QF: Fram reports – Nouran Gohar 3-1 Nour El Tayeb

[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1 [5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9 (61m)

Next opponent: Hania El Hammamy

Nouran, who has reached the final of the last three World Champs, overcame fellow Egyptian and World No.5 Nour El Tayeb. It marks Gohar’s 11th successive victory over El Tayeb. The Terminator had won 15 of their 20 previous matches.

I found that match extremely interesting from an analysis point of view.

If Nour come on the court very tense, the nerves she had seem to vanish in the warm up already. And although she lost the opener, making a few too many errors, I found that her attacking everything under the sun approached got Nouran slightly out of her comfort zone. Yes, Nour lost the rallies in the middle that was extremely hard on both by just clipping the tin but those errors were the right shots to play and would have won the point had they not end in the tin. 11/3 in 13m.

And that I feel, worried Nouran a bit.

We saw the effect of that positive and aggressive (in the good sense of that word) as soon as the game started. 3/0 to Nouran, after the Terminator started with 2 errors. When was the last time that happened? She went on making two more errors, and conceded 3 strokes. That’s 7 points given away. Add to that her backhand boast that ended in a perfect attacking position for Nour, and you have a domination from Nour 4/1, 5/2, 7/4.

Nouran came very close to levelling up, 7/8, after a very lucky bounce that saw Nour raised her shirt and having a joke with her husband and Engy her coach. Unphased, she kept the same game plan till the end of the game, taking the ball extremely early, volleying Nouran’s shots that were opening the court wide open, and took that game, 11/7, 14m.

Very few winners in that game, 3 for Nouran, 4 for Nour.

Having had a good chat with her coach Haitham Effat – at the moment, Rodney Martin doesn’t seem to be part of Nouran’s team, but I may not know everything – Nouran came back in a “Terminator mode”. Hitting very hard and finding her targets much better at the back, she took the 3rd in 12m, 11/4, and Nour made some extraordinary saves along the way. And back to the 0 error from Nouran…

The fourth is the nail bitter one. I feel for Nour’s camp. A great start for Farida’s mum, 4/2, 6/3, but Nouran knows this could be fatal for her chances against Hania tomorrow if she loses too much energy. She cannot afford a 5th game. So a big push, 6/6, and from 6/7, all the way to match ball, 10/7.

Our Nour will be heavily bruised tomorrow, I can tell you that, as she kept diving on every shot out of reach, and sometimes, twice in a rally. She managed to save 2 match balls that way, but unlucky as her one of her drive touches the wall above the red line…

16m last game, one error from Nouran, and only that out of court error for Nour. High quality game indeed, 8 winners for Nour and 10 for Nouran…

Nouran : “You couldn’t get a tougher draw than El Tayeb in the quarter-finals, and I keep on getting her in every single World Championships.

“I have huge respect for Nour and I think that was one of her best performances against me. I had to find ways, even if it wasn’t comfortable for me. I tried to slow it down sometimes which I never do. All credit to her – she made it tough for me out there.

“I played well, but I think I made some dumb decisions during the match. I want to reflect on that with my team and come back ready for the semi-finals. She gave me a match that will help me for tomorrow’s match. For her, that was such a beautiful performance, and I wish her all the best for the future tournaments.

“When I looked at my draw, I knew it would be tough matches back-to-back. I just booked a massage before this match because I knew win or lose that I would need some treatment. I’m having my family here to support and the physiotherapy as well. I will have a quick ice bath, some treatment and get ready for tomorrow.”