R3: Nour El Tayeb 3-0 Satome Watanabe

Nour El Tayeb 3-0 Satome Watanabe 11-7, 12-10, 11-9

Next opponent: Sabrina Sobhy / Nouran Gohar

Both players mention “physical squash” in their quotes. Interesting as I feel that maybe some of the officials decisions were a bit harsh, and seem to force Satome to go “physical” as she’d been penalised so many times with no lets, whereas a few seemed to me simple lets. But what the do I know…

It seems that the pressure Nour was putting her opponent on paid dividends, forcing the Japanese to make a few crucial errors as we were going to the business end of the games.

For example, Nour made two errors at the start of the opener, up to 5/5, and Satome picked up the baton, three from that point on. 5/5, 6/6, 10/6, 11/7 in 11m to Nour.

The second is indeed crucial. At 3/3, two overules in two decisions, that was the only overules of the match. Nour up 6/3, but Satomi is finding powerful drive that even Nour can’t retrieve. 6/6. 7/7. 9/9.

As I mentionned, Satomi makes her first error of the game at that point, how typical, 10/9 Nour. A winner from the Japonese, 10/10. Huge rally, 11/10 game ball to Nour and another tin for Satome, it’s 12/10 to Nour who didn’t make a single error in that game.

Terrible start of the Japonese in the third, 3 errors in 4 points. Two no lets at 4/1, and 7/4, confirmed by the video ref, tough calls maybe, and the second one fires up Satome, who claws back to 9/9 with her trade know how, her fantastic holds. But Nour finds the last two winners and it’s 11/9 to the Egyptian.

Tough three love for sure.

Satome : I should have kept the ball away from the middle, I was not expecting such a physical game. I thought I was trying to avoid her by going around her but the referee didn’t go my way and there were a few decisions I was not happy about.

It’s one of those days to learn how to play squash all over again…

Nour : “It was a very physical match. I think with the ball being bouncy and the conditions because of the wind, there has to be traffic. But it’s not my problem, I don’t deal with problems, and it’s not her problem either. It had to get physical, I’m happy with how I played and I think I got lucky at the end with some skill and luck to get me through.

“I thought I’m going to go for every shot because I haven’t gone for every shot in the last five or six points but it worked.

“Nouran has been one of the best, if not the best, player for the last three years so she doesn’t need me to say how good she is! Sabrina is like a little sister to me and they both beat me last time. It’s interesting whoever I play.”