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BritOpen Preview: Gohar Ready for Biggest Challenge Against El Sherbini


World Junior Champion Nouran Gohar is heading into the final of the 2016 Allam British Open, PSA World Series tournament, looking to become the youngest ever winner of the prestigious event when she takes on fellow Egyptian Nour El Sherbini for one of the sport’s most coveted titles.

Gohar has been in stunning form throughout the event, downing Heba El Torky and Annie Au in the opening two rounds without dropping a single game. She then moved on to defeat World No.3 Raneem El Welily, a player she described as a ‘role model’, in the last eight before toppling defending champion Camille Serme in a thrilling five-game spectacle to secure a place in her maiden World Series final.

“It’s amazing to be in the final of the British Open, it’s my first World Series final,” said the 18-year-old.

“I’ve worked so hard to achieve good things in this tournament. To win would mean everything to me. To be the British Open champion is the biggest thing so, if I could do this, it would be the best thing ever in my life.

“I’m just trying to enjoy it and not put any pressure on myself. Hopefully, I will play a good match today. She [El Sherbini] is a great player, we’ve played only once on the Tour, she’s very skilful and very strong.

“I’m just going to try to play my best and see how it goes.”

The duo’s solitary meeting came back in the 2014 World Championship when El Sherbini suffered a shock defeat just nine months after reaching the final of the previous iteration of the tournament.

El Sherbini will be out to make amends in today’s showpiece event, four years after she became the youngest ever finalist, and has struck up impressive wins over United States No.1 Amanda Sobhy and five-time winner Nicol David en route to the final.

Now 20 years of age and having established herself as one of the world’s leading players with a World Series title coming two months ago at the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, El Sherbini is determined to take the crown at the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’.

“I’m really happy to be back in the final of the British Open,” she said.

“Everyone wants to be here, everyone wants to win it. I’m looking forward to this final and I am going to give it everything I have. It would be great to be the British Open champion so I am going to give it 100 per cent.”

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