Women’s $110k PSA Gold, 06-11 Sep, Houston, USA


[1] Nouran Gohar  3-0 [7] Nour El Tayeb 12-10, 11-5, 11-7 (42m)


World No.1 CIB Nouran Gohar has claimed the inaugural South Western Women’s Open title in Houston after a straight games victory over compatriot Nour El Tayeb. The No.1 seed took a tight opening game before moving from strength to strength to win the PSA World Tour Gold event.

Both players made it through to the final after coming through tough semi-final encounters with Rowan Elaraby and Amanda Sobhy respectively. The finalists both had to go all the way to five games to defeat their spirited opponents to give themselves a shot at the title.

The pair had met 14 times previously on the PSA World Tour, with Gohar holding a positive 9-5 advantage in the head-to-head record. The World No.1 came out firing in the opening game, hitting the ball at a blistering pace to restrict El Tayeb’s trademark attacking flair. Gohar earned herself two game balls at 10-8 and despite a spirited comeback from El Tayeb, took the lead 12-10.

World No.8, El Tayeb admitted that she still feels like she is making her way back after returning to the tour just 10 months ago. She looked to be feeling the effects of yesterday’s semi-final against Amanda Sobhy as the physicality of the older Egyptian faded in the second game. El Tayeb started to make unnecessary errors which only spurred her opponent on further.

After securing the second game 11-5 to place one hand on the trophy, Gohar was relentless in her pursuit of the title. Her hitting power increased as well as her accuracy, making life extremely difficult for El Tayeb in all areas of the court. Gohar set herself up with four match balls at 10-6 and converted at the second time of asking to seal the game 11-7 and win her first title of the season and eighth title in 12 months.

“Nour has been an inspiration. I don’t think anyone could do what she did. She’s a very tough opponent, I’m very happy that she’s back on tour. It’s always enjoyable against Nour. I always feel like I’m the underdog so it takes the nerves away but it has been a great week of squash and I’ve felt at home this week here in Houston. I’m so grateful for the support so thank you so much.

“I’m just enjoying it right now, everything in life moves too quickly so I’m just trying to enjoy the good moments. Thank you to Jahanzeb [tournament promoter] for putting the tournament on, not everyone can sort a Gold event in such a short space of time. I want to thank all my team, my coach, friends and family, Tecnifibre, Red Bull and all my fitness coaches.”


[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-2 [2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-6 (63m)
[1] Nouran Gohar 3-2 [3] Rowan Elaraby  8-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 11-4 (59m)

World No.8 CIB Nour El Tayeb continued her impressive start to the season as she defeated USA No.1 Amanda Sobhy to progress to the final where she will face World No.1 CIB Nouran Gohar for the title.

Nour looked sharp and focused from the outset of the match and started to fire the ball into the front corners with ease to trouble her American opponent. Spurred on by the home crowd, Sobhy responded by matching El Tayeb’s pace and started to implement her own short game to test the movement of the No.7 seed. Sobhy took the second game 11-9 to level the match.

The quality between the two players continued throughout the entire match and as the points became more crucial, the quality only increased. El Tayeb clinched a nail-biting third game 12-10 to place one foot in the final.

Despite Sobhy levelling at 2-2, it was clear that the efforts from the fourth game had taken their toll on the No.2 seed and El Tayeb was able to find the space on the court better in the final game to take it 11-6 and secure her place in successive finals after 63 minutes.

“I’m very grateful to be in successive finals, I guess I worked hard over the last period to come back and compete at this level against one of the best in the world in Amanda,” said El Tayeb.

“Most of the time I still feel like I’m on the comeback, I feel like the other players treat me like a mother so it gives me an edge and confidence. I’ve gone through a hard period, being pregnant and having a baby, feel I have lies to lose now but it’s just great to be back at this level.

“I still feel like I’m coming up the rankings again, I’m very happy with how it’s been going since I came back in December and it feels great to be back in another final. Tomorrow, I have Nouran in the final and I think she has been in every final since I’ve been back, other people change but she seems to be the one always in the final and that’s a credit to her character and her squash. But I want to be testing myself against the top 4/5 players in the world and tomorrow’s another day and I hope I can do just as well.”

​El Tayeb’s opponent in tomorrow’s final will be World No.1 and No.1 seed Nouran Gohar who did not have it all her own way as she overcame compatriot CIB Rowan Elaraby in a feisty affair.

Gohar held a 4-0 lead in the head-to-head record with Elaraby but the younger Egyptian showed no signs of nerves in the opening game against ‘The Terminator’, hitting the ball at a blistering pace to pin Gohar deep in the back corners before taking the ball in short with great accuracy. Elaraby stormed through to take the opening game 11-8 and looked determined for more.

Despite Gohar taking the second game, World No.7 Elaraby continued to pummel the back corners with tremendous power, making it very difficult for Gohar to impose her own aggressive style on the match. After many tense rallies, it was Elaraby who held her nerve, closing the game out 12-10 despite numerous interactions with the referee to take a 2-1 lead and silence the Houston crowd.

Gohar showed just why she is at the top of the world rankings in the fourth and fifth games, capitalising on a physically fading Elaraby. The World No.1 moved from strength to strength and it wasn’t long before she was looking ahead to her 33rd PSA World Tour final, winning the final two games both 11-4.

“It was a very tough match obviously, Rowan is such a talented player but you have to find a way and all credit to her, she played so well and I had to keep digging in but I felt like I found my range at the end and just very pleased to get through,” said Gohar after her win.

“Sometimes it’s not always a good thing to be winning lots go matches 3-0. With my coach, we talk about how some days I won’t be able to beat everyone 3-0 and I need to be prepared. I’m actually quite glad that I had a match like this before the final to really mentally prepare me.

“I’ve watched Amanda and Nour play World Juniors together and have been on tour for so long but they’re awesome players and I’m really looking forward to playing either of them tomorrow.”


[1] Nouran Gohar 3-0 [6] Olivia Fiechter (USA)  11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (35m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb  3-0 [4] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 11-9, 8-2 retired (16m)
[2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-1 [5] Salma Hany  8-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-4 (42m)

Round Three

[2] Amanda Sobhy (USA) 3-0 Hana Ramadan   11-8, 11-5, 11-4 (30m)
[5] Salma Hany 3-2 Nadine Shahin 13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 (73m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb 3-0 Olivia Clyne (USA)  11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (22m)

Round Two 

[1] Nouran Gohar 3-0 Ka Yi Lee (HKG) 11-4, 11-2, 11-3 (20m)
[8] Emily Whitlock (WAL) 3-2 [9/16] Sana Ibrahim  8-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-3 (60m)
[3] Rowan Elaraby 3-1 [9/16] Mariam Metwally  7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 (37m)
[7] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) v [9/16] Olivia Clyne (USA)
[5] Salma Hany  v [9/16] Nadine Shahin
[9/16] Hana Ramadan v [2] Amanda Sobhy (USA)

World No.1 CIB Nouran Gohar was first in action and wasted no time as she stormed past her surprise round two opponent, Ka Yi Lee from Hong Kong. With 43 places separating the two in the PSA rankings, the task couldn’t be tougher for Yi Lee who struggled to gather any momentum against the World No.1 and after just 20 minutes, Gohar advanced.

“It’s always good to have a fresh start and a good start Ina. Tournament. It’s always good to start with a good performance and a good win like this to give you that confidence,” said Gohar.

“My off-season was both quite intense and relaxing. In the past, I would only take maybe two weeks off but last season I played a lot of matches so I took more time off than usual and I had a slight shoulder injury so I took some time to rehab that. But then the second part was tough training with Rod [Martin] in Connecticut, which was intense.”

Round One

Sana Ibrahim 3-0 Nour Aboulmakarim  11-4, 11-8, 11-3 (28m)
Mariam Metwally 3-2 Nicole Bunyan (CAN)  11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8 (57m)
Hana Ramadan 3-0 [WC] Fayrouz Aboelkheir  11-6, 11-3, 11-8 (33m)
Nadine Shahin 3-2 Haley Mendez (USA)  7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)

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