Day Three


[1] Nouran Gohar  2-0 [8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG)  11-3, 11-4 (19m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini2-1 [3] Hania El Hammamy  11-8, 4-11, 11-9 (50m)

[1] Ali Farag 2-1 [8] Mazen Hesham  11-3, 9-11, 11-2 (40m)
[2] Paul Coll (NZL) 2-0 [4] Mostafa Asal  11-8, 11-5 (21m)

Nour said

“First of all, Hania has been in amazing form this season and she beat me the last few times but I don’t know how I did this one. I was playing every point like it was the last. It was very risky for me but I had to keep going, I’d already qualified so I had to play on or I couldn’t play the rest of the tournament. I just wanted to finish this match, I kept pushing every point. I’m very lucky to get through this one.

“There are no easy matches, I’m glad to have a rest day tomorrow, I’ll try to recover and see how bad it is. It’s my second time in the semi-finals here in Egypt so I’ll have a good rest and see what I’m going to do.”

Ali said
“In the beginning, I had a clear game plan in mind and that was to be aggressive but in the back corners so I didn’t give him chance to go for his shots so to be ‘positive long’ as Mike [Way] likes to call it. In the second, I was long but very passive and negative, I didn’t put enough pressure on him but that’s credit to him, I’ve always said that when Mazen’s length hitting is good he’s at his best and then he can get the opportunities to kill with his variety of weaponry

“Then there were some unfortunate bounces and a stroke against me so that was tough to take but I told myself that I was still at 1-1 so to keep pushing and work the ball at the beginning and it served me well so I’m very pleased.

“I was imagining that Karim [Darwish] or Nour [El Tayeb] were talking to me and I know exactly what they would say to me. They would say to not go for silly shots but not to go passive. Even if you’re tired, keep pushing because he’s just as tired if not more so, so keep pushing. I haven’t qualified except once here so to qualify with a match in hand is definitely a bonus.

“It doesn’t matter in terms of the outcome of the tournament because you don’t know who’s coming through from the other side but it matters because of the points because there are ranking points for each match and also, you never want to play a squash match and not want to win. But I’m playing Mohamed [ElShorbagy] tomorrow and to win I can’t be at 99%, I need to be at 100 or 110.”

Nouran said
“It’s always hard to play against Gina. We grew up playing together but what an unbelievable season she’s had, nobody did what she did and I have so much respect for her and I’m sure we’re going to have great battles in the upcoming years and I’m really looking forward to this rivalry.
“It’s always nice to have funny bounces when you’re hitting your targets so at first, I was just trying to hit my targets and it was paying off, this court really gives you credit if you play a nice shot, it’s bouncy but it’s very straight and clear so it helps you to hit good winners at the back and I really enjoy myself when I’m hitting winners at the back fo the court.
“You always want to win all your matches. If it’s No.1 or No.2 in the other pool it’s going to be tough because we’re the top eight players in the world. I just want to keep this winning feeling and get ready for my semi-final match as well.”