Young Egyptian overcomes experienced compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy in 73-minute final
For a 17-year-old to win a major professional squash tournament is an outstanding achievement. To overcome a much older, more experienced and high-ranked opponent, winning 11-9 in the fifth game at the close of a marathon match lasting 73 minutes, points to an extraordinary talent blossoming on the world stage.
That is the story of the hugely gifted Egyptian Nouran Gohar, who beat the No.4 seed, compatriot Omneya Abdel Kawy, in the final of the Monte Carlo Classic.
To produce the goods when in matters, at the closing stage of the fifth game against a 29-year-old who is a former champion in Monaco, shows phenomenal mental control as well as an ability withstand the physical demands of a tough match at the end of the high-pressure week in this WSA $25k Silver event in one of the world’s wealthiest principalities. Gohar is clearly something of a squash princess.
She grabbed the biggest title of her life – and maintained her unbeaten record in WSA finals – when she upset Kawy in the final at Stade Louis II in Monaco.
The 19th staging of the WSA Silver 25 squash event produced its first all-Egyptian final – and one of the longest.
Fourth seed Abdel Kawy, the world No11 and champion in 2010, was unable to convert four game balls in the opening game as underdog Gohar, the 17-year-old world No22, took an early lead.
The second again went to a tie-break, but this time Abdel Kawy prevailed to draw level.
After the next two games were shared, the capacity crowd was treated to a dramatic decider. Eighth seed Gohar reached match ball at 10-6 – but Abdel Kawy (pictured above, left, with Gohar) took the next three points in a row to reduce the deficit before Gohar converted her fourth chance to win the title for the first time after 73 minutes.
“Because we know each other’s games, and as Omneya has got very good experience in this kind of match, I tried to change my game and put her under pressure,” said Cairo-based Gohar after her 15-13, 10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 triumph.
“I like this tournament – especially now that I have won my first big title here!”
The Monte Carlo success marks the third WSA Tour title of Gohar’s career.
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RESULTS: Monte Carlo Classic, Monte Carlo, Monaco.
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) 15-13, 10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9 (73m)
Picture by CHRISTIAN BILLARD