Detroit: CIB Nouran Gohar Champion!

Women’s $61k PSA Bronze, 19-23 Oct, Detroit, USA

[1] Nouran Gohar  3-0 Georgina Kennedy (ENG)  11-8, 11-6, 11-1 (28m)


[1] Nouran Gohar  3-0 [4] Olivia Clyne (USA) 11-4, 11-3, 11-8 (34m)

If history was any indication, Olivia was going to be in for an onerous time. The past 3 matches on the PSA tour, Olivia is not only 0-for-3, the game tally is 0-for-9. Only one of those games went to a tie break as well. The mental edge clearly leans all the way to the Egyptian world number 2 and in typical Nouran Gohar fashion, she entered the court with a steely look of complete focus and determination, no doubt committed to extending her clean record against the American.

There is no ‘playing-in’ with Nouran, she’s hammering away from the first shot of the match. The pressure is immediate and her opponents better be ready to compete. She jumped out to an early lead, and Olivia was finding it troublesome to get herself settled into any comfortable rhythm. It was all happening a little too quick, and uncharacteristically Olivia was choosing some mystifying shots, such as trying to force a short ball from deep in the back corner. If they didn’t hit the tin, Nouran was immediately pouncing on them and punishing them anyway. The tactic wasn’t working and it took 2 full games before Olivia finally switched it up.

A lot more competitive third, this is what the crowd was waiting for. Smarter play, better length, more patience, less errors, and suddenly Nouran and Olivia were going point for point, a standard worthy and deserving of the two. However, no matter how you look at it, coming back from 0-2 down as I’ve said before, is a monumental assignment, made all the more nightmarish when you are playing the second best ranked player in the world. As usual, Nouran didn’t let up either, Olivia’s increased pressure and precision made her work a lot harder but she was prepared for the moment and her relentless power hitting was simply too good. Advancing to the final, Nouran took the match 3-0. 11-4, 11-3, 11-8.


[1] Nouran Gohar 3-0 [6] Nele Gilis (BEL)  11-7, 11-5, 11-2 (41m)

The final score line does not indicate the quality of the hitting between these two ladies. Nouran was doing what Nouran does: Hitting the ball like she’s trying to send it into next week. But it’s not that she’s just aimlessly belting it around, the accuracy and consistency of it all is a sight to behold. Relentless. Inch perfect above the tin, moving early on the ball, heavy volleys, and then spatter in a few delicate drops and the combination is breathtaking. It’s a tough egg to crack.

Nele new what she was in for, and she did her utmost to counter the pressure. To the innocent bystander, simply watching the exchanges, one would not have been able to tell who was world number 2 and who was world number 15… until you looked at the score. The rallies were long, tight, demanding. But, it’s what makes Nouran stand out that little but more in the end – it’s just ruthless.

She plays every point like it’s her last, it’s almost as if the more an opponent resists, the more she steps it up. I thought Nele looked and played great squash, she just couldn’t finish off the rallies. Nouran took 41 minutes to take a lot-tougher-than-it-looked 3-0 victory 11-7, 11-5, 11-2.


Round Two

[5] Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-1 Hana Moataz   11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 (44m)

Round One

Melissa Alves (FRA) 3-0 Sana Ibrahim   11-6, 11-6, 11-7 (27m)
Hana Moataz 3-1 Zeina Mickawy  11-4, 12-10, 12-14, 11-5 (39m)

World No.2 CIB Nouran Gohar will head up the inaugural DAC Pro Squash Classic when the first PSA World Tour Bronze event of the season takes place between October 19-23 at the Detroit Athletic Club.

All eyes will be on Nouran’s as the Egyptian looks to continue the great form that has seen her win back-to-back Platinum titles at the CIB Egyptian Open and the U.S. Open. The 24-year-old explained how much she was looking forward to the event from both a squash and personal perspective.

“I’m very happy with the way I’m playing right now,” said Gohar.

“Most importantly, I feel like enjoying myself on court and trying to improve everyday.

“I am excited to play the event in Detroit, I have never been there before but I always like to play these kind of tournaments where the members of the club are very welcoming and they make you feel at home.”

Nouran’s fiancé, professional fencer Ziad El-Sissy, is based in Detroit and the World Championship finalist is looking forward to having him in her corner throughout the week.

“He is currently undergoing his master’s degree there and is a professional fencer himself, so it’s never very easy for us to spend a lot of time together with all our busy schedules,” Gohar said.

“He has always been a great supporter and I do enjoy having him in my corner watching my matches”.

Gohar’s rival Nour El Sherbini currently sits at the top of the PSA World Rankings, and while Nouran is working hard to regain top spot, she insists that the quality of her performances is her priority.

She said: “I’m very proud with this rivalry I have with Sherbini right now, with most of the big finals being contested between both of us. I have reached the No.1 spot before and I’m working hard to reach it again, but I don’t think about it that way.

“I would rather think about trying to improve in order to win the big majors. If I’m performing well and winning then the ranking will automatically take care of itself.”