QTerminals Qatar Classic Day Five: Women’s Quarter Finals – Roundup

In the first women’s quarter final match on day five in the QTerminals Qatar Classic, World No.3 Hania El Hammamy defeated England’s Georgina Kennedy to earn her spot in the semi final.

The Egyptian claimed game one with nine game balls to spare in just seven minutes, completely neutralising all of Kennedy’s physicality with her own brilliant movement.

The English No.1 started looking more competitive in the second game as she made use of her short game, but El Hammamy’s speed kept her ahead and she pounced on any mistake from Kennedy to take the second game 11-7, giving the 23-year-old an opportunity to progress to the semi final in three games.

The Englishwoman, however, took the third game 11-7, finally exposing some cracks in No.3 seed’s seemingly perfect quarter final performance. The 26-year-old was noticeably more relaxed with her shot execution in game three, matching up with the Egyptian far more evenly.

Kennedy had the edge at the start of game four, but was unable to take full advantage of the apparent momentum shift, with El Hammamy reeling in Kennedy’s 8-5 lead and then converting on a tie break to win 3-1.

After the match, El Hammamy said: “I bet everyone wanted it to go to five, [but] especially not myself and I’m not sure about Gina, but I’m definitely pleased to get through in four. It’s very dangerous playing against her  because both of us are extremely physical so if you don’t get your tactics right then you’re going to be in trouble.

“I got myself in trouble in the last two games. I thought I played really well in the first two games and got my tactics right and got my targets correct. Definitely I’m positive today after being able to push and find a way in the fourth.

“I think there’s a lot of things that I need to focus on for tomorrow. It’s a positive performance and I’ll keep in mind the things I need to do tomorrow.

“Paris is in the past now. I’m not thinking about that anymore. I’m just thinking about going on court every day  and trying to improve the little things and little details. I’m not focusing on the top two, I’m just focusing on myself. I’m definitely confident that whenever I have my ’A Game’ on I can beat anyone. I’m just focusing on myself really.”

El Hammamy will face either World No.1 Nouran Gohar or American No.1 Amanda Sobhy in the semi final.

Result: QTerminals Qatar Classic Women’s Quarter Final

[3] Hania El Hammamy (EGY) bt [8] Georgina Kennedy (ENG) 3-1: 11-1, 11-7, 7-11, 12-10 (49m)

Sobhy Stuns Top Seed Gohar to End Losing Streak

In an incredible performance, USA’s Amanda Sobhy sensationally dispatched top seed and World No.2 Nouran Gohar in straight games in the second quarter-final.

Sobhy, who has played out a number of fiery encounters with Gohar in recent seasons, came into today’s match on the back of a nine-match losing record against ’the Terminator’.

Early on in game one, Gohar looked likely to extend this record, with the Egyptian earning four game balls at 10-6.

The American, however, responded emphatically, scoring six consecutive points to stun Gohar.

The World No.5 picked up where she left off in game two, attacking confidently and taking on Gohar’s famed power as she doubled her lead with an 11-9 win.

In a scarcely believable third game, Sobhy was simply unstoppable, firing past a shellshocked Gohar as she conceded just a single point to complete the rout in 32 minutes.

“It was a long time coming, we’ve played a lot of times and our head-to-heads have been close, but since 2019 she’s beaten me. 

“Every time I play her, I’m not afraid anymore. I want to play her because it gives me that much more confidence going in against her.

“I was excited to know that I was going to face again here in Qatar after last week in Paris.

“I learned a lot in Paris and I translated it into Qatar, hopefully you can see a different version of me, especially emotionally. I’m so pumped.

“I sometimes get off to a slow start and with her pace it’s easy to get blown out of the court, but even when I was 10-6 down, I felt like I was still in it and I just thought that I had nothing to lose.

“It felt very relaxed and I just wanted to go out there and take it to her and I’m just glad it payed off.”

On her telephone celebration, she added: I saw that at the US Open, Ben Shelton did it, then [Novak] Djokovic did it on Ben Shelton and I just absolutely love the savageness of it, so when I saw that happen I was like, ‘I have to do it, I have to do it’ so that’s been my incentive to want to do it so it might be getting old, but I’m going to roll with it – it’s working.”

Result: QTerminals Qatar Classic Women’s Quarter Final

 [7] Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [1] Nouran Gohar (EGY) 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-1 (32m)

Gilis Downs Hany to Reach Maiden Platinum Semi Final

Tinne Gilis mounted another impressive comeback as she overcame World No12 Salma Hany to reach the semi-finals of a Platinum event for the first time in her career.

The Belgian was second best in game one, with Hany too strong on the attack as the Egyptian took the lead with an 11-6 win in game one.

Just as she did in her 3-2 round three win against Joelle King, Gilis responded to a disappointing performance with a much better showing.

The World No.10 adjusted well, denying Hany – whose concentration began to wane – chances in the middle to level and then pull ahead with  11-7 and 11-6 wins.

Just as she had in games two and three, Gilis was clinical in game four, hitting her targets consistently and building a lead before bringing the match to a close with a typically excellent backhand drop.

“I’m pretty much speechless at the moment,” Gilis admitted afterwards.

“For me, it’s always the hardest moments when you’re so close and yet so far. You have to think that she could still come back and it could go either way so I had to focus, which is something that I struggle with at these crucial points.

“I just said to myself, ‘just keep the rally going, don’t rush anything, just pretend it’s 5-5, but don’t think you’re match ball up and just try to keep your focus’. 

On the coaching she was getting from brother-in-law Paul Coll: “I’m actually very glad that he came, because I felt a little alone in my corner… it’s always nice to have someone there to cheer you up and so that you can hear someone say ‘let’s go you can do this’ and that’s what he did so that really motivated me to keep pushing. So thank you, Paul.”

Result: QTerminals Qatar Classic Women’s Quarter-Final

Tinne Gilis (BEL) bt Salma Hany (EGY) 3-1:  6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 (57m).

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga