Egypt’s World No.3 Nouran Gohar prevailed in her round three clash with compatriot and World No.10 Hania El Hammamy to book her place in the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions quarter finals.
The two Egyptians had only faced each other once before with that encounter coming in the 2019 CIB Black Ball Squash Open as Gohar took a 3-1 victory. However, El Hammamy’s squash has improved huge amounts since that clash with the 19-year-old winning the World Junior Championship title and reaching the semi-finals of the PSA World Championship.
A high-quality first game saw the two players trade points before Gohar was able to make a push at 6-6 with the younger Egyptian beginning to look fatigued towards the end as Gohar made the most of some unforced errors to claim the lead.
El Hammamy continued to cause problems for Gohar in the second and third, but ultimately the 2019 U.S. Open champion was able to step up when it mattered and close out on the crucial big points to take an 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 victory.
In the quarter finals, Gohar could face either Emily Whitlock or Alison Waters, depending on who comes out on top in their match later today.
“I think it’s so unfair to have to play Hania in my second match,” said Gohar afterwards.
“She just broke into the top ten and is playing really well. She has no fear and it was a very tough match out there, so I had to stick to every point if I wasn’t playing the points well, but the big points I kept my focus and luckily I had a former World No.1, Karim Darwish, in my corner to help me and Omar [Abdel Aziz] – we put the plan before the match and so there was a lot of hard work that went in behind the scenes.
“I had maybe a longer break than the summer because I had about three weeks off. We have had two of the biggest tournaments so far in the World Championships and the U.S. Open and there was only a week difference [in between] so it was difficult to regroup.
“I had some time off and Omar was telling me we just continue training. It was just a longer break, so you can observe and rectify your weaknesses and try to work on it, but the bad part is that you’re missing competing, so it was tough to adjust but you have to deal with it.”
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Hania El Hammamy (EGY) 3-0: 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 (38m)