R3: Nour ElSherbini 3-0 Amina Orfi

 [1] Nour ElSherbini (EGY) 3-0 [11] Amina Orfi (EGY)  11-5, 12-10, 11-8 (45m)

Next Opponent: Tinne Gilis

That was THE MATCH we were all expecting. And it didn’t disappoint.

I could hear in Greg Gaultier’s encouragements that the French coach was, I wouldn’t say worried, but aware of the danger that little girl, 16, represents already for the top players.

If the opener was straight forward and dominated by the World number one, 11/5 in 11m, the second was the crucial one. Very little between them, 2/2, 3/3, 4/4, 7/7. Amina seems to have the upperhand, but Nour levels at 9/9, setting up her first game ball, 10/9. A no let forces a tie-break, 10/10. An enormous intense rally, ending with a tin from the Destroyer, second game ball for Nour, and a stroke to close that second game, 12/10.

17m game, with high quality from both girls, Nour 9 winners, but Amina 8.

Impressively, although led 2/0 by the World number one, Amina started the third as in the opener, and led 3/0! Nour caught up 3/3, 4/4, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8. As often, the experience paid off and it’s the Princess that closes it 11/8 in 12m.

Nour prevails today. But as she stated, many more battles to come. You cannot NOT be impressed and bowing to that little girl.

Nour :  “It was my first match with Amina and I’m sure it won’t be the last. She is pushing up the rankings and pushing all the top players. I wanted to play this match and test myself where I’m at and with this pressure. I’m happy with not losing a game – one day I was in her place and I know how hungry she is, she’s very motivated and I’m hoping we’ll have many tough battles in the coming seasons.

“It’s the World Champs and I’m trying to be better prepared than El Gouna. I’ve had Greg [Gaultier] and my coaches back in Alexandria. It was really good to have all my team in one place and focus on what I need to do. It was a tough match and I’ve had two, short rounds before and two days off as well. I’m really happy with the match and I stuck at it until the end.

“Tine and I  just played in El Gouna and it was a tough four games. It’s tough to play back-to-back tournaments but I’ll be ready for it and I’ll have a good plan this time and I’m looking forward to it.”