Saturday, December 2, 2023

Nouran Gohar silences critics to reach U.S. Open final against Nour El Sherbini

By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

World No.1 Nouran Gohar has a point to prove as she prepares to face world champion Nour El Sherbini in the final of the 2022 U.S. Open final today.

The women’s title decider will be a familiar fixture, with Gohar and world No.3 El Sherbini locking horns for the 23rd time on the PSA World Tour, and the 11th time they will meet in a PSA final.

Last night the 25-year-old Gohar overcame world No.6 Nour El Tayeb in a repeat of the 2019 title decider. Gohar required four games to see off her fellow Egyptian, winning 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5 in 45 minutes.

Gohar will now appear in her third U.S. Open final in a row following triumphs in 2019 and 2021.

Interviewed after the match, Gohar said: “You guys (the commentators) made me a bit angry (after they predicted El Tayeb would win).

“If I’m world No.1 and you’re not going to predict I’ll win, when will you? Just kidding, but obviously it kind of relieved a bit of the pressure.

“I felt that if everybody thinks that I’m not good enough to win today, it’s fine, I’m just going to prove them wrong. And I’m the kind of character who likes to challenge myself before challenging others.”

Nour El Sherbini volleys against Joelle King

El Sherbini will appear in her fourth U.S. Open final after a convincing performance from the six-time world champion saw her overcome New Zealand’s World No.5 Joelle King by an 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 scoreline.

El Sherbini has lost to three separate opponents in her previous three finals – Nicol David, Camille Serme and Raneem El Welily – but comes into her match with Gohar with a 16-6 lead on their head-to-head record having won their two previous matches.

“I think if I lost the second it was going to be tough for me, so I’m happy to get the win,” said El Sherbini.

“I just focus on every match, it’s another final and the U.S. Open is the only (major) title I haven’t won, so I’m just looking forward to the final.”

The U.S. Open finals will begin at 18:00 local time (GMT-4) today and all of the action will be shown live on SQUASHTV as well as on the channels of the PSA’s broadcast partners.

End of the road for ElShorbagy brothers as Diego Elias and Ali Farag win through to U.S. Open final

PSA Platinum 2022 U.S. Open, Arlen Specter National Center, Philadelphia, USA.

Women’s Semi-Finals:
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-1: 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5 (45m)
[2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY) bt [5] Joelle King (NZL) 3-0: 11-8, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)

Women’s Final:
[1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [2] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)

Pictures courtesy of PSA World Tour


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