Nour El Sherbini (EGY) 3-1 [WC] Kenzy Ayman (EGY) 12-14, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (48m)
Oh my word…. What a difference a few months can make… It’s always a nightmare to play a young Egyptian. For the rest of the world but believe me, for the Egyptians too!
What that young girl – 18 years old, still wearing the goggles – through at Nour is nobody ‘s business! From the first rally, she went for the jugular… Nour was not expecting that, and was on the backfoot on many occasions in the opener.
She started uip 5/2, but Kenzy woudn’t let go, 5/5, Nour dominant, but just thanks to nervous three errors from the youngster, The Princess edges 9/7, 10/8. But against all odds, sublime counterdrops coming from Kenzy’s racquet, and despite 2 game balls for Nour, it’s Kenzy that closes it on her third attempt, 14/12 in 11m.
And when Nour found herself down 3/6 in the second, I started to wonder if we had an upset on the boil. Which is probably what Nour told herself as she scored the next 7 points, 10/6, taking the game 11/7 in 8m.
The third was pretty onesided, 11/4 for the Princess. But if we thought that was the end, we were sooo wrong. Back she came the youngster, with a vengeance, 2/2, sticking to the score, 4/3, 5/4, 7/6, and finally levelled 7/7, 8/8, 9/9! The crowd was supporting the outsider but experience played it’s role and it’s finally 11/9 in 14m for Nour…
What a match from Kenzy… another talent coming out from the Egyptian factory…
“I definitely didn’t expect this performance. It was my first time playing her and the first time I’d seen her play. A wildcard and upsetting in the first round. I think she’s being getting a lot of good results, winning tournaments. I didn’t expect this, she didn’t show any fear or any inexperience playing on the glass court, especially outdoors. I was definitely surprised, but I’m glad I had a little more experience than her to sneak every couple of points in each game.
“I’m going to look on the positive side. Being away injured for three months, just coming to play the world champs, which is the biggest event, so it’s hard and challenging, but it was a good testing match for me. This is going to get me in the mood. I’m sure I’m going to get better match by match.”