Egypt 2-0 Malaysia: Aifa surprises…

Hania El Hammamy 3-0 Chan Yiwen  11-8, 11-2, 11-5 (23m)
Nouran Gohar 3-1 Aifa Azman  11-8, 13-11, 3-11, 11-4 (43m)

Match One:

An 8 minute first game where we got to see the talent of the Malaysian player, who managed to find perfect glued to the wall drives and force Hania to get to the ball a bit too late. The Egyptian didn’t leave any point without a fight, 3/3, 4/4, 5/5, but from that point on, she managed to find her focus (an exam in the morning took her out of the competition mode slightly) 9/5, 10/6. A good push from Yiwen, but it’s an 11/8 for Egypt in that opener.

The rest of the match will be more onesided, although the Malaysian never let go of the chance to get a few points.


“I had a two hours exam this morning, so I had to stay on my laptop for that time, so this evening, it took me a bit of time to get into the match, but I managed to click mentally and switched off to the Punisher mode, as you said!

“In the first game, even if I wasn’t there yet, I was trying to push and to find my targets, I’m glad that in the second and third, I got there and I became better in each game.”

Match Two

When you think that last time they met back in June in Gouna, Aifa only won 13 points, and stays 28m on court… This time, the Malaysian was ready for a Nouran looking a bit flat today. The young lady took full advantage of it, and pushed the Egyptian out of her comfort zone, attacking sharply to the front, and really putting Nouran under a lot of pressure.

Nouran took the first game rather comfortable on her second attempt, 11/8 in 10m: long rallies and Aifa starting to impose her style game.

The second was probably crucial, as the Malaysian was actually leading mid game, 7/5. Nouran feeling the danger, levelled quickly, 7/7, 8/8, 9/9. At 10/9 game ball for Nouran, two strokes confirmed by the video ref gave Aifa a chance to level, but it’s Nouran finally, 13/11, to the relief of the home crowd.

The last two are 5m game: 11/3 for Aifa, stunning her opponent – when was the last time Nouran lost a game in 5m 11/3? But a quick recovery from the Terminator, and it’s a taste of her own medicine for the young talented Malaysian, 11/4 Nouran in 5m.

Engy (Coach to Egypt)

“We prepared for this match like for a PSA match top seed, but the pressure of playing for your own country, in front of your own crowd, it’s different. But then again, Nouran today was not at her best, a bit flat.

“Aifa’s game is a bit unorthodox, difficult to read, so you need to be on your toes and alert. And sometimes, you wake up, and it’s not your day.

“But at the end of the day, that’s what makes her world number one. Even when she is not at her best and not 100%, she still delivers. And that’s what makes top players special.”

Amjat (Coach to Malaysia)

Our girls played well today against a strong Team of Egypt. Their play was very positive, and they were trying to get results today, and I think today was Aifa’s best performance of the event actually.

So tomorrow, we have a day off, and we intend to go to the Pyramids finally !