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BritOpen Update: Gohar Downs Serme to Set up Final Clash with El Sherbini

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World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar will be the second youngest women’s Allam British Open finalist in the modern era after the 18-year-old defeated defending champion Camille Serme in a thrilling semi-final in the 2016 edition of the PSA World Series tournament – setting up a meeting with fellow Egyptian and 2012 runner-up Nour El Sherbini.

Gohar played with a maturity beyond her years to go two games to the good but a stunning fightback from Serme then ensued as the World No.4 struck back to bring the match back to all square and set up a nail-biting fifth-game showdown. Gohar refocused and rediscovered her rhythm to take a 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9 win that will see her compete for the oldest and most established title in the sport for the first time in her career – just two months after she won the junior edition of this tournament.

Gohar played with pace and precision in a virtuoso performance to build up a two-game lead after Serme struggled to deal with the consistency of Gohar’s hitting.

A tense third game went in Serme’s favour as the 26-year-old finally found some rhythm and she exhibited some intelligent court craft with some deceptive drop shots allowing her to halt Gohar’s momentum and she maintained her performance into the fourth to level proceedings.

The pair traded blows throughout an electric fifth game as yet again it was contested by the narrowest of margins. Gohar held her nerve to earn the victory and seal her spot in her first ever World Series final.

A devastated Serme said: “Right now, sad is the main emotion. It was a very big battle and it could have gone either way, 11-9 in the fifth is hard. All the games were close, even when I was 2-0 down there was very little in it.

“Obviously I really wanted to make the final or even better, I really wanted to see my name on the trophy. I never got a chance to see my name on the trophy from last year.

“At 2-0 down, I was trying so hard to stay in that match. It felt like a boxing match and just staying in there was so hard. I was fighting so much and, at the end, I thought I could do it.” 

Result – Semi-Final: Women’s Allam British Open 2016
[8] Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt [5] Camille Serme (FRA) 3-2: 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9 (80m)

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