“It is definitely huge as it was the first major event of the season and I came through to take it. Also in my opinion, it was the first tournament where everyone was at their peak and had been preparing for it from over the summer.
“It does give me extra satisfaction to beat Nouran as she is my main rival and I have been struggling against her for so long to come through and win this first encounter of the season was special.
New Coaches for All!
“It was interesting that the top-three in the PSA rankings have new coaches and have been working on new things over the summer.
“Definitely Nouran has more involvement with Rodney [Martin], who is now her head coach and then Nour going to Greg [Gaultier] and me having Omar [Abdel Aziz] by my side in my team. All of that made it very interesting and also challenging for the three of us in terms of absorbing new stuff.
“So it just gives me huge confidence to be the one to take the first title and I definitely believe that Omar and I are doing a great job and that we are one step closer to the goal of World No.1 and we have put in so much work over the summer and we will keep going. We know what we need to aim for and it is just so positive and great to have someone who believes in you as much as Omar does in me.
“Even at the lowest moments when I didn’t believe in myself, which was the case at times in this tournament, when I had been going through some issues and struggling with my body for some reason, and there were times in the tournament when I was not feeling very confident, Omar was there for each second.
“He gave me so much reassurance and we believe we will reach the highest level. I have been working on a lot of stuff with Omar as he is an amazing coach and I am very grateful to have him in my team. He knows exactly what I need in my game and he definitely has added a lot of stuff for me both on and off court and I am just really excited to be going through this whole process with him.
“It’s also a huge bonus to be coached now by a former coach of one of my main rivals. Omar has been on top of the game for so many years and he was also a professional player, so he understands what players are going through.
“He is so strong on the mental side and the tactical side and I am just really enjoying working with him and we have made a great start to what I hope will be a special journey.”
Coaches back in Games
“I feel like all the work I did over the summer has paid off and also I must mention that having your coach back working with you during the event from the side-lines does give you a huge boost and the motivation between games.
“That was not the case in the last couple of matches with Nouran and I had been losing to her when I was coming through and then when I was playing her I wasn’t having any coaches by my side and she had an edge on me anyway since we were juniors.
“So having Omar between games, it was everything, so helpful and just amazing. He gave me so much reassurance and we believe we will reach the highest level.”
Winning in Cairo
“It is extra special to win in Egypt as you have your family and friends as well as your coaches all around you to help and playing the semi and the final against both Egyptians the crowd were really amazing.
“Also to win the tournament in front of the Pyramids well that is just extra special and for me who went to watch Nour & Raneem [El Welily] competing in the final a few years ago when I was sitting with Raneem’s coach Haitham [Effat], who was my former coach, and I was just cheering and hoping one day it would be me out there and now there I was. So it was just amazing and very special to me because of all these memories.”
“I am definitely looking forward to the U.S. Open and there is no better way to prepare for a tournament than when you have momentum behind you and are playing well.
“So I rested a couple of days and then got back to work and hopefully it will be a good one as I am determined to keep things going in the right direction and really build on what I achieved at the Egyptian Open.”