‘Nicol is my idol’ says world junior champion
By SEAN REUTHE
World No.5 Nouran Gohar and eight-time World Champion Nicol David will meet in a mouthwatering quarter-final clash after they saw off Egypt’s Nour El Tayeb and Annie Au, respectively, on day three of the Orascom Development PSA Women’s World Championship held in El Gouna, Egypt.
Gohar, the reigning World Junior Champion, was up against another former World Junior Champion in El Tayeb and the 19-year-old played with power and control to come out with a 3-0 victory, taking it 11-8, 12-10, 11-9 in 46 minutes to reach the last eight.
“It will be a tough match for sure [against David],” said Gohar. “Nicol has so many titles, she’s a living legend and she’s my idol.
“To play against her is tough mentally and physically. I’m just going to enjoy it and hope that the crowd will be behind me.”
David won the World Championship crown the last time it was held in Egypt three years ago and she stepped up her efforts to claim the biggest title on the Women’s Tour for an unprecedented ninth time with an 12-10, 11-4, 13-11 triumph.
The 33-year-old Malaysian superstar will look to improve on her last result against Gohar, with the hard-hitting Egyptian ending David’s 10-year unbeaten run at the Hong Kong Open in August en route to a maiden World Series title.
“I think I played much better today than yesterday,” David said. “I knew I had to be sharp – she’s very dangerous. In the second game especially I felt like I put it all together well and I’m really pleased to come through 3-0 in the end. I had to make sure I played tight and didn’t allow her the time to mix it up.
“And now I get to play on the glass court which is very exciting. It’s such a treat to be here and it’s not often I get the chance to play in a new place and a new location so I’m really excited.”
Nour El Sherbini (right), the defending champion, navigated a tricky tie against World No.18 Tesni Evans of Wales to seal her quarter-final berth for a second year in succession.
The 21-year-old World No.1, who is bidding to become the first female Egyptian ever to lift the prestigious title on two occasions, prevailed in a crucial first game on the tie-break, which then gave her the impetus to close out a 13-11, 11-4, 11-4 victory.
“The whole season hasn’t gone that well, so I’m just hoping that this tournament will go well,” admitted El Sherbini.
“I’m trying to go through match by match without thinking a lot. Now I’m into the quarter-finals and I’m thinking ahead to the next round and that’s it.”
The Egyptian will take on British Open runner-up Sarah-Jane Perry for a place in the semi-finals, with Perry coming through a four-game scrap with fellow Englishwoman Victoria Lust to reach the last eight.
Orascom Development PSA Women’s World Championship, El Gouna, Egypt.
Second Round (Top Half):
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt  Tesni Evans (WAL) 3-0: 13-11, 11-4, 11-4 (39m)
 Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt  Victoria Lust (ENG) 3-1: 11-8, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7 (45m)
 Nicol David (MAS) bt  Annie Au (HKG) 3-0: 12-10, 11-4, 13-11 (37m)
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-0: 11-8, 12-10, 11-9 (46m)
Second Round (Bottom Half, To Be Played April 10):
 Raneem El Welily (EGY) bt Olivia Blatchford (USA)
 Joelle King (NZL) bt  Laura Massaro (ENG)
 Alison Waters (ENG) v  Joshna Chinappa (IND)
 Emily Whitlock (ENG) v  Camille Serme (FRA)
Quarter-Finals (Top Half, To Be Played April 11):
 Nour El Sherbini (EGY) v  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG)
 Nicol David (MAS) v  Nouran Gohar (EGY)
Pictures courtesy of PSA