DAC Detroit


[2] Olivia Weaver (USA) 3-0 [3] Rowan Elaraby  11-8, 11-3, 11-2 (29m)


[3] Rowan Elaraby 3-2 [1] Nouran Gohar  9-11, 11-1, 1-11, 11-9, 11-8 (61m) 

PSA Reports

Egypt’s Rowan Elaraby came from 2-1 down to claim her first-ever victory over compatriot and World No.3 Nouran Gohar in a thrilling 61-minute semi-final at the DAC Pro Squash Classic in Detroit.

The World No.10, who had lost all seven of her prior encounters against Gohar, progressed to the title decider of the PSA World Tour Silver event with a performance full of quality and determination in equal measure.

The all-Egyptian affair began feisty, with the opening game littered with refereeing decisions and interference in the middle of the court. Both players attempted to assert themselves at the T, but Gohar’s powerful strokes into the back two corners gave her the edge in the opening exchanges. Despite spurning three game balls, the ‘Terminator’ made no mistake at the fourth time of asking, moving into a 1-0 lead thanks to a stroke decision.

Despite holding a one-game advantage, Gohar re-entered the court in edgy fashion, with Elaraby capitalising on a couple of soft early errors. The No.3 seed moved Gohar around the court well and hit her targets with devastating effect, sailing into a 9-0 lead and subsequently levelling the match.

The match flipped emphatically back in Gohar’s favour in the third as the top seed cruised into a 6-0 lead, with Elaraby visibly struggling with some of her movement towards the latter stages of the game. After the top seed claimed a one-sided third game to move 2-1 up, Elaraby called for the physio.

Despite this issue, Elaraby raised her levels again in the fourth, rediscovering her impeccable length from the second game. Strokes were awarded to both players as the game progressed, but it was Elaraby who moved into an 8-5 lead. The 23-year-old’s impressive execution into the front two corners and ability to keep the ball away from Gohar’s volley was evident in the latter stages as she forced a decider following a tight 11-9 fourth game.

Elaraby continued to force Gohar into a number of tough retrievals in all four corners of the court as the match entered the fifth, racing into an early 5-3 lead. From there though the No.3 seed claimed five out of the next six points to hold six match balls on her own racket. Gohar hit some quick-fire counter-punches to save four match balls in a flash and pile the pressure back on her opponent, but at the fifth time of asking, Elaraby finally sealed victory, screaming in delight after claiming one of the biggest wins of her career.

After the match, Elaraby said: “I’m really, really happy. I’ve been waiting for this win for so long and I think I worked very hard to get this win today. I’ve been playing my best squash ever since the start of the season so I just needed a win like that to prove to myself that I can beat the top players.

“One thing I wanted to do today was not be very passive. My game plan was to just move her around, keep the ball away from her volleys and don’t be afraid to attack.

“I need to calm myself down now for tomorrow because the tournament is not done yet, so I’ll be happy for the next couple of hours and then go back to grounding myself for tomorrow. It’s another match tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.”


[6] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 3-1 [4] Nada Abbas 12-10, 5-11, 13-11, 12-10 (55m)
[1] Nouran Gohar 3-0 Jasmine Hutton (ENG)  11-2, 11-8, 11-2 (19m)
[3] Rowan Elaraby 3-0 Hana Moataz   11-4, 11-3, 16-14 (30m)


World No.3 Nouran Gohar looked in ominous form during her quarter-final victory against England’s Jasmine Hutton, needing just 19 minutes to book her spot in the last four.

The ‘Terminator’ flew out of the blocks in an 11-2 first game that lasted just four minutes, hitting powerfully into the back two corners before cutting the ball in short. Hutton grew into the game in the second, using more height on the front wall and asserting herself in the middle of the court, but Gohar always held a significant buffer, doubling her advantage through an 11-8 scoreline.

Gohar looked ever more confident as the match progressed, freeing her arm and taking on winners from all areas of the court in the third. The top seed sealed victory with a thumping forehand winner to move one step closer to claiming her second title at the Detroit-based event.

After progressing to the last four, Gohar said: “Jasmine is a very tricky player because she has really good hands and has some really good results, so obviously I was very well prepared for this match and wanted to give it a good performance today.

“I’m known for being a good starter, so it’s something that I do well. Obviously, against a tricky player you try to do this even more, and then having a 1-0 lead makes you much more comfortable on court.”

The final match of the night saw No.3 seed Rowan Elaraby end the impressive run of Egyptian compatriot Hana Moataz in three games of entertaining action. Despite powering through the opening two games by dominant 11-4 and 11-3 scorelines, Elaraby was made to fight right until the end for victory, with Moataz saving five match balls in a tight third game.

The World No.10 was dragged into a lengthy third-game tie-break by Moataz, but eventually sealed victory at the sixth time of asking when a stroke was awarded in her favour.

After the match, Elaraby said: “I’m glad with my performance today. I started really strongly and I think I was glad with my game plan and how I played. It is always tough playing a good friend. I think in the end, I was dragged into her game plan, and I almost forgot what I was doing. Once I remembered, I started playing well again and I’m glad I’m through in three.

On her upcoming semi-final against top seed Gohar, she added: “I’m really excited for this one, we just played recently and I have a good game plan for tomorrow. I just want to play my best squash and see how it goes.”

Round Two

[4] Nada Abbas 3-2 Kenzy Ayman    11-13, 4-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (48m)
[2] Olivia Weaver (USA) 3-0  Nadine Shahin 11-9, 11-5, 11-0 (21m)
Hana Moataz  3-0 [5] Farida Mohamed  11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (25m)
[1] Nouran Gohar 3-0 Menna Hamed  11-2, 11-5, 11-7 (26m)
[3] Rowan Elaraby 3-0 Aira Azman (MAS)  11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (23m)

PSA reports

Hana Moataz shocked compatriot and No.5 seed Farida Mohamed in straight games to progress to her maiden PSA World Tour Silver-event quarter-final.

Moataz, who sits 19 spots behind Mohamed in the current world rankings, backed up her opening-day victory over Marta Dominguez in impressive style, running away with an 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 victory in 25 minutes.

In a match dominated by traffic in the middle of the court and requiring regular interjections from the referee, the World No.36 came out on top, setting up a tie against Rowan Elaraby in the last eight.

“I’m really happy with today’s win,” Moataz said after the match. “I think it is my first win against a top 20 player and I’m really happy I could win in three. I played Farida in El Gouna last season and there was a lot happening, and I lost my focus and lost that match, so today I was just trying to focus on my game and not get caught up with whatever is happening with my opponent. I’m glad I was able to stick to my plan and not get distracted by anything.

“In the third, I think I was 8-4 up and my mind was going, ‘Oh my gosh, you are winning’, so I then told myself to calm down and stick to whatever I was doing because it was working. I’m just glad I was able to stick with it mentally.”

2021 winner Nouran Gohar cruised into the last eight at the Detroit Athletic Club and powered past compatriot Menna Hamed.

Meanwhile, No.4 seed Nada Abbas avoided a scare against Egyptian compatriot Kenzy Ayman, coming from two games down to book her spot in the quarter-finals.

Kenzy Ayman prepares to serve against Haya Ali.

Round One

Kenzy Ayman 3-1 Haya Ali 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4 (31m)
Hana Moataz 3-1 Marta Dominguez (Esp)  11-8, 11-9, 2-11, 11-8 (38m)
Nadine Shahin 3-0 Saskia Beinhard (GER)  11-6, 11-9, 11-4 (23m)
Menna Hamed  3-0 Anna Serme (CZE)  11-8, 11-9, 11-5 (23m)