R2: Nouran Gohar 3-1 Hana Moataz

[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-1 Hana Moataz (EGY)  11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2 (42m)

Next opponent : Sabrina Sobhy

As I expected, a very interesting match again coming from the racquet of Hana Moataz. Her two matches against Amina Orfi in two events, seem to have given send her on another level. She just changed league I feel. And after a first game taken to adapt – I see it every time when a player switches from the traditional court to the glass – Hana dazzled us with her solid and yet flamboyant squash.

Although Nouran was expecting a strong performance, it took her a game to adapt to the power and accuracy coming from the Harvard graduate. Hana led the whole game, 4/2, 63, 7/4, 9/6. Nouran was hanging and keeping touch with the score, 8/9, but Hana managed to get 2 game balls at 10/8. She needed the two and clinched the 12m game, 8 winners each. A very high quality game.

Barely staying off court at the end of the second more than 10s, Nouran was back on the court, and I could see in her body language, clinched jaws, that she was not happy with that game loss. 2/0, 6/2, 9/3. Finally Hana was able contain the power coming from the Terminator racquet, but it was a bit too little too late, 11/6 to Nouran in 9m.

Not much left in the mental tank for the contender in the 4th, 3/0, 10/1, 11/2 in 7m… But what a statement on the glass today. More to come I’m pretty sure.

Nouran :

“Hana has been playing in pretty good form recently, beating player above her. I knew it was going to be tough out there and I’m glad I’ve had a match like this to make me sharper for the rest of the tournament. I was very happy with the way I came back after the second and executed my plan. There’s some stuff to get better at but overall I’m happy with my performance today.

“In the past I’ve been put in these situations before and I haven’t made the right decisions at the time and experience plays a big role in that. Also not panicking and focusing on what I have to do and having everyone in my corner. We didn’t talk much about the score as this can happen, and every tournament I’ve played I’ve lost one or two games like this and it’s how to finish the game in a good way. I just need to keep taking the momentum into the next matches and I know I can better at that.

“Me and Sabrina go way back, since juniors and we’ve played every single Junior Open and I have so much respect for her and I think she’s a very talented player and a very nice person as well. It’s always very clean and fair when you play her with some great retrievals. I’m sure it will be an enjoyable but a tough one.”