Egypt’s Nouran Gohar stepped on to court as the women’s World No.1 for the first time as she dispatched England’s Sarah-Jane Perry in straight games to go second in Group A behind World No.1 Nour El Sherbini.
Gohar is making her first appearance since a knee injury put a premature end to her title challenge at the Black Ball Open back in March, but claimed the World No.1 spot during the six-month suspension of the tour following the retirement of previous incumbent Raneem El Welily.
The 22-year-old had won her last three fixtures with Perry coming into tonight’s encounter – and hadn’t lost to the World No.5 since 2014 – and made no mistake in completing an 11-7, 12-10 triumph in 28 minutes.
It might her first outing as the new women's World No.1, but
NouranGohar</a> is back doing what she does best, hitting the ball hard and accurate!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SquashIsBack?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SquashIsBack</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldTourFinals?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldTourFinals</a> <a href="https://t.co/f7eoMZGHoV">pic.twitter.com/f7eoMZGHoV</a></p>— PSA World Tour (PSAWorldTour) September 28, 2020
The pair were neck and neck for much of the first until Gohar displayed her trademark power hitting to run away with the game. Perry showcased her mental resilience as she fought back from four match balls down to force a tie-break in the second, but that hard work was immediately thrown away with a careless boast into the nick.
From there, it was advantage Gohar and she made no mistake in converting to ensure she trails El Sherbini only on the percentage of points won at the summit of Group A.
Up next for Gohar is a clash with El Sherbini tomorrow evening.
“It’s never easy against her, she’s a very talented player, very skilful and one of the most capable on tour,” said Gohar.
“She’s big, so it’s quite tough to play against her but she’s very fair, so it’s also very enjoyable to play against her. I really have to adapt my game plan to play her, but I’m very happy with my performance today and I’m super happy to be back on court after six months.
“What better way to be back on court by being in Cairo, not only Cairo but in front of Wadi Degla and CIB as well, so thanks to them for coming today.”
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt  Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 2-0: 11-7, 12-10 (28m)