus on my game and not get scared, I guess.

I am really excited to watch Nour El Sherbini and Nour El Tayeb play. The squash will be incredible and it is such an amazing opportunity to play either of them so I will enjoy it as much as I can, and focus on my game as opposed to how good they are, because it could run away from you pretty quickly at that point.