Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1 Hollie Naughton (CAN) 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4 (45m)
It must have been a pretty hard match to watch for Nouran’s mum and support camp as Nouran has been troubled with an extremely sore and swollen left foot since she came back from Chicago. So the Terminator did the best thing she knows how to do, she hit the ball as hard as she could!
On the other side of the court, Hollie was pretty fired up, and played some superb counter attacks, weathering the storm patienly, building up on the momentum, and putting the world number 2 under enormous pressure.
First game, 10m, from 7/7 to 11/7 for the Egyptian. A bit the same story in the second, Nouran up but caught up with the score, from 5/2 to 6/6, 10/6, the Canadian giving it a superb push, and it’s only 11/9 in 10m again for the Terminator.
Nouran’s face was showing signs of pain as she was trying to get to the ball in the 3rd, and Hollie was finding her targets beautifully, making the court extremely wide for Nouran. 11/6 for the Canadian, 9m.
The 4th is weird as although Nouran was up comfortably, she was really looking like she was not going to be able to finish the match! At 7/0 for Nouran, a ball is call good – I personally saw it down. Nouran questions the call, the ref first says it’s good, then corrects himself as he has conclusive information from the video ref the ball was down. Hollie hits the roof, stating that the rule book says they cannot check the tin! As a gesture of good will, Nouran gives a let…. Ads to the drama of it all!
“It’s completely different this year, we’re playing a World Series [Platinum] and it’s straight after another World Series [Platinum] in Chicago, so to deal with it and recover is a little bit tough,” said Gohar.
“I’m really glad that I’ve been playing over three years here in New Cairo and seeing how Black Ball is improving every year is super impressive. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a club involving in an exponential way.
“It’s really good for the game to have such clubs supporting squash.”
UPDATE : Nouran was forced to pull out of the semi-finals