Monday, June 24, 2024

World Squash 2024: Egyptians ready to rule roost once more

World No.2 Nouran Gohar and World No.3 Hania El Hammamy will contest the latest chapter of their rivalry in the semi-final stage of the CIB PSA World Championships after they both won their quarter-final matches tonight at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Cairo, Egypt.

Following the conclusion of the quarter-final stages, it left Olivia Weaver, of the USA, as the only non-Egyptian to muscle her way into the last four of squash’s showpiece. The men’s semi-finals will be all-Egyptian.

Gohar, who has reached the final of the last three PSA World Championships, overcame fellow Egyptian and World No.5 Nour El Tayeb by an 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9 scoreline after 61 minutes of action.

It marks Gohar’s 11th successive victory over El Tayeb and she will now face El Hammamy for the fourth time this season, with El Hammamy winning two of those matches.

“You couldn’t get a tougher draw than El Tayeb in the quarter-finals and I keep on getting her in every single World Championships,” said Gohar afterwards.

“I have huge respect for Nour and I think that was one of her best performances against me. I had to find ways, even if it wasn’t comfortable for me. I tried to slow it down sometimes, which I never do.

“All credit to her, she made it tough for me out there. I played well but I think I did some dumb decisions during the match, I want to reflect on that with my team and come back ready for the semi finals. She gave me a match that will help me for tomorrow’s match and for her that was such a beautiful performance and I wish her all the best for the future tournaments.”

El Hammamy earned her place in the last four of squash’s pinnacle event for the third time in her career courtesy of an 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7 win over World No.10 Rowan Elaraby.

El Hammamy and Gohar will now go head-to-head for the 23rd time on the PSA Tour, with Gohar winning 14 matches to El Hammamy’s eight. That includes the 105-minute battle that Gohar won when they met in the semi-finals of last season’s PSA World Championships, which tied the record for the longest women’s World Championship match ever.

“It’s always tough against her [Rowan Elaraby],” El Hammamy said afterwards.

“Ever since juniors we’ve had battles and she found her way through all the junior matches and I think it’s my time now. We played in the quarters this year, but I’m sure one year we’ll be playing in the final. I believe this day will come. It’s always enjoyable against her especially when you both have a lot of history. She’s feisty and I’m feisty and it’s a battle of who can hold their nerves.

“It’s one hell of a battle and it’s one that I always look forward to. It’s very tough and this is why I play squash, it’s a 50/50 match and whoever plays the big points better will win the match. Last year I won in five and it was a couple of points away from reaching the final and all the matches as well as the one at the Worlds were close. It’s always enjoyable and this is why I play squash. Hopefully tomorrow I can play the right tactics and reach the final.”

Results – Women’s Quarter-Finals (Bottom Half): 2023-24 CIB PSA World Championships

[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [5] Nour El Tayeb (EGY) 3-1: 11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9 (61m)

[2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [9] Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-1: 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7 (51m)

Draw – Women’s Semi Finals: To Be Played May 17th

[1] Nour ElSherbini (EGY) v [8] Olivia Weaver (USA)

[3] Nouran Gohar (EGY) v [2] Hania El Hammamy (EGY)

Draw – Men’s Semi Finals: To Be Played May 17th

[1] Ali Farag (EGY) v [3] Diego Elias (PER)

[4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) v [2] Paul Coll (NZL)

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