Day Two Glass Court : As It Happened

Round one of the CIB PSA World Championships 2023/24 continues with the bottom half of the draw, with another four matches to come on the all-glass court at the Palm Hills Club.

Ruthless Gohar Makes Impressive Start To World Champs Campaign

World No.2 Nouran Gohar made an impressive start to her World Champs campaign with a ruthless 3-0 win over Emilia Soini. Gohar, who was runner up last year to Nour El Sherbini, only dropped five points throughout the entire match to secure her place in the second round.

Tonight’s first round encounter was the duo’s first meeting on the PSA World Tour, and Gohar took charge from the off as stormed to an 11-2 win. Gohar continued where she left off in the first game with a comfortable 6-2 lead, before play was halted due to a blood injury sustained by the Egyptian.

However Gohar was unfazed by the break in play when she returned to court, notching five points without reply to make it a two-game lead before sealing the match with a dominant 11-1 victory in the third.

“It’s always very tricky playing the World Champs. You want to be playing your best squash and peaking at the right time. Having a good start gives you a boost of confidence,” she said on court afterwards.

“There’s a lot of factors and playing here in Egypt and in my home club is a big thing for me and I wanted to put a good performance in for the crowd and from my career prospective there’s a lot of things going on and I have my whole family here so there’s big support. I’m very happy to get a good start and hopefully it gets better.

“When I reached the No.1 spot I was the best player playing that consistent. Right now I’m playing some of my best form and I can’t take it for granted – I had this extra pressure two years ago and I don’t want to repeat my mistakes again and I’m not really thinking about it.

“It’s another tournament and another week and hopefully I can take every single match I play.”

Result [3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Emilia Soini (FIN) 3-0: 11-2, 11-2, 11-1 (30m)

Coll Storms Past Lau

World No.2 Paul Coll booked his spot in the second round courtesy of a comfortable 11-1, 11-5, 11-5 win over Hong Kong’s World No.50 Tsz Kwan Lau.

It was the pair’s second meeting on the PSA Tour – with Coll winning the first on Lau’s home soil at the 2022 Hong Kong Open – and the New Zealander put on a masterclass of a performance to set up a last 32 meeting with Mexico’s Leonel Cardenas.

Coll, who turned 32 yesterday, wasted no time in stamping his dominance on the match, taking the first six points on offer and dropping a single point in the opening game.

The Kiwi was hitting his targets to pin Lau in the back corners and had the deft touch required to punish his opponent whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Lau, who is quick around the court and has the racket skills to test higher-ranked opponents, was able to put more pressure on Coll in the second game, but that still only yielded five points as the No.2 seed doubled his lead.

The third game followed along a similar vein, with Coll sealing his place in the last 32 after 34 minutes of action.

“I was hitting my targets are pretty well, he’s pretty tricky, pretty quick, he volleys a lot and there’s a lot going on,” said Coll afterwards.

“I’m happy with my movement and how I defended and attacked.

“We had a tournament on here [the same court as used in El Gouna] so there’s no excuse not to know the court and the conditions as they’re pretty similar. Maybe it drops a bit colder later at night, but it’s pretty similar and plays the same.

“It’s going to be tough [to win the event]. There’s a few tough Egyptians in the draw in their own backyard, so they’re always going to be pretty tough. I’m feeling good, I’m very happy with my game mentally and physically and the way I’m striking the ball is building a lot of confidence and I want to enjoy the week and the process.

“Not many people get to experience this kind of pressure. I approach it like every other tournament and I’m really soaking up the week.”


[2] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Tsz Kwan Lau (HKG) 3-0: 11-1, 11-5, 11-5 (34m)

El Hammamy Off to a Winning Start

World No.3 Hania El Hammamy began her title challenge with a 3-0 win over England’s Lucy Turmel.

The 23-year-old is making her return to court after missing last month’s El Gouna International due to injury but showed no signs of any residual fitness issues as she put in a composed performance to seal an 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 victory.

It was a measured performance from The No.2 seed who didn’t hit the ball with her usual aggressive pace. Instead, she played at a slower pace to take the sting out of Turmel’s attacks and it allowed her to dictate proceedings at the Palm Hills Club.

El Hammamy, who reached the semi-finals of last year’s PSA World Championships in Chicago, will continue her attempts to win a maiden Worlds title when she takes on France’s Melissa Alves in the next round.

“It was a very tough match for me,” said El Hammamy.

“Having not played El Gouna, and with my last match being a month ago in London when I lost in five, it’s definitely not an easy day for me, but I tried to prepare myself as much as I could. There were definitely some nerves and I’m happy to get through in three. I have played against her [Lucy Turmel] but I can’t remember when, so you never know what to expect from someone you’ve not played for such a long time. 

“She’s improved a lot since then and I’m happy to get through. I’m really excited to be back on court, it wasn’t easy. It’s the first time I’ve missed a Platinum tournament, I’ve never pulled out of one before. 

“It was a new experience for me and a challenging one. I’m glad it was a short time and I was able to recover fast thanks to my team and I’m back on court for the most important event.”


[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt Lucy Turmel (ENG) 3-0: 11-4, 11-6, 11-5 (45m)