In an exclusive interview with the Professional Squash Association (PSA), the World No.1 discusses her season, her approach to the game, and her goals for the future.
Reflecting on her season, Nouran Gohar expressed her satisfaction, emphasising the numerous positives that emerged from her performances. Although she narrowly missed out on capturing prestigious titles like the British Open and the PSA World Championships, she remained optimistic, viewing the season as a resounding success. Her hunger for improvement was evident as she expressed her eagerness to learn from her experiences and elevate her game even further in the upcoming season.
An extraordinary statistic emerged as the PSA delved into Nouran Gohar's achievements – she managed to make it to an astounding 21 finals out of 24 events since the start of the 2021/22 season. The tenacious athlete admitted that she wasn't aware of this remarkable feat, attributing her success to maintaining momentum and a focused mindset during tournaments. Her consistency on the court, she noted, was the key element that transformed her game over the past few years.
Nouran Gohar attributed much of her progress to her partnership with coach Rodney Martin, praising his influence on her approach to the game. She highlighted the importance of developing not only her weaknesses but also maintaining and improving her strengths. As she compared squash to a puzzle or a game of chess, she emphasised the tactical aspect, especially at the highest level, where even the smallest details can make a significant difference.
The Egyptian star candidly shared her experiences at the British Open and the PSA World Championships, which presented unique challenges due to their proximity in the calendar. She acknowledged the difficulty of handling such high-profile events consecutively, particularly during Ramadan. Despite her valiant efforts, she fell short in the British Open final, but she approached the PSA World Championships with a determined mindset, even though she faced an arduous draw with formidable opponents. The PSA World Championships remains the one major title that has eluded her, serving as motivation for future endeavors.
One of the highlights of Gohar's season was undoubtedly her physically demanding and intense match against Hania El Hammamy at the PSA World Championships. She expressed pride in her ability to overcome the challenges and emerge victorious. Noting the increased physicality in the women's game, she praised El Hammamy as her worthy adversary, both players setting a new standard for athleticism on the court.
Speaking about the competitiveness between herself and El Hammamy during their matches, Gohar maintained that it's the natural result of the hunger to succeed at the highest level. While tensions may rise in such crucial encounters, she asserted that it remains a professional rivalry driven by the desire to win and achieve greatness in the sport.
When asked about her favorite moment of the season, Gohar recalled the U.S. Squash Open, a tournament that held a special place in her heart. Despite facing physical challenges and limited preparation time due to an injury, she displayed tremendous resilience to reach the final. The sweet victory in the tournament was particularly satisfying, considering the intense competition and the high-level performances she delivered throughout the week.
Looking ahead to the next season, Gohar and her team are continuously assessing their approach and setting new goals. As she remains determined to secure the PSA World Championship title, she understands the importance of patience and timing in achieving her dreams. Having already accomplished so much in the sport, she now approaches her games with a sense of freedom, unburdened by excessive pressure.
Finally, Gohar celebrated her performance at the El Gouna International tournament, where she showcased her mental fortitude and skill by overcoming the post-World Championships challenges. Despite the demanding conditions, she savored the achievement and relished the feeling of ending the season on a high note.
As Nouran Gohar continues her journey as one of squash's most formidable players, fans worldwide eagerly anticipate witnessing her unwavering determination and exceptional skills on the court.
For full interview, visit: psaworldtour.com