World No.1 Nouran Gohar is through to the last four of the CIB Egyptian Open after overcoming Belgian No.1 in straight games in the quarter-finals in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Despite struggling with an ankle issue that came about in her last match on Monday evening, Gohar was able to continue her hard-hitting style during the opening exchanges, and it seemed to be too much for the Belgian, as she took the first quite easily.
However, Gilis tried to fight back, and was able to impose her game at times during the second salvo. There was a collision between the pair at 9-6, which saw Gohar’s face go into Gilis’ shoulder, causing the Egyptian’s lip to split. After a short break for the cut to be seen to, the pair returned to court, with ’the Terminator’ eventually taking that second game.
The third was tighter, but Gohar was able to secure the victory after 45 minutes of play, setting up a semi-final clash with CIB PSA World Tour Finals winner Hania El Hammamy on Friday night.
“It is quite late and I was impressed that Nele was still awake and able to play because us Egyptians are used to this,” Gohar explained.
“She played really well, and she caused the upset of the tournament by beating Amanda [Sobhy] so, definitely, it wasn’t easy at all and I am very pleased that I am not still playing now.
“Maybe the injuries are the lucky charm for this tournament. I can’t really complain. I am dealing with the ankle and it is part of the game. There is always the risk of getting injured, but I am dealing with it and using it as part of the tactics I employ. Luckily, we have another rest days so I can try to heal it tomorrow.
“Honestly, I am trying not to think about being No.1, which really helps. I just feel that becoming World No.1 did not change me as Nouran, and that I still have the same strengths and the same weaknesses. I am just working with my coaches on the same things, so I don’t really thinking about being World No.1 when I enter the court, I just have the same game plan and I try to enjoy myself on court.”
 Nouran Gohar (EGY) bt Nele Gilis (BEL) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-9 (45m)