Women's World Teams: The Egyptian View ...

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I have never played a decider for Egypt before and I was hoping I wouldn't have to. I didn't know what to expect.

But I decided to be selfish - I didn't think of the team, only of myself, to stop the pressure getting to me. This was the tactic I planned - even if everything went wrong. I had to do a lot of running, but it worked out in the end.

"Overall, this is a fantastic team to be a part of!

3rd December 2016


[1] Egypt 2-1 [2] England 

Nour El Sherbini 1-3 Laura Massaro      11/9, 5/11, 6/11, 6/11 (49m)
Nouran Gohar 3-0  Alison Waters                11/6, 11/4, 12/10 (41m)
Raneem El Welily 3-0 Sarah Jane Perry      12/10, 11/4, 11/6 (31m)


Howard Harding Reports

It was second seeds England who took the lead on the all-glass court where Laura Massaro, the world No.4, recovered from a game down to inflict the event's first defeat on Nour El Sherbini, the world No.1. Former world champion Massaro, who went into the match 5/3 ahead in her career head-to-head battles with the Egyptian, won 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 6-11 in 49 minutes to put England ahead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Egyptian number two Nouran Gohar, the 19-year-old world No.3 making her debut in the championship, despatched England's experienced Alison Waters 11-6, 11-4, 12-10 to force a decider. Londoner Waters had a game ball in the third, but three successive balls into the tin handed victory to the Cairo teenager.

Squad number threes lined up for the decider - England's Sarah-Jane Perry, the world No.11 who had played in all England's ties in Paris, facing Raneem El Welily, the former world number one now ranked two in the world.

It took 31 minutes for the title to be decided - El Welily keeping on top throughout the match before emerging victorious 12-10, 11-4, 11-6.

Fram was watching too back from London

Nour El Sherbini 1-3 Laura Massaro      11/9, 5/11, 6/11, 6/11 (49m)

It started very well for Egypt Miracle Girl today, Nour zooming to 6/1, 8/3, 9/4, only to see her lead disappearing like Snow in the Sinai Desert, and it took the Alexandria lady 5 game balls from 10/5 to finally take the game 11/9 on a drive kill.

The second was close enough to 3/2, when a contact as Nour was going for the ball on the right left corner prevented the Egyptian to get to it. Nour expressed her feeling clearly as she complained of what she perceived to be a hip movement from her opponent. From that point on, it was like Nour lost control of the mental battle. She lost her game plan, lost her length, and the next two games, making a lot of errors in the third, and saw her frustration grow even deeper when in the 4th, she got a few no lets that could/should have been lets had they been asked a bit differently.

I had the impression to be back in Canada 2 years ago, when Nour just kept getting no lets for let, and lets for strokes! That is really a department she’s got to work on, as she misses out of decisions that can make a difference in a match, like they did today. It’s like she still sees herself as the strong girl she was in the juniors – she was told not to bang into her opponents as she was taller and stronger that they were. But Nour, it’s ok, you can show you can get the ball, and you can show clearly when a player doesn’t let you get through… It’s ok, you are NOT going to hurt them, I promise you….

Closed paragraph.

Once again, hat off to the experience of the English former World number 1, World Champion, who just knows how to take her space, impose her game and channel her mental energy at the crucial times of every single match she plays.

Nouran Gohar 3-0  Alison Waters                11/6, 11/4, 12/10 (41m)

Nouran "Missile" Gohar displayed her powerful squash today, and although Alison tried and kept the 19 years told under control in the first game, up to the middle of the opener, 6/7, but with the Egyptian finding her rhythm - FAST AND HARD - scoring the last 4 points, 11/6 in 10m.

The score of the second doesn't tell the whole story, 13 m of hard work from both, again, matters close until the middle of the game, 6/4 to 11/4 for Nouran again.

Third was point for point really after a great start from the Fair English Lady, 4/1, 5/(, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8. Two game balls for Ali, 10/8, a sublime return of serve takes care of the first one, 10/9. And a succession of three quick "unforced" errors will give the match to Egypt, 12/10...

Raneem El Welily 3-0 Sarah Jane Perry      12/10, 11/4, 11/6 (31m)

For Raneem "The Switch" El Welily, it was the first time she was playing a decider. And today Elhamdoulillah, the Switch was full on!!!

And she needed to be full on Rino was, cause Sarah Jane had absolutely no pressure on her and played superb squash from the word go, 5/1 in the opener. Control the rallies, the English girl was planted on the T and was making Raneem do a lot of work.

The Egyptian clawed back to 8/8, two errors from each, 9/9, game ball for England, 10/9, a quick point for Egypt, 10/10. Raneem's presence got stronger and she took the decisive opener, 12/10 in 11m.

I guess SJ had trouble getting over the loss of the first game, she went quickly down 6/0, 9/2 11/4 in 6m.

The third - like for the previous match - was very close, not a point between the girls up to 6/6. The rally of the tournament at that point, and Raneem that just took control of the match from that point on, 11/6.

The Dream Team took the Trophey back home...

Laura came out strong, as expected. She didn't give away any cheap points. Her fighting spirit won the crucial points.

Nouran proved why she is number three in the world and Raneem showed her amazing athleticism and her amazing technical prowess.

I can sum up my feeling in two words: Mission accomplished!

Egypt were just too strong. Raneem and Nouran played at their best levels - but they needed to as our girls performed well.

Gohar was relentless and Raneem played fantastic squash.

English Coach

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2nd December 2016


  [2] England 2-0 [4] Hong Kong
  Laura Massaro
3-1  Annie Au         3/11, 11/7, 11/6, 11/7 (42m)
         Sarah-Jane Perry 3-0 Liu Tsz Ling   11/4, 11/4, 11/9 (25m)


[1] Egypt 3-0 [5] France

      Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Camille Serme 11/8, 12/10, 11/9
Raneem El Welily 3-0 Laura Pomportes  11/3, 11/3, 11/4
Nouran Gohar 2-0 Coline Aumard

Howard Harding Reports

The final tie of the day on the all-glass court at Palais Des Sports Robert Charpentier in the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux saw Egypt take on the hosts - with a packed and partisan crowd doing all they could to lift the home team.

It was the number ones who led the way, Egypt's world number one Nour El Sherbini facing Camille Serme only weeks after losing to the top French player, ranked five in the world, in the final of the US Open. Over 12 previous meetings in their career, they shared six wins apiece.

Few points ever separated the pair in the opening game, but the Egyptian clinched her first game ball at 10-8. Much to the delight of the crowd, Serme built up a 7-3 lead in the second - but her canny opponent upped her game to reel off seven points in a row to reach game ball at 10-7, then convert it from 11-10.

El Sherbini maintained a narrow lead through the third before putting Egypt ahead after closing out the match 11-8, 12-10, 11-9 in 41 minutes.

France faced a stern test in the next match when Laura Pomportes, ranked 66 in the world, faced fellow third string Raneem El Welily, now the world's No.2 player. The result was never in doubt, El Welily  taking just 24 minutes to win 11-3, 11-3, 11-5 to put Egypt in the final.

I lost to her in the US Open last month so I needed to win that match for my country - I was lucky to finish in three.

It's a totally different feeling, playing for your country - and it's even harder when you're the number one, having to play all the other countries' top players. We played India in our first match - and I had to play Joshna! You have to give 100% every match!

We've really worked hard after losing last time to Malaysia in the semis.

We might have the top three players in the world, but when you're playing the host nation, anything can happen. The scoresheet won't do the first game justice - it could easily have been 3/0 to France. The trouble with being top seeds is that everybody expects you to win - it's that or nothing!

It’s a great pleasure to work with the Egyptian Team because they all have coaching staff and they know what they are doing and all I’m doing is helping them manage their career and make them avoid all the mistakes I might have made myself when I was a player.

The thing is I’m not really their coach. I’m basically a technical advisor, a director, a friend and a manager so basically I help them manage their career not necessarily on the court. If they need training programmes, they’re dealing with injuries or contracts that’s where I step in and I let their coaches do the coaching. I travel with them for 6 tournaments every year. I travel with them to the majors and then the coaches back home do the work.

There’s no secret to Egypt current success. The power shifts every decade or so. First, you had Pakistan, then England and Australia. Now it’s Egypt’s turn. The players see each other every week. They play in local tournaments and leagues. They’re just training all the time. The players don’t dream about being number 1. They dream about beating the world number 1. It’s a different mentality which makes it a bit easier.

We have to remember that England and Australia have won this title many more times than Egypt - so to really have something to celebrate we need to win it eight or nine more times and get past everybody!

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1st December 2016


[1] Egypt 3-0 [7] Usa

Nouran Gohar 3-0  Olivia Blatchford                11/3, 11/4, 11/7
Nour El Sherbini 3-1 Amanda Sobhy    11/7, 11/9, 4/11, 13/11
Raneem El Welily 2-0 Reeham Sedky                    12/10, 11/5



A solid match for Nouran, who never let Olivia get into the first two games. A bit more competitive in the 3rd from the American, maybe finally getting used to the horrific pace coming from the Egyptian. A close game, up to 6/6, but Nouran finds her groove back, a very long match ball, ending unfortunately on a stroke.

Nour was facing a "nothing to lose" Amanda, and if the first game was a bit one sided, things changed radically in the second, Amanda  winning five points in a row from 4-8 down, and it's only on what could be described as a harsh no let that Nour clinched the 2nd, 11/9.

Fired up when she came back in the 3rd, Amanda came back as she knows how in the third, led 9/2 before taking the game 11/4.

The 4th was extremely tense, Amanda having 2 game balls, 10/9, 11/10, only to see her dreams of a decider shattered when the American got penalised with a very very harsh no let. Egypt is grateful and takes it, but still, probably not the way you want to end a quarter, 13/11. Still, Nour in 42m had put her country through to the last four for the third time in a row.

In a best-of-three dead rubber - in which Egyptian number three Raneem El Welily, who today leapt to two in the world, beat Reeham Sedky 12-10, 11-5.

Amanda has developed so much in the last two years - she's a future champion, for sure. I felt confident that Nour would win once she went two-love up - 60% of all sports clashes that reach that score end up successful.

But if Amanda had won that second game, it could have been a totally different story.

30th November 2016

Pools, Day 3

[1] Egypt 3-0 [13] Mexico

Raneem El Welily 3-0 Nayelly Hernandez 11/9, 11/6, 11/2
Nouran Gohar 3-0 Diana Garcia   11/6, 11/6, 11/5
Omneya Abdel Kawy 3-0 Dina Gomez 11/5, 11/4, 11/8

Top seeds Egypt became the first nation to score maximum points in their pool action after storming to a 3/0 win over Mexico, the No.13 seeds.

Raneem El Welily and Nouran Gohar both recorded straight games wins before third string Omneya Abdel Kawy celebrated her 50th match in the championships since making her debut 18 years ago by beating 15-year-old Mexican Dina Anguiano Gomez 11-5, 11-4, 11-8.

World No.8 Abdel Kawy, the team's fourth string, is marking a record 10th successive appearance in the championships - and has played in all three of the team's ties to date.

When asked if she could identify with the feeling of her young opponent today - making her championship debut in her mid-teens - Abdel Kawy responded:

I remember feeling fearless then, knowing that the pressure was always on my older opponents - but later in my career being in the position of having to deal with the pressure of being expected to win.

But now it's gone the full circle, and I can relax again - without the expectation of winning!

Today, we won our matches 3/0 and we are very happy to qualify as we were seeding to win this pool and delighted to play the quarters tomorrow. We are all looking forward to tomorrow’s match.

It was great today, we feel we played some good matches, and hopefully, we will carry on to do so for the rest of the tournament…

Yes, a good match today, Mexico was the third match for us. The girls are playing well, they are in a good spirit, they are a good team, there is a truly good relationship between them.
For me, it’s all about trying to manage the team as a whole, playing players deserve to play and resting player deserves to rest!

Omneya is the captain of the team, and has the most experience of them all, and I try and make her play as much as possible because she sets the tone for the rest of the team: so far so good!

Looking forward to the quarters.

When Nayelly Hernandez got engaged in Paris!!!!

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Who Can Stop Egypt?

29th November 2016

Pools, Day 2

Egypt 3-0 New Zealand

Omneya Abdel Kawy 3-0 Emma Millar                  11/9, 119, 11/7
Raneem El Welily 3-0 Amanda Landers-Murphy  11/5, 11/7, 11/3
Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Megan Craig                      11/9, 12/10, 11/2

Seeds march towards quarters

Top seeds Egypt took charge of Pool A as they beat New Zealand, leaving the Kiwis to batlle it out with India for second spot in the pool.

Defending champions England got through a tough encounter with USA, Sarah-Jane Perry taken to five against Reeham Sedky, a win which proved vital as Amanda Sobhy recorded a first win over Laura Massaro in the dead rubber.

Malaysia made it two out of two in Pool C as they beat Australia, whoi now face Netherlands for a place in the playoffs.

Fourth seeds Hong Kong and hosts France both notched up their third wins in Pool D, setting up a meeting tomorrow to decide who get the favourable quarter-final draw.


28th November 2016

Pools, Day 1

Egypt 3-0 India

[3] Omneya Abdel Kawy
3-0 Sunayna Kuruvilla      11/7, 11/7, 11/2
[1]  Nour El Sherbini 3-0 Joshna Chinappa            11/5, 11/6, 15/13
[2] Nouran Gohar 3-1 Dipika Pallikal Karthik    4/11, 11/7, 11/4, 11/9

It was over at the St Cloud Squash venue that the tie featuring the highest-ranked players saw favourites Egypt beat India, the ninth seeds, 3/0.

Third string Omneya Abdel Kawy began her historic tenth successive appearance in the championships in appropriate style by despatching India's 17-year-old event debutante Sunayna Kuruvilla 11-7, 11-7, 11-2.

World number one Nour El Sherbini needed 34 minutes to see off top-ranked Indian Joshna Chinappa 11-5, 11-6, 15-13, before the Egyptian No.2 Nouran Gohar, ranked three in the world, recovered from a game down to beat Dipika Pallikal Karthik 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 in 39 minutes.

"It was a tricky opening tie for us. India is a top eight country in my view, so it was a good match for us to win. Our girls had to be on their toes to get the result they did. I was very happy with the way they performed.

“We’re happy with how we played, India is a very good team and we expected them to be seeded higher.

It’s great for Nouran to win her first match in the senior team, she was strong mentally.

We are surprised not to have any match on the glass court in the Pool stage. I hope the girls will get the opportunity to practice on it as soon as possible.“

Team Manager



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