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Nouran Gohar and Rowan Elaraby in action at the El Gouna International

El Gouna International: Quarter Finals - Player Reaction

Stay tuned as we bring you reaction from the players who are in action for the first day of the quarter finals at the El Gouna Squash International.

Glass Court Schedule
(All times are local GMT+2)
18:30 Rowan Elaraby (EGY) v [2] Nouran Gohar (EGY)
19:15 [3] Paul Coll (NZL) v [5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
20:30 [4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) v [8] Salma Hany (EGY)
21:15 Gregoire Marche (FRA) v [2] Tarek Momen (EGY)

You can catch all the action live from the El Gouna Conference & Culture Centre on SquashTV, and the official Facebook page of the PSA World Tour (excluding Europe and Japan).

You can also keep up with the live scores from the event here.

Gohar Seals Semis Spot

Egypt’s World No.2 Nouran Gohar booked her place in the semi-finals of the El Gouna International for the second time after recording an 11-2, 11-5, 11-13, 11-9 victory over compatriot Rowan Elaraby.

Gohar was in complete control in the opening two games, hitting her marks to perfection to ease into a two-game lead. However, Elaraby settled into her squash and mounted an impressive comeback to take the third but unfortunately for Elaraby she was unable to force a fifth, despite pushing the 23-year-old and saving one match ball in the fourth.

Gohar will face either USA’s Amanda Sobhy or compatriot Salma Hany in the semi-finals.

“In the first two games I was playing really well,” said Gohar afterwards.

“I felt good on court, was moving well and my targets were hit. I guess I had a drop in concentration a little bit in the third, but all credit to her, she took advantage. She played her A game, so to come back and try and attack against her when she is playing that well is difficult but I’m just glad I was able to take it at the end.

“It turns into more of a mental battle, but then you have to find your tactics, adapt and not play the same way you were playing. I just tried to change my tactics, relax a bit and make sure my shots go where I want them to go and just keep pushing.”

Result:
[2] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Rowan Elaraby (EGY) 3-1: 11-2, 11-5, 11-13, 11-9 (46m)

Coll Overcomes Gawad

New Zealand’s World No.4 Paul Coll came from a game down against former World No.1 Karim Abdel Gawad to reach the semi-finals in El Gouna for the first time.

Gawad, who has been struggling with a foot injury throughout the season, was at his clinical best in the first game with the Egyptian showcasing his artillery of shots to comfortably take the first game.

Coll regrouped well though and was able to get back on track to take a 2-1 lead before fully exposing Gawad’s struggling movement in the fourth to ensure he reached the last four of the PSA Platinum event.

“I started struggling to see the ball for some reason,” said Coll afterwards.

“Against Karim’s racket work, he just destroyed me. After the second, I started to see the ball better and dictate the pace, settle down with my movement and I started to feel quite good in the last three. It’s a real positive moving into the semi-finals.

“The first definitely suited him and then I managed to control the pace a bit more. Mixed the pace, used a bit more height and just try not to let him settle because if I did, he is a World Champion in that area, so take the game away from him as much as I could.

“I think it settled me down a little bit [the blood injury], I had four minutes to calm myself down and maybe it helped me, but it was nothing serious.

“Tarek and Greg are both really talented players and if I start like I started today then I will lose badly. I need to focus on the start a bit more, settle down quicker, find my targets and focus more at the start.

“I think mental training comes with the physical training. Coming through tough sessions builds mental toughness, so I think the two go hand in hand and working with a great mental coach [Bart Wijnhoven].”

Result:
[3] Paul Coll (NZL) bt [5] Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY) 3-1: 2-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-2 (52m)

Sobhy Reaches Second El Gouna Semi

Amanda Sobhy

USA’s World No.5 Amanda Sobhy claimed a 9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 victory over Egypt’s World No.9 Salma Hany in their quarter final battle at the El Gouna International as she advanced to the last four.

The two played just over two months ago in the same stage at the Black Ball Open and today’s match went in the same manner as Sobhy was forced to come from a game down to triumph.

Hany started strongly to take the first before the American, who is in her best form at the moment, settled into her rhythm and dominated to take the victory.

The American will face Egypt’s World No.2 Nouran Gohar for a place in the final at the PSA Platinum event.

“She came out firing in the first game and caught me a little off guard,” said Sobhy following her win.

“I wasn’t finding my targets, so she was capitalising in the middle of the court and really blocking me out of position and hitting winners, she is really talented. Once I started finding my length and settling it down, I think it was a bit up and down and a lot of stop-starting but it worked in my favour as it allowed me to settle a bit more. Once I started to slow down the pace and take a few deep breaths in between points then I started to find my rhythm and groove.

“It was tough. I think it was a battle of the middle of the court and we were both trying to look to get in front of each other, so that was maybe why there was a bit more interference than I would have liked but it’s the nature of the game and once you’re on there, you’re going to do what you can to try and get in front and win points. I knew I had to keep that pressure up.

“I’m excited, this is my second semi-final here. I’m looking forward to another battle and I know that Nouran is a tough competitor, so I’m going to focus on the recover, enjoy my rest day and then it’s another battle.

“I will chat with my coach about tactics and have a plan in place and trust in my game. I’ve put in the work and I feel like I’m ready for it.”

Result:
[4] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [8] Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1: 9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 (48m)

Momen on Fire to Reach Last Four

Egypt’s World No.3 Tarek Momen was in full confidence as he defeated France’s World No.15 Gregoire Marche 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 to reach the last four at the El Gouna International.

Momen, who will feature in his fifth consecutive semi-final, was in full focus from the first point as he dominated the middle of the court, forcing big movements from the Frenchman as the Egyptian powered his way to victory.

He will face familiar rival Paul Coll for a place in the final on Thursday at the Conference and Culture Centre.

“It’s unusual territory for me! I’m not used to getting through 3-0 in successive matches,” joked Momen afterwards.

“Today it must have been one of those days where I felt relaxed on court – it’s the most I’ve been relaxed in a very long time. I played a game I’m not used to, I played in a relatively slower pace than I’m used to and it paid off. I went for it at the beginning, not knowing exactly how it would pan out, but it worked perfectly and then I got the feel of everything. The dropshots, the length, everything just kept working and getting better, so I stuck to that plan the entire time and it worked.

“To me playing Greg is always a tough task for me. We’ve had many tough matches in the past, I know the head-to-head is heavily in my favour but many of those matches went to five games. I’ve always had my eyes on this match, I had to be on my toes from the beginning. I started with this game plan and it worked out and I’m pleased to win in three.

“It’s going to be interesting [against Paul] and I’m looking forward to it.”

Result:
[2] Tarek Momen (EGY) bt Gregoire Marche (FRA) 3-0: 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 (41m)

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