Solo Squash

“Thinking of other players just distracts you. Focus on yourself, your weaknesses and work on them ”, said the world number one who has not yet been able to defend her podium.

Carlos E. Croes H.

The Egyptian player Nouran Gouhar, who reached number one in the women’s PSA ranking, after the retirement of her compatriot, the historic Reemen El Welily, gave us an exclusive interview in which she spoke about various aspects of her career, the confidence it gives her on the court felling like her own personal reference.

Gouhar has been going through the quarantine preparing and maintaining her physical form in optimal condition, to counteract the frustration that she has not being able to play at this moment and show why she is number one.

The Egyptian champion says that she had to «buy some equipment to do like a small gym at home», adapting her training with her coach. «That is the physical part, with food I try to mantein my calories low with my nutrionist advice” she explained.

“I am definitely frustrated for not being able to play”, laments the champion, who says that this is how all the players feel at this point “It is not easy. The fact is that I am the best player today and I definitely want to show it”. “That’s why I want to be on the court and compete again. There is nothing like the taste of winning, and that’s why I want to go back ”.

Personality and character

Gouhar remembers that from the age of 9 she began to be interested in squash because his father used to play all the time with his friends, “I just wanted to be with them playing on court all the time”. Those moments gave her the motivation to stay on top. “I always remember what my true passion in life always was playing squash”.

She also said “I practice many sports before squash, especially gymnastics and handball, but I never liked another sport like this so much.»

The Egyptian says that the high-level game changed her completely, because “it requires having a lot of personality and a different character. Squash allowed me to travel from a very young age making me more independent, see other cultures, other people, and be able to face different situation even if I was not playing squash. I definitely think squash played a very important role in my character development. «

From an early age she has been proving herself as the undisputed protagonist of great feats in the squash world, lifting her first Tour title at the Prague Open in December 2013, just 16 years old. In 2014 she won the Irish Open. A victory over Omneya Abdel Kawy in the final of the Monte Carlo Classic elevated her to the world top 20. Since then she did not stop until reaching the highest pedestal, after the retirement of El Welily.

«I think I never give up during the game, I am a very stubborn person, and when it comes to squash, I will do my best even when I am not playing my best,» says Gohar who feels the obligation to do her best in order to not to be disappointed. “Obviously I am very frustated when I lose but I will be much more frustated if I did not give it all, so for me giving up is not an option. It’s happen that you have bad days at the office but I always have to give everything anyway”.

The current best player in the world says she does not think about other players. “My reference is me. I just try to compare myself today with myself yesterday and see if I have improved. If I have improved then is a success ”. She emphasizes that the only person responsible for her game is herself, that’s why «thinking about other players as a reference only distracts you. Focus on yourself and your weaknesses, work hard on them. That’s how I see it.»

On the Egyptian dominance in the sport she said that “each era has its own country and today is Egypt. I am happy to be a part of this era. I hope it last long. I believe Egypt can continue to do so for at least 10 years”.