R3:  Nour El Sherbini (Egy) 3-0 [9/16] Tinne Gilis (Bel) 11-6, 11-4 , 11-7 (29m)
I don’t need to write a report really. Tinne says it all in her short quote after the match.
At 3/2 in the opener, a little bit of contact between the two players, Tinne twists her ankle and to be honest I had forgotten all about it. But Tinne hadn’t she said, stating it was absolutely not a excuse, that just it was playing on her mind.
First two games, Nour extremely relaxed, 8 winners in the first, 10 in the second, beautiful squash but Tinne not making much impact. It all changed in the third, suddenly we saw what the trimmed and fit young Belgium was capable of. Up 4/1, Tinne was strongly despatching the shots at the front, 6/3, before Nour felt the danger and closed it down, 7/7, taking the game and match, 11/7 in 10m last game…
Tinne: I’m a bit frustrated, as if I managed to play from the start the way I played in the third, things could have been a bit different.
Stupid thing really, I roll onto my ankle at the start of the match, and I would feel a niggle, and it was in my mind, which is not an excuse, but my mind was not on the court enough, my length was in the middle of the court, and no way this is good enough against somebody like Sherbini!
In the third, I told myself to forget about it, that I had the chance to play against the world number one, that I had nothing to lose. I’m glad the way I pushed through, especially against Nour who is one of my favourite players. I will learn a lot from it, she played too well, and I just hope I can do better next time…
— PSA World Tour (@PSAWorldTour) March 15, 2021
“It was good to play a tough one. I haven’t played her before, she is fast and the court is bouncy so she gets everything,” the World No.1 said.
“I had to make sure all my shots were good enough to win the points. It is good to play different opponents and I am sure we are going to have a lot of tough matches.
“Well, playing a tournament in Egypt, in your country, is always big and special. Not winning a Black Ball tournament, it is still missing for me. I am going to try my best and hopefully it will be mine this time.”